Logos Don’t Literally Have to be Literal

Logos don’t have to tell people exactly what you do. In fact, many of the biggest brands have logos that make no sense. Don’t be afraid to pick something unique – even if it isn’t the most literal representation of your company.

What does an apple with a bite missing have to do with computers? Does a swooshy check mark scream sports apparel? How do 5 rings represent the biggest sports competition in the world?

These logos don’t say anything about what these organizations do, yet you know exactly what the symbols mean instantly. Why? Branding, baby, branding.

Just look at Prince. When he changed his name to that weird, made-up symbol, we still knew who he was because he wore purple stuff and played guitar.

Logos are obviously an extremely important part of your brand, but they aren’t everything. This is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with. They realize logos are a big deal, so they want their entire company to be represented by it. That’s a lot of jam into one tiny picture.

A good way to think of an abstract logo is like a nickname. If a guy is named Christopher, there’s a good chance you’ll call him Chris. He probably refers to himself as Chris, you write his name down as Chris, and when you refer to Chris, everyone knows you’re actually referring to Christopher.

Going the non-literal route can be a little scary, but if you have an awesome logo design, it can be worth the risk. Remember, your audience rarely sees your logo on a blank piece of paper. Logos live in the context of your brand – your website, your product packaging, etc. Having an abstract mark can separate you from your competition and make you far more interesting.

It’s nothing against the literal logo. That works for a lot of great brands such as Disney, FedEx, Coca-Cola, and the list goes on. If your business relies on a steady stream of brand new customers, then a word-based logo might be the way to go.

While it can be easy to tell the difference between a good and bad logo, it can be really tough to decide between multiple concepts that rock. Many people choose the safe, literal route and that’s perfectly fine. My word of advice: don’t discount a concept you really like just because it doesn’t say your name or show what you do. Trust the totality of your brand to represent your organization instead of leaning on your logo alone.

Thinking your logo could use redo? Well, you’re in luck. We happen to be pretty good at that. Get in touch with us to get started.



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