Logo Design Concepts: The Icon
The simpler your logo design, the more likely it can easily be remembered. This is a frequent mantra that excellent graphic designers always tell their clients who seek advice on the creation of their respective business logos. One opportunity for such a simple design is the icon type of logo.
Although you can achieve a similar simple logo design using the wordmark or combination mark type, the main strength of the iconic logo is in its abstraction. Simply put, the iconic logo works as a strong visual metaphor for the message that your emblem is supposed to convey.
You’re quite surely familiar with computer icons on your desktop. Your company logo works in a similar way. The icon–whether for a software program or for your business–is an identification mark. This implies that when applied in business branding and promotion, your company logo should provoke instant recognition, otherwise it will not do much. The viewer must be able to immediately associate the symbol with your brand name or company, even if the symbol doesn’t contain your company’s name in words (as in the case of wordmark logos).
A common variety of iconic logotypes is the lettermark. In contrast to wordmarks, lettermarks do not show words (such as company or brand names). Instead, they show one or more letters. The letters usually are acronyms of the company name. Famous examples are the marks used by IBM, AT&T, CNN, and many others. Though these kinds of emblems are made up of just letters, they are deliberately altered letters. The alteration is such that the letters no longer appear ordinary. Instead, the letters are elevated to the level of symbol or icon.
Another variation of the iconic logotype category is the abstract symbol. The apple symbol for Apple Inc. is one such example. Other classic examples are the famous Nike swoosh, the NBC peacock, the Adidas trefoil stripes, the MSN butterfly, and so on. When you look at those famous logos, you not only instantly remember the company or product they represent. You also feel an emotional response towards the company via the logo’s shapes and colors.
Whether you use lettermarks or abstract symbols as icons for your company, make sure you design them so that they are easy to recognize. With easy recognition, your business logo will likely also effectively translate to automatic association with your company. Also, the iconic logo design should be scalable so that the effect won’t diminish even if the size does.
Paul Adrian Gonzalez is a professional graphic artist specializing in business and corporate logo design. Visit Paul’s site for tips and pump up your company’s performance by creating a stellar business logo.
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