Logo Design: Focusing on the Symbols


If you take a look around, you’ll find some of the most memorable or recognizable logos are those that don’t include any text. The omission of text can be a smart move in my mind, the text being the name of the actual company or brand.

There are three different types of logos out there. You have the combination of text and symbol, or simply using the text as the logo by designing or customizing certain typography, and you have symbols on their own.

Quite possibly these types of logos are merely forms of logos in a development or evolution process of the brand. For instance, a new brand will establish a complete typographical logo or text with symbol that can evolve into just a symbol. It is hard to say in each case whether this is planned or naturally happens. Logos with stronger, complete focus on a symbol can be much more powerful. Just look at Apple and Nike; they are some of the most innovative and iconic companies or brands in today’s world.

The true experiment is if you can recognize a brand or company by focusing on the symbol.

When looking at these symbols you can determine whether they are recognizable or not. For instance, in the image above, the one in the very top right is the logo for my design publication company called Resimplify. I didn’t expect you to recognize it, but I’ve chosen to not include any text along with that symbol. I want people to learn to associate that symbol with the brand. I want the name to be implied.

That’s the true debate. Do you allow creativity to go as far as the name being implied in a symbol or do go for the more literal approach in terms of people understanding your new or growing brand? This is rhetorical but is the premise to whether you decide to omit text or not from a logo.

I believe that in a world filled with many logos it is harder to create a recognizable brand especially on a global scale. In a world where mobile is becoming more and more popular we can use the constraints of mobile design to improve logos. Notice that you rarely see any text on an icon for a mobile app. The creativity behind icon design should be the practice or skills we take to creating a logo with focus. Focus should be on the symbol with the name being implied or embedded.

Doing this is hard and takes time, but when someone recognizes that symbol on its own for the first time, the rewards are much greater. It may be time to try omitting that text from your logo and focus on a symbol. If you’re still on stuck on this idea, just look at the power a simple symbol can bring to the eyes of a 4-year-old in the following video:


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