Business Logos

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Business Logo Design

When you make a logo for your business or nonprofit, make sure you consider a logo design that suggests to people what qualities or benefits they can expect when they use your products or services. Your logo also performs the important function of helping people to readily identify your business.

Types of Logos

A logo should be immediately recognizable to the public. When designing your business logo, one decision to make is whether it will be typographic, iconic or a combination of the two.

  • Typographic logos use one or more words, and examples include the FedEx logo and the Coca-Cola logo.
  • Iconic logos consist only of an image. The Nike swoosh is an iconic logo that is also abstract. The logos of Shell and Apple are iconic with a literal image.
  • Combination logos use both words and pictures, and the Gatorade logo is an example. Many designers of logos say that the combination logo is best for most small businesses because it unites an image with the company name.

Elements of A Logo

The right logo can bring many benefits to your company. To create a logo that looks good, is unique and memorable requires a lot of thought about the elements that go into making up the logo. When designing a logo, the main elements to consider are the shape, color, font and images:


Different types of shape or form will evoke different types of meaning and associations in a logo.

  • Circles express community, friendship, love and unity. They also convey femininity as does any logo with curves. Rings point to marriage and a joining together, stable relationships and endurance. The Pepsi logo features a circle. The Olympics logo is famous for its rings.
  • Straight lines signal strength, professionalism and efficiency. The Adidas logo is famous for its 3 stripes.
  • Triangles are indicative of science, religion, the law and power; and evoke the notion of energy. Since these traits are generally viewed as masculine, triangles are sometimes used by companies whose products and services are targeted at men. Mitsubishi uses a triangle.
  • Squares imply a very practical sense of balance, security and trust. The logos of Facebook and Microsoft incorporate a square.
  • Vertical lines are symbols of maleness, strength and aggression. The SoundCloud logo uses vertical lines effectively to represent sound while conveying strength and depth.
  • Horizontal lines are associated with community, tranquility and calm. Or they can be used to represent speed or movement such as the logo of delivery company DHL. Another famous brand logo that incorporates horizontal lines is the IBM logo.

Once the form of the logo has been chosen, it is time to decide on colors, which researchers note can evoke particular emotions in people. Colors and some of the feelings they call forth are:

  • Yellow: Caution, understanding, friendliness, intelligence
  • Green: Life, freshness, the outdoors, money
  • Blue: Peace, sturdiness, confidence, optimism, security, calmness, honesty, strength
  • Red: Love, danger, energy, emotion
  • Purple: Intelligence, imagination, creativity, loyalty, bountifulness
  • White: Simplicity, purity, goodness and that which is fresh and clean
  • Gray: Solid, mature, secure, respectful

A multi-color logo conveys qualities that are positive, playful, bold and without boundaries. Examples include Google, eBay and NBC.

When considering colors, entrepreneurs must make sure that the logo will work well on a black and white background in order to facilitate use in some advertising mediums. Another point to remember is that colors may look different on a computer monitor than they do in print.


Good font are readable. A serif font has a small stroke at the end of the letter. A sans serif font does not. In general, serif is more suitable for “button-down” businesses such as medical offices and law firms. The less formal sans serif may be a good choice for theaters, tech start-ups and many other kinds of businesses. Test the readability of the font in various sizes on media from business cards to billboards.

Images and Clipart

Businesses should be aware that they will not own the copyright to these images so, therefore, they will not be able to copyright their logo. They have purchased the right to use the image in accordance with the merchant’s terms and conditions. Since these images are available online on a non-exclusive basis, another business can use them. However, there are many of these images available.