Iconic Logos vs. Illustrations

Logo & Brand review

Logo design is an art form and as such, when a company needs a new logo, that company should seek the consultation of a skilled designer. They should seek the guidance of someone who thoroughly understands both what makes a good logo design. An experienced designer knows that a good logo design should be simple, unique, memorable and highly recognizable from any distance and at any size. A common mistake that many businesses make is that they choose to use an illustration as their logo instead of an iconic logo design. Although sometimes an illustration is appropriate as a logo, it is often a mistake.

Today, I want to explain the difference between a good iconic logo design (or logo template) and an illustration.

What are iconic logos?

A logo is the visual representation of a company. A logo may include a company name in its design or it may just be a symbol or shape that makes consumers think of that company. For example, the burger king logo has words in it where as the McDonald’s 'golden arches' often stand on their own.

A logo should be simple, stylish, bold, instantly recognized and versatile. A logo must have the ability go anywhere or to be imprinted on anything. A logo must be able to be as big as a billboard or printed on business cards and stationery. A logo must succeed in whisper into the ear of a consumer about a certain product or service without ever saying a word.

A good iconic logo design or logo template does not have too much detail and it often borders on being an abstract logo. Good iconic logo designs or logo templates have simple lines, create positive and negative space and/or play with what a company is without saying it too literally. Good iconic logo designs are difficult to design because it is no easy task to take a complex idea or concept and break it down into a few abstract shapes.

A company should either hire an experienced designer to help them with their iconic logo design or they should purchase a logo template that has been created by an experienced designer.

Below are a few examples of great iconic logo designs:

Fedex logo    Pepsi Logo    Pizza hut logo

What are Illustrations and what is the difference between an iconic logo and an illustration?

As I previously mentioned, many people confuse iconic logos and illustrations. Illustrations are complicated pieces of art. They are very busy images that are hard to read, difficult to recognize and they often looses their quality when reduced to small sizes. Businesses like the idea of illustrations as logos because they are unique, they may incorporate a cartoon or mascot and they are fun. In some situations, this may be perfect for a business. In most situation though, it is not.

Illustrations are very detailed and therefore, they do not look very good in small sizes. Illustrations also take longer to absorb and thus are not as recognizable as iconic logos. Illustrations are often a lot more complicated to embroider because they require a larger stitch count per impression. Illustrations are also often much more expensive to create than a good iconic logo design or logo template.

To make your mark in today highly competitive market, I think that a good iconic logo design is the best solution.

Here are some illustrations used as logos that work:

KFC logo    Starbucks logo    PRINGLES LOGO

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