11 min read

Should you use a text logo or an abstract logo? And what’s the difference/

That’s a debate that’s been going on forever.

Over the years, branding has become one of the most important factors to the success of an organization. Nowadays, you cannot be successful until you create a unique brand name for your products or services.

Even if you start your business on a small scale, you have to get recognized in public, for which branding is the perfect tool.

When you look at all of the major businesses around the globe, you will notice that they don’t have to struggle for recognition in any part of the world. Once they launch a new product or service, people come to them and do business with confidence.

In order to gain maximum benefits through branding, one has to follow various steps.

However, the most powerful tool through which you one can gain recognition, is a logo.

Let’s say you visit a market and look for some business cards or die cut stickers for your interest. If you are not quality conscious, you will not bother much about the brand, but such people are less in number.

The majority buyers want quality products and they need guarantee about the durability of what they purchase. That guarantee comes through the brand, so the more unique and powerful your brand is the better will be chances of it being sold.

If you have a couple of pairs of unbranded trainers placed in front of you, your choice will be slightly difficult.

However, you will not hesitate picking a pair of trainers when you see the famous swoosh logo on one of the products. Even a young kid can tell that the swoosh logo represents Nike and its products are worth buying because of the quality and value the brand represents to its customers.

So, there are numerous benefits of having a logo design that represents your business.

If you have hired a professional graphic design agency to work on branding your company, customers will recognize you in all parts of the world and will go out looking for your products by simply searching for the logo on them.

Imagine if some of the most successful businesses did not have a logo, would you have been able to recognize them?

The answer to that question is ‘no.’ If there was no Ronald McDonald character representing the McDonalds brand, people would have opted for other options.

Moreover, companies can depict a positive image through its logo. This way, the client thinks of you as professionals rather than amateurs and has no worries doing business with you.

Therefore, you should definitely assign a budget and get a professional logo designed for your company if you wish to compete against the global giants of the business world.

Although many people think that designing a logo is easy, you should look for professionals to design a unique logo, which can help you create your own brand identity.

There are different types of logos and you should choose the kind that suits your business the most.

Two of the most popular logos, used by businesses all over the world, are text based logos and abstract logos. Both have got different characteristics but serve the same purpose, which is to give an identity to your organization.

No matter what line of business you’re in, you will need to use a unique and professional logo to become a successful and established brand.

Although both text and abstract logos can be beneficial, you should understand what they offer to a business and then decide what is best for your business, product or service.

What is a Text Logo?

As the name suggests, these logos have got the company’s name in them, which communicates the brand instantly to it’s customers.

They are also known as word marks.

Numerous successful businesses use such logos in order to gain a competitive edge over their rivals.

They can be printed in different forms, shapes, colors and sizes as per the requirements of the business.

Some of the most popular companies in the world using these types of logos are CNN, FedEx, IBM, Coca Cola, Disney, NASA, Dell and the list goes on.

Following are some of the key features of such logos, which make them popular among top organizations.

Nasa logo on space background


Simplicity is one of the key traits of effective logo design.

Text logos are simple and can be understood by the majority of customers quite easily. They don’t have any hidden messages in them and simply contain the name of the business rather than a symbol.

This way, the customers can easily memorize the brand name and look for it anywhere in the world.

BBC World News logo

Immediate Recognition

One of the biggest advantages of text based logos is that they give your business immediate recognition.

If you see some symbols that are popular, you will be able to identify them quite easily.

For example:

Anyone can tell that the silver “peace like” arrows represent Mercedes cars, but the German car manufacturers have built their brand name over the years, thus they’re easily recognised the world over.

On the other hand, the new business owner might find it difficult to get recognition with a symbol based logo straight away, so they have to go for a more simple, text based logo.

This way, they can easily penetrate the market through branding and get their name recognized at the same time among customers.

Marvel Comic Books Logo

Message Clarity

Since text logos contain the name of the organization, there is no confusion in the minds of the customers. The message is conveyed quite easily and the users don’t have to think too hard when they look at the logo.

However, the name of the company may not tell the customer about the business, so this can cause some confusion. It is then up to the customer to search for the organization in order to find out the nature of the work being done.

Easy to Remember

Compared to the other forms of logos, text based logos are remembered quite easily. If you see an image in front of you that doesn’t have a clear message, it won’t stay in your mind for too long.

However, remembering a name can be easy, especially if it is a good, catchy name.

Find out more about naming your business or brand here.

Text Logos Containing Description

Although the descriptive logos are different, you will find some sort of information in text based logos too. They provide limited information about the nature of the business or the name of the organization.

However, they are better than a lot of other types of logos, which have no description at all and require the customer to use their own imagination to find out the hidden message in the logo.

What is an Abstract Logo Design?

When you talk about abstract logos, they simply mean that the product or service is being represented through an abstract symbol or icon.

Abstract logo designs are also famous among numerous organizations, as they offer a unique style to the business and catch the attention of the customers quite easily.

Although there can be a lot of experimentation done with these types of logo, some of the most successful companies use simple designs to create a strong brand image.

One of the most famous examples of the abstract logo is the world renowned swoosh symbol used by the Nike brand. It is not complex at all and manages to catch the attention of the customers no matter where they are.

There are a lot of famous companies using abstract logo designs, check out these branding case studies to find out more.

Nike's Famous Swoosh Logo

Lasting Impressions

One extremely important thing about abstract and graphic symbol based logos is that they leave a lasting impression in the minds of the customers.

When a person sees a text logo, he/she gets a certain impression, but that does not make the person think much later.

On the other hand, a unique abstract logo stays in the mind of the client, who keeps on developing the meaning of it and the science behind the design. So, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the abstract logos leave a more solid impression on people.

Abstract Logos Trigger Curiosity

If you are able to make people curious about your products or services, you will be able to increase the number of sales pretty quickly.

One of the best ways of triggering curiosity in the minds of the customers is with the design of your logo.

If it is a simple one, containing the name of your company, there will be no guessing game whatsoever. However, things will be different when you get an abstract logo designed, as that will force the customers to think of what your business is about.

Even when they find out, they will be curious to know the science behind the logo’s design. Once they get it, they will definitely share it with friends and family members, thus the overall situation will help your business grow stronger.

Canny Creative recently designed an abstract logo for one of our clients, and it had exactly this effect.

Freedom to Interpret

Abstract logos have got one great advantage, that they have got numerous interpretations.

Once the business owner gets such a logo designed, he/she has got a few things in mind and looks at the logo from their own perspective.

On the other hand, the customers are free to interpret such logos in the way that they want. They are not really sure what the owners had in mind while getting the logo designed, but they can think of all the different possibilities, which ends up creating an interest in their minds related to the product or service being offered.

Abstract Logos Don’t Have a Common Trait

If you pick up various logos of some successful businesses, you will easily figure out that they are different from each other and have got an entirely unique message. As a result, the customers can identify them easily, especially if the business is a popular one worldwide.


Probably the most creative type of all logos, are the abstract ones.

You can do plenty of experimentation with them in order to serve the purpose of your organization and attract more customers to your business.

However, there has to be some clarity in the design, so that there is no confusion whatsoever. Although the logo itself should stir curiosity in the minds of the customers, the message should be conveyed properly thorough it, so that the company is represented in a proper manner.

Abstract Logo Design

Which Type of Logo Design is Better?

All in all, it is clear that an organization must have a unique logo design in order to impress the clients.

If you are trying to sell your products or services without any proper branding techniques, you will not be successful in the long run.

Moreover, your idea can be copied easily by someone else and you will not get any fame, especially if your competitor comes out with a unique logo to get recognized in the marketplace.

Both text based and abstract logos have got their own significance and can be used by different sorts of businesses all over the world. It is hard to say whether which type is better, as some of the top organizations have been using both types in order to make their brand popular.

If you’re not sure how to drive your branding forward, check out The Ultimate Small Business Branding Guide.

In case you are confused when choosing between text and abstract logos, you should get help from a professional designer or design agency.

They will come up with some creative ideas, thus you will have a few options available in front of you.

However, the ideal thing would be to make an assessment yourself, as you know your business better than anyone else. You should be the one deciding what type of logo would represent your products or services in a better way.

Conclusion: Text Logos vs Abstract Logos, What’s the Difference?

Generally, startup companies should look for text logos in case they want to get immediate recognition.

However, you should still take the final decision, depending on the nature of your work.

If you work in the creative fields, perhaps your logo could be an abstract one, as that gives an idea to the customers about how artistic your work can be.

No matter what decision you take, you should not move away from the original purpose. If your basic idea and the logo design contradict each other, your business will not get recognized anywhere.

This is a guest post. All views expressed within this post belong to the author and not reflective of Canny Creative graphic design agency and their views.