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 organisation.
Nowadays, you cannot be successful until you create a unique brand name for your products or services.
Even if you’ve just started your business, you have to get recognised, which is why 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.
In order to gain maximum benefits through branding, a business has to follow various steps.
However, the most powerful tool through when building brand recognition, is a logo.
Check out our 5 favourite logos in this episode of Building Better Brands:
Why is Logo Design Important?
Essentially, quality logo design is a good hallmark of trust.
Most buyers want quality products and they want to feel confident about what they are purchasing.
This is only achievable through the curation of a quality brand as the unique and powerful your brand is, the more likely it is for your product/ service to be bought.
For instance, let’s say someone places three pairs of unbranded trainers in front of you and asks you to choose your favourite. Your choice will be quite difficult as you have no idea what you’re buying into, or the company behind the product.
However, if they placed a pair of Nike trainers in front of you, there would be no hesitation. You would know straight away that these were high-quality, durable trainers purely because of the famous swoosh logo.
Even a young child knows that the iconic swoosh mark represents Nike.
Essentially, customers know these products are worth buying because of the quality and value the brand represents.
So, there are numerous benefits of having a logo design that represents your business.
Hiring a Design Agency for Your Logo
If you’ve hired a professional graphic design agency to work on your branding, then you can be confident that your logo will hit the mark.
Imagine if some of the most successful businesses did not have a logo, would you have been able to recognise them?
If there was no Ronald McDonald character representing the McDonalds brand, people would have chosen somewhere else to get their burger and chips (apologies, fries, if you’re in the US!).
Moreover, companies can depict a positive image through its logo. This way, the client thinks of you as professionals rather than amateurs.
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 choose a professional agency to design a unique logo that supports your brand identity.
Different Types of Logos
There are different types of logos and you should choose the kind that suits your business best.
Two of the most popular logos, used by businesses all over the world, are text based logos and abstract logos.
Both have different characteristics but serve the same purpose, which is to give an identity to your organisation.
No matter what line of business you’re in, whether it’s healthcare or recruitment, you will need a unique and professional logo to become a successful brand.
Although both text-based 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 its 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, colours, 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.
The following are some of the key features of text logos, which make them popular among top organisations.
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, customers can easily memorise the brand name and look for it anywhere in the world.
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.
Anyone can tell that the silver “peace like” arrows represent Mercedes cars, but the German car manufacturers have built their brand name over years, thus they’re easily recognised globally.
On the other hand, new business owners might find it difficult to build the same level of brand recognition straight away. As such, it’s wise to choose something more simple, such as a text-based logo.
This way, brands can easily penetrate the market through branding and get their name recognised at the same time among customers.
Since text logos contain the name of the organisation, 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 on the flip side, 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 organisation 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 easy to remember.
If you see an image in front of you that doesn’t have a clear message, it won’t stick in your mind and you’ll soon forget about it.
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 organisation.
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 decipher the hidden message.
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 organisations, as they offer a unique style to the business and catch the attention of the customer.
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 Nike.
Yes – we’re back to talking about Nike!
But how could we not when they’ve built such a strong brand identity through a simple tick?
It’s not complex in the slightest yet it manages to catch the attention of customers in every part of the world. It’s a globally recognised symbol and no one can deny it.
There are a lot of famous companies using abstract logo designs, check out these branding case studies to find out more.
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 it doesn’t stick in their brain for very long.
On the other hand, an abstract logo stays in the mind of the client for much longer, as they try to decipher the meaning and science behind the design.
It makes them question what the different icons or symbols mean as they are essentially open to interpretation.
This is a great thing for brands, as you’re making your customer stop to think.
So, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the abstract logos leave a more solid impression on your customer base.
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 involved.
However, this will change if you design an abstract logo as this will force the customers to think of what your business is all about.
Even when they find out, they will be curious to explore the thought process behind the logo’s design. Once they understand it, they will show your logo to friends and family which expands your reach further.
After all, if it’s something of interest, then it will be something more people will want to share.
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 whilst designing the logo, but they can think of all the different possibilities, which ends up creating a sense of interest in their minds.
Abstract Logos Don’t Have a Common Trait
If you look at logos from successful businesses, you will see that they are all different from one other and deliver a 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 organisation 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.
See full case study
Abstract logo case study
Canny Creative recently designed an abstract logo for one of our clients, Khibraty.
As a recruitment and training consultancy, they need to connect with their audience and conjure up a sense of interest.
From first glance, it looks like the ‘paper clip’ icon has nothing to do with training and recruitment.
Sure it’s cool, and looks visually appealing, but it’s not obvious what it actually means.
But there is a lot of meaning behind it. Firstly, a paper clip joins pieces of paper together, in the same way that Khibarty join company’s with new employees.
Perhaps more abstract than this is the invisible pyramid that sits within the paperclip shape, and peaks at the top of the red dot.
From the top of the pyramid, the shape descends to settle on the first curvature of the paperclip to make the letter “خ “(U+ 062E), which is the seventh letter in the Arabic alphabet.
This letter marks the beginning of the word Khibraty which means ‘my expertise’ – the slogan that is accepted by Khibraty’s customer base.
This adds another layer of visual appeal that people probably didn’t even know was there!
Which Type of Logo Design is Better?
All in all, it is clear that an organisation must have a unique logo design in order to impress 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 easily be copied by someone else and you will not get any credit.
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 which type is better, as some of the top organisations 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 first.
They will come up with some creative ideas, so you will have a few options in front of you.
Text Logos vs Abstract Logos, What’s the Difference?
Generally speaking, it’s wise for startup companies to choose 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 recognised 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.