What is a logo? Definition and examples

A Logo is a drawing or image that companies, political parties, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, sports teams, charities, religious institutions, social clubs, and people use to mark their identity, i.e., who they are. They may use them on their letterheads, adverts, and the products they sell.

A logo may consist of images or drawings of things, people, and abstract concepts. It may also include words or letters. When it consists entirely of words or one word, we call it a logotype or wordmark.

Strategically designed, a logo can evoke certain emotions or associations, subtly influencing consumer perception and behavior toward the brand.

Logo article worlds oldest image 44444
Some companies frequently change their logos. Others have stuck with the same one since the day they started trading.

The world’s most famous logos are typically simple designs with very few colors. Some of the best-known ones are in black and white.

Cambridge Business English Dictionary defines the term as follows:

“A design or symbol displayed on a company’s products, vehicles, signs, etc. that expresses the company’s character and purpose and makes it easy for customers to recognize and remember the company.

Many schools, clubs, other non-commercial organizations, and even families have their own logo. The oldest form is probably the heraldic badge.

Your logo and your brand

Your logo is a major component of your brand. It helps customers, prospects, and other consumers understand who you are, what you stand for, what you value, and what you do. A prospect is a consumer who you think has a good chance of becoming a paying customer.

A brand is the personality and image of a company, its products, or services. A product’s or service’s features, such as slogans or logos, make it different and unique. A company logo makes the business or product stand out in a crowd of competitors.

Employees who focus on logos, slogans, and brands are involved in brand management. Good brand management can help boost brand loyalty, which keeps customers coming back for more.

If a company has a good logo and brand, it is easier for it to increase prices and raise profits.

99designs.co.uk makes the following comment about the term:

“Perhaps the most fundamental function of a logo is giving your business a unique mark that differentiates you from other businesses. This is especially important if your business has competition.”

Coca-Cola design over the years change 4994
Coca-Cola’s design today closely resembles its first one in 1887. However, 132 years ago, the trademark was in the tail of the first ‘C’.

Creating a logo

Before you start designing your logo, you need to find out as much as you can about your customers, prospects, and your sector. You should also check out your competitors’ designs and slogans.

The message you want to send out to the market depends in large part on what sector you operate in. For example, a university or financial institution wants people to perceive them as professional, reliable, honest, and competent.

Toy companies or nightclubs, on the other hand, want the market to see them as fun places. The last thing they want is for consumers to consider them as serious and conservative.

Your logo should also be unique. However, don’t make it so unique and bizarre that consumers are unable to work out what you stand for, i.e., they can’t understand your brand.

Apple brand image 44444
It is such a simple image – and all black. However, most people across the world know that this is the logo of Apple Inc.

The three components of a logo

There are three possible components of a logo: 1. Imagery. 2. Typography. 3. Color. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Imagery

Some logos consist only of an image. Apple Inc., the California-based multinational technology company, has a black image of an apple with a piece bitten off. There are no words.

Some logos have abstract geometric shapes or decorative elements. Ideally, your image should either reflect your market sector or the name of your business. In Apple’s case, it reflects the company’s name.

  • Typography

Typography refers to the appearance and style of printed matter, i.e., letters, words, phrases sentences, etc. Your logo may include a single letter, word, or a whole phrase.

A slogan is a good example of the use of typography to enhance a brand. They are either included as part of a logo or added alongside it and periodically changed.

Some famous slogans include:

Nike’s ‘Just Do It,’

Apple’s ‘Think Different,’ and

McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It.’

  • Color

Your logo can be monochrome (one color), black and white, or multicolored. Apple, which has the world’s second most valuable brand, worth $309.5 billion, has a monochrome logo. Amazon’s is black and orange; its brand, the world’s most valuable, is worth $315.5 billion.

Is it a coincidence that the world’s most valuable brands tend to have very simple logos?

Most designers say that color plays a crucial role in making your logo meaningful and real. Many startups tend to choose any color. This could be a mistake. Colors trigger emotions, they convey messages to consumers regarding your brand.

In the digital era, logos are often designed to be adaptable across various platforms, ensuring brand consistency from print media to online presence.

Corporate events

Cookies for corporate events image 49839829892189Corporate events are great playing grounds for effective marketing campaigns. Competent marketing professionals can think up dozens of strategies to promote their company and sell their ideas.

Custom cookies, for example, with your company’s logo on them, can help increase the number of people who can identify your company.

If you offer free customized cookie during an exposition, trade show, conference, or other corporate event, you will be surpised at how many people will take one. Most of us love cookies.

In our article titled Custom Logo Cookies for Your Next Corporate Event,’ we wrote:

“Every marketing professional’s aim is to get customers, prospects, and consumers to associate their brand with something pleasant. Nice tasting cookies with your logo on them can do just that.”

“When people attend a corporate event, most of them seek out the buffet or inspect waiters’ trays to see what goodies there are on offer.”


Etymology is the study of where words come from – their origins, plus how their meanings and forms evolved over time.

The English word “logo” is an abbreviation of logotype, which comes from the Greek words “logos” and “typos,” which mean “word” and “imprint,” respectively. In Greek, “logos” also means “speech, discourse, or reason.”

According to Etymonline.com, the term logo appeared in the English language with its modern meaning in 1937. It is probably a shortening of the word logogram, which means ‘a character or sign representing a word.’

Logo – vocabulary and derivatives

Today, the English term “logo” is the root word of many derivatives. Let’s look at some of them, their meanings, and how we can use them in a sentence. As you will see below, logo’s derivatives are related to the Greek meaning “word.”

  • Logotype (noun)

A single piece of type that prints a word or group of separate letters.
Example: “The company’s logotype was specially designed to be memorable and distinctive.”

  • Logogram (noun)

A written character that represents a word or phrase.
Example: “Ancient cultures often used logograms to represent complex ideas in their writing systems.”

  • Logomachy (noun)

An argument about words.
Example: “The debate turned into a logomachy, with both sides arguing over the definitions rather than the issue at hand.”

  • Logomania (noun)

An obsessive interest in words or, alternatively, an excessive and often unnecessary use of branding.
Example: “The festival was a display of logomania, with every surface covered in company logos and slogans.”

  • Logorrhea (noun)

Excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness.
Example: “His speeches were often criticized for their logorrhea, leaving audiences more confused than informed.”

Two Educational Videos

These two YouTube videos come from our sister channel, Marketing Business Network or MBN. They explain what the terms “Logo” and “Brand” mean using easy-to-understand language and examples:

  • What is a Logo?

  • What is a Brand?