Whether you’re starting your business from scratch, rebranding, or simply looking for logo inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.
In the article below, we’ll provide you with the ultimate logo inspiration.
Table of Contents
- What is a logo?
- Why is a logo important?
- The evolution of logos
- Why you need a logo
- Creating a logo the SMART way
- How to create a logo
- Types of logos
- Steps to designing your logo
- See how your logo fits
- Where your logo should appear
What is a logo?
Brand stamp. Favicon. Coat of arms. Whatever you call it, your logo is your brand’s identity, and it represents who you are. The word logo derives from the Greek language, traditionally meaning a word, thought, or governing principal, and that classification still rings true today. And now with digital apps and avatars added to the mix, a single symbol that captures a brand’s essence is more essential than ever. If you don’t already have a logo, we’re going to show you how you can create a mark to call your very own.
Why is a logo important?
A logo is the face of your business, and it’s often the first thing customers see. Just think about how many logos you come into contact with every day, starting from when you first reach for your favorite breakfast brand in the morning to your favorite show or publisher at the end of the day.
As well as identifying who you are, your logo can specify what your industry you’re in. In many cases, you can tell if a business is a restaurant versus a web brand just by looking at the logo. If you need proof, take a look at some great examples of logos by industry here.
When your logo appears across all your touchpoints — email, website, social channels, and printed materials — you start to build a recognizable brand. That’s important for a number of reasons:
- Your logo is shorthand for what you do. No need to explain yourself over and over.
- Your logo creates meaning. People become familiar with your work, understanding what you’re all about and what to expect.
- Your logo builds trust. We lean towards brands we have used before, and tend to place trust in them over other competitors.
The evolution of logos
Logos exist for the long term. Your product or offering may change, as will your message, but your logo should remain the same. This is important to consider this when designing because you want to get it right from the start.
That said, every well-known brand with longevity adjusts their logo over time, but it’s usually an evolution through font, color, or design refinement, rather than a complete redesign. This also presents a good argument for avoiding trends. Instead of looking at what’s popular at the moment, try to find a design that’s right for what you do.
Why you need a logo
Any person with a business or service should have a logo. While profile pics are great to tell the world who you are, it has limitations in that it doesn’t tell the world what you do or what you offer. That’s where a logo is extremely useful.
The purpose of a logo is to:
- Inform people of what you do or offer
- Distinguish yourself from competitors
- Help you look professional
- Help you attract the right customers
- Help you get recognized and secure repeat business
Creating a logo the SMART way
The five principals of logo design form the acronym, S.M.A.R.T. It’s a great starting point as well as a way to evaluate your completed design.
How to create a logo
A logo should have meaning and relate to what you do. To visually communicate the unique identity of your brand, here are some things to think about before you start:
- What do you stand for? Why does your business exist? It might be for creative services, humanitarian reasons, or because you have a particular skill to offer. In which case, a creative logo might be artistic, a humanitarian logo might feel purposeful, while a skill might depict the tools used or the product you make for clarity.
- How would you describe yourself? If you’re in finance, you may consider yourself serious, honest, and trustworthy. If you are a dog walker, you might be energetic, optimistic, and caring. When you consider how different these two examples are, you start to imagine what colors, fonts, and imagery each one might use. Try describing your business or service in three words, and go from there.
- What makes you different? You may offer a similar service to others, but your approach is what sets you apart. Do you go above and beyond for your customers? Do you deliver faster than the others? Do you always do it with a smile? These things may seem insignificant but they can help you stand out... If you can capture these unique features in your logo, it might just give you the edge you need.
Answering these three questions can help determine your unique identity, providing a foundation for your logo design.
Types of logos
Before you starting designing, here’s a quick overview on five types of logos:
As the name suggests, lettermarks use the initials of your business name. Successful lettermarks often replace the full name—we might not know what the letters CNN, NASA, or H&M stand for, but we most certainly recognize the logo and what they do. In addition to first letters, lettermarks can also refer to shortened names, such as FedEx.
Wordmarks are the business name without an image. As a result, typography plays a key role. Businesses named after a person might use a calligraphy font to replicate a signature. Car brands might use a bold font to demonstrate their robust build. A journalist or publication might use a refined serif font to indicate intellectual insight. Fortunately, there are plenty of fonts available to breathe life into any wordmark.
With pictorial marks, the focus is on the image. From sneakers to gas stations, a single shape, symbol, or silhouette uses distinguishable colors to make them easily identifiable, even when seen from a distance.
Abstract logo marks
An abstract mark is a logo design specially created for a business. Instead of using something recognizable, like a cloud or apple, it features shapes and colors that are relevant to the business. There are plenty of templates you can use to create an abstract logo mark, however, if you have ambitions beyond templates, here’s a deep dive into creating a unique abstract logo.
A combination mark uses both words and images. Most logos start out this way and evolve to focus on either just the image or word as the brand or business becomes more well-known. Remember, you can always create different variations of your logo, with image only for web icons, or word only for letterheads.
TIP: Mood boards are a great starting point for logo design. Start collecting logos you love, noting their style, color, and typography.
Steps to designing your logo
Choose your design style
If you have an interesting name, a word mark provides memorability but if it’s lengthy, consider an abbreviated letter mark. When it comes to images, will a picture best represent you, or do you have some guiding points or pillars that can be distilled into an abstract mark? Your design style is completely up to you but it should be based on what you want to communicate about your business.
Choose your brand font
Just like an image, your font says a lot about you. Serif fonts (the ones with added decorative stokes) are elegant and intellectual, while Sans Serif fonts (without the decorative strokes) are clean and simple. If you’re interested in learning more about these two, there’s a great article here.
Within these two categories of fonts, there are hundreds of styles to choose from. One thing worth noting is that the font you use in your logo can often spill over into other parts of your communication—as a tagline or on advertising material—so it makes sense to try out your chosen font on other words aside from just your logo.
Choose your brand color
Colors are loaded with meaning, and so it helps if you have a basic understanding before you commit. There is plenty of existing color theory you can read about online but here is a top-line overview to get you started.
Orange is always fun, revealing a cheerful and playful side. For a citrus burst that’s warm and refreshing, try the template Orange and White Burgers and Shakes Logo or Team Adventure.
Green is reliable, natural, and wholesome. It’s often associated with environmental brands, but acn also it’s tranquil and soothing. Try templates like Green Hotel & Lodgings Logo or Beige & Green Trees Landscaping Logo.
Blue is classic and professional. It can also be calming, reminiscent of blue skies and the ocean. For a credible and confident template, try Blue and White Financial Analyst Logo or Blue and White Watersports Rental Logo.
Purple is reserved for luxurious, mysterious or regal brands. It comes across an intellectual and wise. To make the most of an often overlooked color, try a template like Classy Monogram Etsy Shop Icon or Violet Barbell Icon Fitness Logo.
We associate brown with being rugged, reliable, and grounded. It’s great if you want to be seen as organic and down to earth. Check out the templates Brown Tower Industrial Logo and Brown Tours and Travel Vintage Logo.
White is light, clean, and pure. It also has a way of making everything feel simple. For a fresh logo, take a look at the templates White Simple Home Furnishing Logo and White with Colorful Circle Abstract Logo.
TIP: Look at what colors your competitor use. Products in the same category tend to gravitate to the same palette (for example, sunscreens often use yellow and blue) so to stand out from the pack, go for a different color combination.
See how your logo fits
Once you’ve designed your logo, the next step is testing it out. Since logos appear anywhere your brand does, it’s important that it will work across different formats.
Your logo may appear at the top of your letterhead, in the middle of your business card, or at the bottom of an advertisement. In all cases, it might be accompanied by other words, such as contact details or a tagline. Consider the spacing around it and how far it should sit from the edges so it looks the same each time.
Square is the default shape on most social platforms, so consider how your logo appears as an icon or favicon when placed in a small box. Long words or business names may become unreadable so as an alternative, you can stack multiple words, however, for long names, it might be best to use a pictorial logo or even an abbreviated letter mark.
Your logo might appear in a black and white publication, such as a newsletter or newspaper. Or perhaps the added expense of printing in full color might not be an option. Either way, it’s worthwhile having a monotone version of your logo for those times when color isn’t an option.
Where your logo should appear
The general rule is that your logo should appear anywhere your brand does. In terms of placement, humans naturally read left to right so it makes sense to place your logo in the top left-hand corner when possible. That means it’s the first thing your customers see and can help with things like navigation when on your website.
As a starting point, here’s a list of places your logo should appear:
- Business card
- Email Signature
- Social channels
- Advertising materials
- Online retail site
- Conference call platforms
Food and beverage logo ideas
Competition in the food and beverage industry can be fierce. If you’re launching a packaged goods brand you need to figure out how your logo will help tell a story about your product, help it stand out against the competition and grab your customer’s attention.
If you’re launching a restaurant, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from the other eateries on the block and drive foot traffic into your location.
The perfect logo design is a key element in helping you to stand out in the food and beverage industry. Let’s take a look at a few logo design ideas to get those creative juices flowing (pun intended).
The logo design for this coffee company embraces the geometric trend, using different shapes to create a striking abstract graphic, reminiscent of a cafe or coffee house.
Like the coffee-inspired geometric design of this logo? Capture the look with the Orange and White Cup Icon Coffee Cafe Logo template.
The vintage feel of this combination mark logo is perfect for this throwback restaurant concept. (Plus, the red and yellow color palette are reminiscent of ketchup and mustard—a clear visual nod to the brand’s food and restaurant roots.)
Like the bold graphic and red/yellow color palette in this design? Capture the look and feel of this logo with the Red and Black Bowl Japanese Restaurant Logo template.
This brewery logo design also embraces the geometric trend, using a variety of shapes and lines to create a minimalist design that looks and feels like a stained glass window—also delivering visual impact in the process.
Like the shape of this logo? Embrace a similar shape with the Green House Icon Construction Logo template.
The logo for this burger restaurant has a variety of abstract burgers featured in the logo, from the interior of the “B” graphic to the graphic that separates the logo’s typography—a clear nod to burger buns.
Because this is a burger restaurant, all those burgers in the logo only stand to strengthen the restaurant’s branding. (No one is going to question what kind of restaurant this is once they catch a glimpse of the logo!)
Launching a burger joint of your own? Take a nod from this logo design and incorporate a burger graphic into your logo design with the Orange and White Burgers and Shakes Logo template.
The typographic logo for this crepe food truck keeps things classic—but adds visual interest with the connected graphic elements of the “C” and “R.”
Like both the typographic and diamond-shaped elements of this logo design? Get the look with the Black Retro Logo template.
Retail logo ideas
The retail industry is changing. And if you want to successfully launch a new brick-and-mortar shop, product line, or ecommerce operation, it’s more important than ever to have a strong point of difference and build a strong connection with your target customers.
And that all starts with the face of your brand. Or, in other words, your logo.
Let’s take a look at some retail logo design ideas to help inspire your retail branding.
This minimalist logo not only looks clean and modern, but the lines in the design give the look and feel of an abstract skyline—perfect for a retailer based in an iconic city like San Francisco.
Want to recreate the “abstract skyline” look of this logo design? Try the Black and White Lines Architectural Logo template.
The logo for e-commerce retailer Mark & Scribe keeps things simple—but the interesting typographic elements (like the missing lines in various letters) makes it memorable.
Do the interesting typographic elements of this logo design speak to you and your brand? Explore unexpected typography with the Beige Bear Children & Kids Logo template.
Between the quirky illustration and the classic serif font, this logo has a distinctly cozy, vintage feel—perfect for a small bookstore.
The bird illustration in this logo design could not be any cuter (or quirkier!). Want a bird-inspired design for your logo? Try the Black and Red Communications Logo template.
Another logo, another bird. This logo design skips the illustration for a more abstract, geometric bird graphic that feels equal parts edgy, modern, and sophisticated.
Like the edgy, geometric graphic in this logo design? Get a similar look with the Modern Real Estate Logo template.
This whimsical illustrated logo design, complete with pops of color and a sophisticated script font, is both chic and playful—the ideal balance for a high-end baby boutique.
The soft pastels and fun illustrations in this logo are cute enough for kids—but visually interesting enough to grab their parents’ eye. Capture the look with the Blue Fox Icon Children & Kids Logo template.
Related article: Logos for beginners
Business and technology logo ideas
Every day, it seems like there’s a new startup, tech company, or buzzworthy tech-inspired business launching. And if you want yours to stand out, you need more than a strong product or service—you need a strong brand to go with it.
Let’s take a look at a few logo design ideas to deliver a dose of creative inspiration for your tech business branding and logo design:
Having different versions of your logo gives you a level of versatility and adaptability—like in this logo design, which has a variety of logo types (including a variety of colors and layouts) for different business uses.
Do you find the geometric/typographic designs the most visually interesting of these logos? Then you’re definitely going to want to try the Orange Triangle Retail Logo template.
Truist Financial Corporation is the result of a merger of two more traditional banks—and this minimalist logo is a clear statement that they’re rebranding to be more tech-centric and on-trend.
If the minimalist approach to this logo—with a simple graphic and classic font—feels on-brand for you, try the Blue Square Icon Abstract Logo template.
The graphic element in this logo design—a combination of a physical cloud and an electrical cord—is not only memorable and easily recognizable, it’s also a fantastic example of creating a visual representation for your brand’s products or services (in this case, cloud-based technology).
Like the subtle cloud element of this design? Go cloudy with your logo design with the Blue Cloud Icon Community & Non-Profit Logo template.
Connecting the two “n” letters in this logo design is a graphic way to reinforce the brand’s name and the collaborative element of the platform.
Like the bold green and white color palette of this logo? Get the look with the Green Connection Icon Internet Logo template.
Another example of using geometric shapes and lines in logo design, this logo design is clearly designed to remind viewers of both the WiFi signal (thanks to the circular lines) and a house—which, from a branding perspective, is a solid choice for a smart home company.
Like this design—and want to incorporate a house-inspired graphic into your own logo? Try the Contemporary Simple Black House Logo template.
Beauty industry logo ideas
If there’s one industry where aesthetics matter, it’s the beauty and personal care industry. The entire industry is based on making things more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing than they already are—and if you want to succeed, you need to carry that principle into your logo design.
Here are a few logo design ideas to help inspire a beautiful logo for your beauty-based business:
The bold geometric graphic, sans serif font, and perfect spacing all blend together to create a visually striking logo design for this perfumery company.
Dig the bold graphic of this logo? God bold and put your graphic front and center with the Red and Black Bed and Breakfast Logo template.
This logo design feels sleek, sophisticated, and modern—thanks, in large part, to the “B” graphic, which uses triangles to lend an interesting geographic element to an otherwise simple design.
Want to incorporate a triangular geometric element into your logo design? Get started with the White and Green Minimalist Architectural Logo template.
When it comes to logo design, sometimes less is more—as is the case with this CBD skincare line, which relies on simple typography and a single, bold circle graphic to create visual interest.
The circle element is the clear showstopper of this logo design. Get a similar look and feel with the Teal Circle Spa & Esthetic Logo template.
The subtle gradient in this logo’s typography not only adds visual interest, but creates a sleek, sophisticated feel that feels appropriate for a spa’s branding.
Like the botanical graphic and simple typography of this logo design? Get the look with the Orange Flower Icon Floral Logo template.
Men’s brands make up a larger part of the beauty and personal care industry than ever—and this beard balm is the perfect example of branding that will appeal to men. Between the bold graphics, the textured background, and the vintage-inspired design, this logo is sure to jump off the shelves and grab the attention of image-conscious men in need of a new beard grooming product.
The vintage-inspired graphics help this logo stand out. Get a similar vintage look with the Rustic Mountain Logo template.
Related article: 8 ideas you can borrow from famous logos
Want to take the hard work out of designing a logo? Try Canva’s logo maker.