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10 Tips for Designing Corporate Symbols

10 Tips for Designing Corporate Symbols

When you think of all the things you had to do in the process of establishing your business, creating a logo design might seem like nothing – a cherry on the top.

A little, abstract, corporate symbol and the company name will do the job, right?


Corporate symbols are not some pretty drawing; it is one of the leading things that will sell your products or services.

Every dedicated PPC Management specialist knows that banner adverts are nothing without the perfect logo design that engages the customers and builds brand awareness. 

The fact that you have put the ad out there doesn't mean it is going to be seen – in today's vast competition a large number of campaign goals were ruined by bad design because they could not stick out from the crowd.

If you want your brand to be visible, you need to consider a corporate symbol that even a 5-year-old will be able to recognise.

We have put together a list of the top 10 tips for designing corporate symbols to help you do that.


1 – Be precise with what are you trying to represent

The logo is not just an image; it is an introduction to your brand that needs to communicate with a specific audience.

That is why the first step should be to write down all the essential things that need to be understandable at first sight – is your brand focused on emotions or is it more utility-driven?

What is relevant to your targeted audience?

Should you go for quirky or contemporary?

These are the questions that will precisely describe your brand identity, and this quick online quiz can help you go through them all.

Later you can turn this into imagery by sketching up a mood board that corresponds with your brand's ideology.


2 – Don't let inspiration become an influence

As we said, corporate symbols are the thing that is supposed to distinguish your name from the crowd, but that does not mean you cannot search for inspiration.

Learning from others can be a great thing as long as it does not become an influence.

Imitation is terrible for corporate logo design, and you should also stay away from the cliches.


The point is to think out of the box and try to create something different.

If you are afraid that some influence remained in your design, you can check this plagiarism issue online.

3 – Put some mystery inside it

People are engaged the most when they have to look below the surface when they are allowed to find ‛the last piece of the puzzle'.

The easiest way to accomplish this feeling with your logo design is to use the technique called the visual double entendre.

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It is two pictures wrapped together that together represent one thought.

This method of describing your idea and concept offers a mind game the viewers will love, making the visual of your brand memorable and intelligent at the same time.

4 – Leave a hidden gem inside

Similar to the technique above, there is another old trick for engaging the viewers – utilising the negative space within corporate symbols.

It is like playing ‛Where's Wally?' with your customers, but way more subtle.

The perfect example is the FedEx logo with its hidden arrow.


You do not see it yet? 

That kind of subtleness I am talking about – smart and full of meaning.

5 – Take them over the rainbow

To do this, you do not actually need to use the entire rainbow spectrum – choosing the right colour palette is one of the most critical aspects of any design.

All colours have their meanings, and therefore they are essential tools for communicating your ideas.

Bold and bright colours can certainly attract attention, but they can also turn out to be rude and noisy and become repulsive.

Lighter tones can give you a sophisticated look, but they can also slip under the radar.

You need to choose the right palette that corresponds to your message, but first, you need to be sure what is the effect of each colour.

6 – My name is…

Everybody knows that corporate symbols usually contains two elements – a logomark and a wordmark, but not many people are aware of the amount of advertising he or she needs to go through before he or she could represent themselves with the logo.

So first you are going to work with a wordmark only, and if you think of a unique name, you can finish the job with a logotype as Coca-Cola did.


7 – Letters are not images

The next step is to choose a typeface for your name, and this is where most people make a mistake – you need to keep away from gimmicky fonts.

We all know how fun it can be going through MyFonts in search of custom fonts, but we cannot get carried away.

Sometimes it is enough just to tweak an existing font to get hit the jackpot.

Custom fonts can boost the uniqueness of your brand, but if it does not work in your case, you can just go with Helvetica that seems to work like a charm every time.

8 – It is alive!

It has been proven in the course of years that corporate symbols that are ‛alive' have a more significant chance of engaging the viewers.

The things that make them alive are the sense of activity or the presence of motion in the logo.

The perfect example is the evolution of the bird in the Twitter logo, from her passive days on the branch to her active flight.


Of course, this is not always appropriate, and it depends on the identity of your brand, but in most cases, this might be the conceptual and visual boost you have been looking for.

9 – Make it balanced

When it comes to proportion and symmetry in the logo design, sometimes the discussion might seem unnecessary, but the thing is that these things have a much more significant impact on the spectators than we think.

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Again, the new Twitter logo is the perfect example that shows that taking care of symmetry and proportion ends up with a well-balanced logo.

That soothing balance is what makes our future customers develop their trust towards your brand.

10 – Keep it simple

As you could see, there are a lot of tricks and tools that can help you make amazing corporate symbols.

However, the secret is in the fact that you need to keep it simple.

The most considerable power of influence is achieved through simplicity.

Usually, it is just a detail that will turn some common thing into an extraordinary image.


Just remember the Apple logo design – it is a silhouette of an ordinary apple, but the bite is what makes it iconic.

Photo of author

Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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