This unis explains the concept, scope and meaning of logo

Learning outcomes.

By the end of the lesson, learners will be able to:

  • Discuss concept and scope of Identity Design(Logo/Logotype).
  •   Describe types of Logo.



   Companies, business concerns, institutions, agencies, clubs and associations and even individuals all over the world, adopt certain special symbols by which they or their products /services could be easily and instantly identified and recognized by the public.

Such companies, institutions, associations etc. have a strictly exclusive right of ownership and use of such symbols, and these could neither be used nor imitated by any other companies or associations.

Meaning of Logo

A logo is a symbol or identifying mark which has been creatively design and adopted by companies, businesses, clubs and associations.

An icon or graphic element that usually comprises typography, visual imagery and colour, used to signal a brand (brand name). A brand (brand name) is the personality that identifies a product, service or company/business/club, etc. and make it to be recognized by the public.

The main purpose of a logo is to give special identity or recognition to the user, hence it is also referred to as, corporate identity design or corporate identity mark. Most logos comprise two or more characters, creatively joined together or combined to form one vivid design.

Meaning of Logo

   Whereas a logo is a symbol or picture that identifies companies, associations, etc., a brand mark refers to a symbol/picture found on a product (package) and which is used to brand or specially identify such a product. Today, the expression “logo” is often synonymous with a brand. A logo is therefore a brand, ie. A feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services, as distinct from those of others.

Meaning of Logo

    Ad hoc logos can also be designed purposely for special occasions, such as anniversaries, celebrations, projects and fund raising campaigns, etc. apart from company, business or association logos.

Logos, (as well as) brand marks are often accompanied by slogan- a short catch-phrase that is complimentary of a product/service.

Generally, a logo may be created from three (3) basic elements which are: –

  • Name, (referring to words or sound).
  • Symbol, (referring to shape or visual).
  • Colour, (to emphasize or explain meaning of the symbol).

Types of Identity Design/Logo/Logotype

The main categories or types of logo are: – Name logo, Symbol logo, Pictorial logo, Initial letter logo, Associative logo, Allusive logo, Abstract logo, Name-symbol logo, Letter Symbol logo and Heraldic logo.

  • Name (Text/Typographic) logo: – Like its name, a Name or Text/Typographic logo is that which is wholly designed or obtained from text (type). Such text (type) usually derives from names of founder(s) or original owner(s) of a company/business, or the company/business itself. These names are often stylized or set out creatively, using one kind of unique and decorative type or the other. Name logo is also called Wordmark or Logotype.

Such names as, Macdonalds, Disney, Toshiba, Jacob’s, Mark and Spencer, Ford, Benz, Ernest Chemist, Sony Ericsson, Google, Yahoo, Tommy Hilfiger and Kellogg’s are classic examples.

One advantage of Name or Text logo is that it is simple and easily understood.

  1. Symbol (Iconic) logo:- In this type of logo a mere symbol (icon) is used. A symbol logo is often meaningless or vague to observe visually. It is hardly self-identifiable and has no direct association with a company or its core mission. Examples are Mercedez Benz, Toyota, Nike, Total logos. Also Adinkra symbol-based logos.

Even though a Symbol logo can be eye-catching, it only contains imagery objects that express interpretation of what the company or product/service conveys albeit, indirectly.

  1. Pictorial (Illustrative) logo:- Is a type of logo which has been designed, using a picture or illustration of a person, an idea, object, animal, a cartoon or mascot. It is much more detailed and complex than the others. In most cases, the picture or imagery used in this logo is realistic and often related to the company’s core mission. In some few cases, it may not necessarily relate (at all) to the core mission of company or association , but could comprise objects, persons or animals adopted by it (company/institution/association). Example, Kiwi, Apple Macintosh, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, EPA etc. (NB: Mascot is something, especially a person or animal used to symbolize a sports team, company, organization or other group e.g. Can 2000)
  2. Monogram/Initial Letter (Initials)/Letter Symbol Logo:- It is a kind of logo designed out of the initials of a company or its owners. Initials needed for this kind of logo may be obtained from the original owner’s names. Others may derive from the name(s) of the company, club or association. Often, these initials are creatively combined to form a single, exciting design called, Monogram. It is also referred to as Lettermark. Initial-letter (Initials) logos, owing to their simple but exciting (interesting) form, are perhaps the most popular of all the logos. Examples are; GTV, HP, UTV, GIPC, JVC, VW, IBM, CNN, MTN etc.
  3. Associative Logo:- Is one in which a person, animal, object, or idea directly associated with a company, club or association or product/service is used to design the logo. All the elements listed, i.e., person, animal, idea, object, should necessarily reflect or be obvious in an Associative logo, and they must be directly connected with the core mission of such company, club or association. For instance, the old logo of Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) which has a hoe and paddle is associated with (development of) agriculture – the core mission of ADB.
  • Allusive logo:- This is the direct contrast of Associative logo. It is logo that is indirectly associated with a company, institution, business or product/service. A logo that comprises visual items that are not directly connected with the core mission of a company.

The main idea behind an Allusive logo is unclear, unless explained. It is visually meaningless and has, no significance of its own. All Adinkra-based logos (logos derived from Adinkra ideas) are typical Allusive logos. Other examples are Mercedes Benz, Alitalia, Shell, Total and Apple Macintosh logos.

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