This unit explains types the characteristics, functions and quality of a logo.

Learning outcomes.

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

  • Describe types of logo
  • Discuss the characteristics of Logo
  • Explain functions or uses of Logo
  • Identify qualities of a good logo
  • Design and produce a Logo
  • Name-symbol (Combination) Logo:- A Name-symbol or Combination logo features a combination of the name(s) (of the owner(s) of the company) and a symbol in one and the same creative design. It is therefore, a hybrid of the two and is probably the most complex.

A Combination logo usually positions text and symbol, side by             side. For example, Adidas, Nike, Toyota, Pepsi etc.

  1. Abstract Logo:- A unique, usually combination logo that represent a particular institution, company or product/service. It is also visually vague, yet an Abstract logo is easily recognizable because of its extensive popularity. Examples: Pepsi, Nike, TV3, Geothe Institute, Mitsubishi logo, etc.
  2. Heraldic Logo:- This kind of logo usually incorporates background symbol, ribbon, text and illustration(s) in its structure. The background symbol usually depicts a shield or regular geometric shape. Some heraldic logos contain emblems as well. Heraldic logos are often produced for sport clubs, security agencies, educational and other public and private institutions.

Note, the categorization of logos as discussed is not rigid or watertight because most of the categories obviously overlap, ass far as (their) core contents and characteristics are concerned. For instance, a Combination logo could still be classified as Abstract logo.



  • A logo often has some association or connection with the core mission or objective(s) of the company, club, product/service or association for which it is designed. For instance, the Volta River Authority (VRA), Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Ghana Water Company (GWC)logos which bear illustrations of lighting symbol, leaf and pipe-stand respectively, reflect the core value or mission of the three establishments, as far as the images on them are concerned.
  • Logos are always distinctive and unique.
  • Most logos comprise items which are only symbolic or express some idea.
  • Simplicity is key when creating a logo. A logo has to be simple in order to be quickly and readily recognized, remembered or recalled.
  • Occasionally, logos are a combination of text and illustration in a single design, even though some logos comprise text only or illustration only.


  •   Identification:- A logo is a feature for the  purpose of identification. It makes it easier and quicker for people to instantly recognize or identify a company or its product/service. This is irrespective of their educational background. It is used to differentiate one business or product/service from another. Once adopted, it becomes a recognized symbol of a particular company, club or society and so, is unique to it. For as long as the company, society or club exists, it will be perpetually associated with that particular logo.
  •   Branding:- A logo helps to establish the name and define the character of a company, associations, institution, product/service and its brand. A logo therefore, encapsulates the (associated) brand. A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company. Branding therefore, creates the impression that a brand associated with a product/service has certain qualities/characteristics that make it special or unique.
  •   Value Addition:- A logo is a  status-symbol that adds value to a company’s image and  product/service. It is  put on a company’s product/service to show its authenticity or originality, thereby serving as a check on faking or imitating the product/service.
  •    Advertisement:- Owing to the reasons discussed above, a logo can be used conveniently for both print and electronic media advertisements (ads); a logo permanently imprints the product/service or company’s name in the mind of the consumer. Once consumers see a logo (or brand) in  an advertisement, they will immediately associate it with a specific business or product/service. This can facilitate and promote the sale of the product/service. A particular logo therefore adds visual interest to a brand and registers on the minds of the public and eventually attract them, through constant advertisement.
  •    Vision, Mission and Values:- A logo may help to clearly establish the core vision(s), mission, and values of a company or institution, albeit graphically.
  •    Legal Protection:- A logo is a legal or patent document that confers origin, ownership and authority on company, institution, etc. It is, as previously noted, a brand mark of a company, institution etc. Every company, society, association, etc, is by law, expected to register her logo at the Registrar General’s Department. For this reason, a company can be sued at the courts for infringing copyright law, if it uses another company’s logo on its product/service or reproduces the brand, without prior official permission from the original owners. Thus , companies and their products/services are invariably, legally protected by    a logo.
  •    Moral Booster:- Most logos go with catchy slogans and mottos, which are often, persuasive phrases. The mottos and slogans accompanying a logo, often serve as morale-booster and motivation to members of a club or organization, or workers of a company, to work hard to develop it. A logo therefore, is often a source of aspiration and inspiration for its owners/users. Slogans and mottos also draw public attention to a company’s, product/service.
  •    Correspondence and Others:- Company or institution logos are printed on complimentary/business cards and used on letterheads of companies or businesses and organizations in all correspondence. Also included are company vehicles and cloths (Uniforms) and customized promotional materials like cups, key holders, calendars, etc. This invariably creates another channel for publicizing or advertising the companies or organizations.
  • The illustrations must relate to the organization.
  • It should be able to perform its identification function effectively.
  • It must not contain more than three colours including black and
  • Textual content should be brief.
  • It should be rendered in silhouette or flat-tones.
  • It should be able to be reproduced in flat colour(s).
  • It must be able to be reproduced by manual, electronic and mechanical printing processes.
  • It must satisfy all relevant principles of design.


                                        DESIGNING AND PRODUCING A LOGO

  • Note: Designing on a particular logo style should be one of your very first steps when you intend to design a logo. Once you have decided which type of logo is suitable for a company, etc, you can then choose the (logo) colour scheme, font style, and other details.
  • For example, to design a logo (or trademark) the designer should have in-depth knowledge of designing and colour harmony. He should try out different colour combinations (colour scheme) before   applying them in the design.
  • Generally, the following factors should be ultimately considered as well: simplicity of design, distinctiveness, (the kind of) company/institution and lastly, the (kind of ) product/service.
  • An original and professionally- designed logo is achieved if the designer skillfully develops the initial design to  a highly finished level.
  • In the case of Symbolic/Iconic logo, note that what a symbol represents in one culture may not be what it represents in another.
  • Finally, do not use multiple symbols, for fear of presenting conflicting ideas; you want a logo that expresses a unified message.

Materials and tools: Pencil, cartridge paper, poster colour, artist’s brush, tracing paper, ruler, etc.


Identify the problem.

Visualize or consider relevant items in the design.( For competitive logo designing, client companies or institutions often provide artists briefs, whenever they commission them (artists),etc. These briefs are usually, contained in public advertisements.

Explore ideas from the environment and select a few objects and shapes, which may be largely based on Adinkra and other traditional symbols.

Make about four or five thumbnail sketches, showing different layout designs of text and illustration, for each of the sketches.

Select a few (about three) among the repertoire of thumbnail sketches available. These represent the most interesting sketches of all of them.

Enlarge these choice-sketches in pencil, into the size originally required of the work and add details. (These are rough sketches (roughs) ).


  • Choose original colours for the rough sketch designs, and paint comprehensives (comps) in these enlarged forms. These represent the comprehensive stage.
  • Transfer one (or two) of these comps neatly onto the fresh cartridge paper and then paint in the original colours, as before. This is the camera-ready work.
  • Print or reproduce several copies of the logo if required, through printing techniques, such as stenciling, wood-block, digital, serigraphy, etc.
  • The same method can be adopted in designing  a mascot

Note: Logos can also be designed by the help of the Computer. Using designing softwares like Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design, Corel Draw, etc, the designer can design (and print out a logo on digital printer), even faster. This is referred to as, Computer Aided Design (CAD).



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