An Insider’s Guide to Type and Symbol Logos

Jennifer Farley

Type-and-symbol logos generally take the form of the company name in type, and a symbol representing the ideals of that company beside, underneath or above the name.

When using both type and symbols, designers must carefully consider how their choice of typeface will work with the symbol. For example, take a look at the Jaguar logo featuring the famous cat jumping over the company name. The wild cat represents speed and control and is a graceful but powerful image matched with a sophisticated typeface. The elements match each other to produce a strong, elegant feel.


The I Love New York logo can surely be described as iconic and look how simple it is. Three upper case letters and a heart shape have become well-known and well-loved not just in America but by anyone who has traveled to New York. The slab serif typeface has a chunky, curvy feel (it’s called American Typewriter) which ties in beautifully with the heart.

i love ny

This type of combination logo is possibly the best option for new businesses or someone just starting out as it helps build brand recognition. It is visually strong and has explanatory text. A brief amount of text which compliments the symbol can provide additional clarity and tells the audience “this is what we do”. If the designer gets the mix right, a memorable logo results.

Logos that combine symbols and type often use a very simple, very ordinary symbol such as a basic shape, globe or tick mark. One of the most important qualities of a good logo is simplicity. It is certainly a challenge to create something unique. An important part of the design process is brainstorming and free association. Here’s some examples of famous logos which create a successful relationship between the type and the symbol.











What do you think of these logos? Any favorites amongst them, or are there any where you think the typeface–graphic symbol balance is off?