By Jennifer Farley

Fundamentals Of Logo Design Part 3: Type & Symbol Logos

By Jennifer Farley

Last week we had a look at the first of three logo categories – the typographic logo. Today we’ll continue by looking at logos which combine type and symbols. These type of 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 sophistcated 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 travelled 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. As mentioned in a previous post, 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?

Next week is all about the boldest logos of all – the symbol only logo.

  • Ketira

    Let’s see… start with the best, I guess:
    McDonald’s has been called “the golden arches” since the day the Founder decided to include that in the building structure of the restaurants. I’m not sure, but I think it was back in the days when the Interstates were first built; the Founder wanted to be sure that his restaurants would stand out from the rest! Well, the buildings don’t have those physical arches anymore, but the logo still shows them off to remind those old enough to remember the arches on the buildings.
    The other great logo is the NFL one; having the football right over the F shows exactly what the logo stands for.
    The only one I’m confused about is Lamborghini’s. I understand it’s for a type of car, but I don’t get the connection to a raging bull at all.

  • Simon (artATwork)

    The really great logos were designed after the II War… when a lot of companies started going global… and communications became more prevalent with the introduction of TV.
    Though there were logos about… corporate ID was not held to have much value… though now it is a sale-able item. Some to consider that arrived after the war include (refined logos) Shell, IBM, Ford and American Broadcasting Corp.
    Printing presses were also refined and that allowed for more sophistication in reproduction… though the driving force was to establish a global identity. There are many of these outstanding designs that remain even today, through all the clutter.

Get the latest in Front-end, once a week, for free.