[Part 2] Logo Design Trends 2020 – Symbols In Focus

By Aamina Suleman , Oct 29 2019

Fresh out of the oven, the second part of our Logo Design Trends 2020 Infographic Series is out! Haven’t seen our Part 1 of Logo Design Trends 2020 infographic as yet? It’s a handy one for all businesses and designers out there looking to design or redesign a trendy logo. This time I have focused on symbols and shapes because they truly help accentuate the look and enrich the meaning of a logo design, if done the right way.

Since you’re here, let us first understand the importance of symbols in logo designing. I mean, you can skip to the infographic but knowing the purpose and impact of symbols will help you make the correct choice for a professional logo design.

What Is A Symbol?

According to Smithsonian Education, “A symbol is anything that stands for, or represents, something else. In a story, a character, an action, an object, or an animal can be symbolic. Often these symbols stand for something abstract, like a force of nature, a condition of the world, or an idea.” This definition of a symbol describes its weight, not only in storytelling, but also in art and design. Symbols have the power to explain an entire idea that would take a paragraph or two to write.

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Types Of Symbols

The study of symbols is extensive and there are many things to consider when using a type of symbol for your brand. You can take inspiration for symbols from a number of things. In fact, there is no limit whatsoever when it comes to searching for the right symbol for your brand. It can be a geometric or an organic shape, provided the visual conveys the precise message.

Just make sure you know the truth of logo design trends before adding a trendy symbol to your brand logo. It will help you assess the credibility of trends and whether or not a particular trend is for you or not.

The two main types of symbols include:

  • Representational – any symbol that is a representation of an existing object
  • Abstract – an symbol that is not a direct depiction of the things in the real world

Nevertheless, you need to understand that one symbol can have multiple meaning, and a symbol’s connotation can vary culture to culture. For example, the Swastika sign in India symbolizes good luck and prosperity, while the Jews and Germans recall it as a sign of Hitler regime.

Sometimes the definition of a symbol changes due to other reasons, such as time or new business goals. Because of this, many brands redesign their logos to meet the current situation of the market and their business.

When using a type or shape of symbol, make sure you realize what it stands for in the market you are positioning yourself. Let us take the example of the Apple logo: some people thought it is the forbidden apple from the Adam and Eve story, while the real intent of the designer was to show the scale of the fruit and establish that it isn’t a cherry but an apple.

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Thus, it is very important to understand the importance of symbols and how they can impact your brand. If many brands are using generic logos and overused concepts then you can consider creating a unique symbol, but then you will have to work very hard to make sure it is engrained in people’s memory.

Importance Of Symbols In Logo Design

Symbols are powerful assets of a logo design because they can say so much more than a brand name itself. For example, the word Nike may not have achieved the success it has over the years if the swoosh (check mark) was missing from its visual identity.

Corporate logos that incorporate symbols, signs and shapes can achieve global attention because these compact marks convey concepts, philosophies and directions of brands in a jiffy. Instead of writing a sentence, brands use graphic symbols to explain their ideologies.

Kinds Of Businesses That Can Use Symbols

While there is no restriction on who can use symbols and who cannot, but I feel there are certain kinds of businesses that can truly leverage the power of these graphic elements to build a winning brand image.

If you’re an individual looking for a logo design for personal branding then your visual identity should be your name in the form of a wordmark or lettermark. However, if you’re a sports brand or a sports team then you can use one or more symbols that best describe you in a nutshell. Other businesses can use symbols in their visual identity design include: fast food chains, vehicle manufacturers, and tech companies.

Whenever you are creating a logo for yourself, on your own or through a professional, make sure you have done your research before writing your wants and needs in the creative brief. This will make it easy for the designer to choose a befitting symbol for your brand in case you need one.

Take a look at the symbols that are gaining popularity, in this infographic. Can any of these symbols define your brand? If not, share the symbol you have your heart on.

Logo Design Trends 2020 - Symbols In Focus

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A marketing design enthusiast, super passionate about the evolving scope of visual communication. With 3+ years of experience in content marketing, Aamina is driven by insights, inspirations, trends and creativity. She loves to travel, eat khowsuey, sip coffee, and watch mysteries.


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