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Branding Advice: How to Better Use Icons in Your Company Logo

How can you make your brand more memorable and easier to recognize?

Here’s how: Include an icon in your logo.

The human mind recognizes images more readily than words. Studies have shown the human brain deciphers image elements almost instantaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner, which takes a longer time to process.

Some of the largest companies in the world, for example — Apple, McDonald’s and Pepsi — can be recognized by their icons alone, For the first few years, even decades, these images were often accompanied by the logotype (text written beside it). As time passed and these brands became more widely recognized, the logotype was no longer needed to remind consumers of the company’s name and what they represent.

The icon embodies the original message the company wanted to convey to consumers.logo samples

Standing the test of time

Including an icon in your logo will make it easier to recognize and remember. This image can work well for advertising purposes, such as on vehicle decals, tee shirts or stickers. With social media, your icon can be used as your profile picture to make a bold statement.

Alongside other logos, for example, at corporate events, when all the logos are reproduced down to the size of half an inch, which ones will stand out the most? Logos with clear, large icons will be always be the most memorable.

An icon should be an image that will stand the test of time. The ATatt-logo&T logo was redesigned in 1984 from a bell to a globe (along with a name change), in order to represent the company’s new international vision and global network. It was updated in 2007 for a more modern look. The logo is easily recognizable today, some 30 years later, even without the text.

This is the power of a good icon.

Corporate logo, which does not include an icon.
bb icon
Icon developed for social media usage.
Wendy RallWendy Rall

Wendy Rall

Wendy Rall is a professional graphic designer with over 30 years experience. After graduating from The Art Institute of Philadelphia, she worked with east coast design firms for 20 years. In 2002, she moved to Mexico and cofounded Planeta Surf magazine. Now based in California Wendy owns and operates Budd Branding, a boutique design studio.

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