When it comes to your business’ branding strategy, establishing a logo is one of the most critical tasks.
Your logo will be pervasive throughout your marketing campaigns, and it’s one of the most prominent branding elements people will think of when someone mentions your company.
Mounting research backs up how important a logo can be to your brand. In fact, a recent study from the Journal of Marketing Research found that an effectively designed logo can “influence brand evaluations, purchase intentions, and brand performance.”
Not sure what it takes to create a killer brand logo? To give you a better idea, check out our list of stand-out logos below.
1. Geometric Logos
Geometric shapes are highly effective at creating stylish and fun designs. Some can even evoke feelings of movement. It’s particularly popular amongst big brands from Google to Adidas — also proving that you don’t need to belong to a specific industry to use it. The final result is often a clean and modern design.
2. Negative Space Logos
Negative space logos are all about leveraging what you don’t see. Because these logos take more thought to execute, you can typically spot subtle meanings. For instance, you may see hidden letters, icons, or names. A great example is the FedEx logo which uses negative space to create an arrow between the “e” and “x” letters.
You don’t have to be super obvious with your negative space. Often, these logos use it to add small details that complement the main visual.
3. Typography-Based Logos
Typography can add a clever spin on traditional logos. We often see two varieties — one where typography enhances the imagery (see Hatchet), and the other where typography is incorporated within the imagery, giving it structure (see Burger King).
In the examples above, we see the text and graphics working in harmony — in other words, you can’t have one without the other.
4. Hand-Drawn Logos
Hand-drawn logos feel similar to a personal signature. It gives brands an authentic, rustic, down-to-earth, and even child-like feeling. Most incorporate a sketch of a scene, object, idea, or symbol. Because no two hand-drawn designs are alike, this style almost guarantees a unique and original logo.
5. Overlapping Logos
By using multiple layers, you can create more complex and colorful logos without overwhelming the viewer. It’s an effective strategy that “interrupts” visual elements — or even text — within a design. That said, these logos can be hard to pull off without a designer, so we recommend leaving this trend to the professionals.
Logo Examples in Ads
McDonald’s “Follow the Arches” campaign highlights the power of logos — even if you can’t see all of it.
It features a portion of its golden arches logo along with a simple line of text — such as “On your left” and “On your right.” With the creative use of its logo and signature colors, consumers instantly recognize the brand — and know that it’s just around the corner.
Curtis brings the smell and taste of fruit to life. Add the steam on top, and your mouth begins to water. The yellow logo on the tea label also brings a nice contrast to an otherwise monotone color scheme.
This black-and-white ad for Nescafé features rows and rows of zig-zags. It seems confusing at first, until you read the tagline, “Nothing wakes you up as Nescafé.”
Suddenly, these zig-zags become Z’s to represent sleep, and they eventually “wake up” and transform into the Nescafé logo. It’s a playful ad that uses symbols to illustrate the relationship between sleep and coffee.
Logo Examples in Literature
9. Underhill Press
Here’s another example of an ad that uses the power of symbolism in its logo. Books are born from trees — which is an obvious comparison. But trees also symbolize wisdom, growth, and learning — which artfully plays into the brand’s ethos. Trees are also a critical resource to the environment, as books are to people.
You can see a logo a hundred times without recognizing its full meaning — which is why I like this logo in particular.
Not only does it depict a child reading, but the book also doubles as wings. You can interpret it in multiple ways — for example, books can give kids wings to unleash their imagination or understand the world around them. It’s an effective logo that calls for a second — or even third — glance.
Sources for Logo Inspiration
Arguably the hardest part of creating a logo is knowing where to start. To light your creative spark, we’ve compiled a list of logo inspiration to get the ball rolling.
Creative Market is a designer’s playground with over 3 million unique fonts, graphics, themes, photos, and templates.
Use the search bar to browse through logos that match your style or profession. If something catches your eye, you can purchase and download designs right on the platform — or simply use it to gather inspiration.
Dribble operates as an online portfolio for designers. In fact, it’s one of the largest platforms for designers to share and promote their work — making it an ideal hub for finding inspiration.
Plus, if you want to hire a professional, you can contact artists directly on Dribble or use its Project Board to post a job.
Logoimport is an Instagram account that shares designs, illustrations, and graphic inspo from various designers. The account does a great job of tagging the artist on each post, so if something piques your interest, you can view more of an artists’ work with just a few taps.
Owned by Adobe, Behance is a social media platform for artists to showcase and share their creative work.
What’s unique about Behance is its advanced search functionality. Want to browse logos that are all blue? No problem. Want to browse logos that are solely made with Photoshop? You can do that, too. With Behance, you can quickly narrow your searches to see the most relevant designs.
Logo Samples That Anyone Can Use
You don’t need to hire a professional designer — or have an extensive background in graphic design – to create an eye-catching logo. Instead, online resources can help you design one in just a few steps. Take a look at our list below:
If you can’t pin down exactly what you want your logo to look like, try browsing through Canva’s premade design templates. Once you land on a design you like, simply click to download it. This will open the Canva editor where you can customize the text and color scheme of your logo.
Keep in mind that some Canva templates are free, while others may require a Pro account.
Logomakr is a tool that allows you to design a logo from scratch with thousands of stock icons and hundreds of fonts. If that’s too much of a feat, you can simply use one of its templates and customize the text, color, and graphics to match your branding.
Although Logomakr is a free tool, you have the option to pay for professional assistance should you need help designing your logo.
3. Logo Garden
If you think it takes days to create a logo, Logo Garden, a design tool, says it can be done in minutes. Its software contains a vast library of graphics, fonts, and colors to build even the most intricate logos. If you get stuck along the way, it also offers design tips and videos to guide you.
After the design is complete, just download it to your computer for a small fee.
Designimo is a great starting point for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the design process. When you visit the website, you are prompted to share your company name. Once you do so, it will open a new screen with a variety of logos that feature your company name.
From here, you can visualize what style and colors best fit your brand. Or, narrow down your search results by industry — such as real estate, health care, or apparel. This will populate the most relevant designs to pick from.
GraphicSprings is a design software that promises beautiful logos in three easy steps — first, pick a template from its library, which are categorized under different industries. Then, edit the graphic and text of your logo with its easy drag-and-drop menu. Lastly, download your design for a small fee. Voila, it’s just that simple.
Creating an Effective Logo
Even if you think you’ve landed on a perfect design that’s classic, memorable, and valuable to your messaging, it can be helpful to look at what brands around you are doing to modernize, evolve, or improve their own designs. This way, when it’s time for your logo to get a refresher, you’ll be ready with some great ideas.
Local Pack Header Specificity Vanishes while Local Packs Downtrend
The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
In July of this year, Dr. Peter J. Meyers and I published a report analyzing an element of Google’s local results we termed “local pack headers”. About a month after publication, members of the local SEO community, like Colan Nielsen, began noticing that the extraordinary diversity of headings we had captured had suddenly diminished:
Today, I’m doing a quick follow-up to the manual portion of our earlier study in an effort to quantify and illustrate this abrupt alteration.
A total sea change in local pack headers
Between July and November of 2022, 83% of our previously-queried local pack headers underwent a complete transformation of nomenclature. Only 17% of the local pack headers were still worded the same way in autumn as they had been in the summertime. Here is a small set of examples:
In our manual analysis of 60 queries in July, we encountered 40 unique local pack headers – a tremendous variety. Now, all specificity is gone. For all of our queries, headings have been reduced to just 3 types: in-store availability, places, and businesses.
Entity relationships remain mysterious
What hasn’t changed is my sense that the logic underpinning which businesses receive which local pack header remains rather odd. In the original study, we noted the mystery of why a query like “karate” fell under the heading of “martial arts school” but a query for “tai chi” got a unique “tai chi heading”, or why “adopt dog” results were headed “animal rescue services” but “adopt bunny” got a pack labeled “adopt bunny”. The curious entity relationships continue on, even in this new, genericized local pack header scenario. For example, why is my search for “tacos” (which formerly brought up a pack labeled “Mexican restaurants”, now labeled this:
But my search for “oil change” gets this header:
Is there something about a Mexican restaurant that makes it more of a “place” and an oil change spot that makes it more of a “business”? I don’t follow the logic. Meanwhile, why are service area businesses, as shown in my search for “high weed mowing” being labeled “places”?
Surely high weed mowing is not a place…unless it is a philosophical one. Yet I saw many SABs labeled this way instead of as “businesses”, which would seem a more rational label, given Google’s historic distinction between physical premises and go-to-client models. There are many instances like this of the labeling not making much horse sense, and with the new absence of more specific wording, it feels like local pack headers are likely to convey less meaning and be more easily overlooked now.
Why has Google done this and does it matter to your local search marketing?
Clearly, Google decided to streamline their classifications. There may be more than three total local pack header types, but I have yet to see them. Hotel packs continue to have their own headings, but they have always been a different animal:
In general, Google experiments with whatever they think will move users about within their system, and perhaps they felt the varied local pack headers were more of a distraction than an aid to interactivity with the local packs. We can’t know for sure, nor can we say how long this change will remain in place, because Google could bring back the diverse headings the day after I publish this column!
As to whether this matters to your local search campaigns, unfortunately, the generic headers do obscure former clues to the mind of Google that might have been useful in your SEO. I previously suggested that local businesses might want to incorporate the varied local pack terms into the optimization of the website tags and text, but in the new scenario, it is likely to be pointless to optimize anything for “places”, “businesses”, or “in-store availability”. It’s a given that your company is some kind of place or business if you’re creating a Google Business Profile for it. And, your best bet for featuring that you carry certain products is to publish them on your listing and consider whether you want to opt into programs like Pointy.
In sum, this change is not a huge deal, but I’m a bit sorry to see the little clues of the diversified headers vanish from sight. Meanwhile, there’s another local pack trend going on right now that you should definitely be paying attention to…
A precipitous drop in overall local pack presence
In our original study, Google did not return a local pack for 18% of our manual July queries. By November, the picture had significantly changed. A startling 42% of our queries suddenly no longer displayed a local pack. This is right in line with Andrew Shotland’s documentation of a 42.3% drop from peak local pack display between August and October. Mozcast, pictured above, captured a drop from 39.6% of queries returning local packs on October 24th to just 25.1% on October 25th. The number has remained in the low-to-mid 20s in the ensuing weeks. It’s enough of a downward slope to give one pause.
Because I’m convinced of the need for economic localism as critical to healing the climate and society, I would personally like Google to return local packs for all commercial queries so that searchers can always see the nearest resource for purchasing whatever they need, but if Google is reducing the number of queries for which they deliver local results, I have to try to understand their thinking.
To do that, I have to remember that the presence of a local pack is a signal that Google believes a query has a local intent. Likely, they often get this right, but I can think of times when a local result has appeared for a search term that doesn’t seem to me to be obviously, inherently local. For example, in the study Dr. Pete and I conducted, we saw Google not just returning a local pack for the keyword “pickles” but even giving it its own local pack header:
If I search for pickles, am I definitely looking for pickles near me, or could I be looking for recipes, articles about the nutritional value of pickles, the history of pickles, something else? How high is Google’s confidence that vague searches like these should be fulfilled with a local result?
After looking at a number of searches like these in the context of intent, my current thinking is this: for some reason unknown to us, Google is dialing back presumed local intent. Ever since Google made the user the centroid of search and began showing us nearby results almost by default for countless queries, we users became trained not to have to add many (or any) modifiers to our search language to prompt Google to lay out our local options for us. We could be quite lazy in our searches and still get local results.
In the new context of a reduced number of searches generating local packs, though, we will have to rehabituate ourselves to writing more detailed queries to get to what we want if Google no longer thinks our simple search for “pickles” implies “pickles near me”. I almost get the feeling that Google wants us to start being more specific again because its confidence level about what constitutes a local search has suffered some kind of unknown challenge.
It’s also worth throwing into our thinking what our friends over at NearMedia.co have pointed out:
It could be that Google’s confidence is being shaken in a variety of ways, including by regulatory rulings, and local SEOs should always expect change. For now, though, local businesses may be experiencing some drop in their local pack traffic and CTR. On the other hand, if Google is getting it right, there may be no significant loss. If your business was formerly showing up in a local pack for a query that didn’t actually have a local intent, you likely weren’t getting those clicks anyway because a local result wasn’t what the searcher was looking for to begin with.
That being said, I am seeing examples in which I feel Google is definitely getting it wrong. For instance, my former searches for articles of furniture all brought up local packs with headings like “accent chairs” or “lamps”. Now, Google is returning no local pack for some of these searches and is instead plugging an enormous display of remote, corporate shopping options. There are still furniture stores near me, but Google is now hiding them, and that disappoints me greatly:
So here’s today’s word to the wise: keep working on the organic optimization of your website and the publication of helpful content. Both will underpin your key local pack rankings, and as we learned from our recent large-scale local business review survey, 51% of consumers are going to end up on your site as their next step after reading reviews on your listings. 2023 will be a good year to invest in the warm and inclusive welcome your site is offering people, and the investment will also stand you in good stead however local pack elements like headers, or even local packs, themselves, wax and wane.