Logos are everywhere, and their significance cannot be emphasized enough. As trends change and designs become outdated, one type of logo that has stood the test of time is the Emblem logo. These logos, which cleverly combine visuals and words, are among the most successful in logo design competitions. In this article, we will explore what emblem logos are and why they are desirable for any brand.
What are Emblem Logos?
Emblem logos, like their relatives, represent a brand’s identity. However, they belong to a higher class of logos and are mostly used by brands that want to distinguish themselves or establish a professional image. Emblem logos are often used by brands that seek to merge their past and present or showcase their ancestral background.
You may have seen these logos used for schools, prestigious wine brands, or high-end automobile companies. But what makes them elite? Emblem logos can give your brand the following qualities:
- An expensive, contemporary, and stylish look.
- The ability to convey your organization’s vision and heritage simultaneously.
- The power to create an emotional connection with customers.
One characteristic typical of an emblem logo is its round shape. This shape pays homage to ancient stamps and seals, keeping the heritage alive. However, emblems can also take the form of a crest, shield, or any other shape that can encompass all elements. For example, the Superman emblem for the House of El or the Hogwarts emblem from the Harry Potter series.
So, what really is an emblem? It is a logo that combines both text and imagery to create a powerful symbol. While emblems are traditionally portrayed, many brands have given them a contemporary look, such as BMW or Starbucks.
An image within a circle? That’s just the beginning. Try incorporating everything your brand stands for into a word mark within a tight frame. But be warned: achieving a classic emblem design requires the expertise of a professional designer.
Key Characteristics of an Emblem Logo: What Are the Main Ingredients?
As mentioned earlier, emblem logos are a creative combination of text and images/vectors. However, this combination doesn’t have to be just one image. To qualify as an emblem, a logo must stay within defined borders. These borders may not be visible, but they exist. For example, take a look at the MU logo, where the two footballs are encapsulated within an invisible frame.
To pass as an emblem, a logo must possess the following qualifications:
1. Easy to Read
An emblem exudes class, so the font used should be bold and readable rather than fancy. Sans serif is the most popular font that works well with emblems, but it’s not the only option.
2. Simplicity Exudes Class
While some emblems may be intricate, it’s essential to keep the design as simple as possible. An emblem should still be easily readable when shrunk.
3. Right Colors, Not Bright Colors
While there are no strict rules against using bright colors, emblems tend to avoid neon tints or flashy hues that can diminish the logo’s sophistication. Adding distractions to an emblem can negatively impact the brand’s first impression.
4. Everything Fits in Place
Above all, an emblem must have a defined area where all the elements come together in perfect harmony. Just like creating a boundary with the same color pencil and then filling it in, an emblem follows similar principles. Emblems are typically round, shaped like a badge, stamped seal, shield, or any other shape that can encompass all the elements.
Emblem or Logo: What’s Better for Your Brand?
The answer depends on the personality you want your brand to convey and the industry it belongs to. The emblem vs. logo debate is not about egos; it’s about what your brand needs. For example, if you are a fast-food brand targeting SEC B customers, using an emblem as your logo may be misleading. Similarly, a brand that doesn’t need or want to showcase historical prestige may not benefit from an emblem logo.
Ultimately, logos are meant to create a lasting first impression. Brands that want to be distinguishable and evoke one or more of the following personas may find emblems to be the ideal choice:
- Traditional brands that connect with customers on an emotional level, such as soccer clubs.
- Brands that want to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
- Brands that want to portray a luxurious appeal.
Additionally, emblems may prove beneficial for certain brands and organizations:
- Companies/brands entering the market with a desire to stand out from competitors, like Starbucks, which made its logo the center of attention and a status symbol for coffee lovers.
- Brands specific to certain industries, such as educational institutions, sports teams, and automobile companies.
- Safety and security agencies that want to represent their services with an emblem logo, often taking the form of a shield.
Not Compatible with E-commerce Brands
While emblems have their advantages, they are somewhat less flexible compared to conventional logos. If you are solely an online brand, an emblem may not serve your brand well due to size reduction, which can make your logo unidentifiable. In such cases, an emblem that is adaptable to digital platforms may require the expertise of a professional logo designing agency.
Types of Emblem Logos: The Emb-Fam
Emblems can be created in numerous ways, depending on the creativity of the designer. Here are five styles that can assist you in determining how your brand’s emblem should look:
1. The Trendy Vintage Ones
Vintage and nostalgia often go hand in hand. If you want your brand to evoke a sense of nostalgia or have a vintage appeal, emblems are the best way to create your brand identity. They symbolize quality and reliability, making them perfect for wine brands or other products with a historical connection.
2. The Traditionalist
These emblem logos are for brands that wish to retain their heritage. Traditional emblems represent brands that prefer the original characteristics of an emblem, without much experimentation. Although many brands have modified their logos over time, some traditional emblems, like Starbucks, have stood the test of time while still maintaining a timeless feel.
3. Modern Take on the Emblem
These emblems represent the game-changers. They break free from tradition and inject a more youthful or professional image while still being interesting and eye-catching.
4. Academic Emblems
Emblems are perfect for representing educational institutions. They convey a scholarly feel and give an authoritative look, showcasing professionalism and high standards. From universities to bookstores and libraries, emblems can be used by brands that want to connect with knowledge seekers.
5. Medieval Times
If you’re a fan of medieval films, you must have noticed shield-shaped emblems used to represent royal houses. These emblems incorporate images that depict the tribe, community, or kingdom, giving the brand a regal look. Emblems like these are perfect for fantasy-themed businesses or those looking to evoke a sense of royal charisma.
Although this information is based on research and examples, there are no strict rules stating that modern brands with a funky feel cannot use emblems. In fact, when done right, emblems can communicate a youthful identity. Take Baskin Robbins, for instance. They break the taboo of not using bright colors in their emblem-style logo while still retaining the traditionalism of emblems. The bold font is shaped like ice-cream cones, representing the brand’s famous 31 flavors.
Now that you have learned about emblem logos, think about the type of emblem that would best represent your brand. If you need assistance, feel free to connect with us and get the best emblem logo for your brand.