What Does Your Logo Mean?

The Greek term logos has various translations—most commonly “word.” However, the diversity of the term can be seen in its various other meanings:

order, thought, speech, meaning, reason, proportions, principles, standard, logic

Philosopher Heraclitus introduced logos to indicate order in the universe and the origination of life. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle used logos to describe the faculty of human reason and the knowledge men had of the known world and of other humans. The Stoics believed that logos existed in the human soul and in the universe, animating life and creating order.

The term also appears throughout Christianity, Judaism, Eastern religions, Egyptian mythology, and New Age mysticism, where it is defined as divine Word, wisdom, or truth.

Having a logo is not just about an eye-catching illustration—although the crowdsourcing Fiverrs of the world would have you believe otherwise. It’s about using design to build meaning into your brand. (Explore this further in “Look Before You Leap: Smart Brand Building for Small Businesses.”)

Designing a logo is an intentional process, the end result of having defined for your brand:

  • Value proposition
  • Vision
  • Core purpose
  • Brand attributes
  • Target audience
  • Audience attributes

A good logo design feels timeless and distinctive, a true visual embodiment of the brand’s personality and purpose.

In other words, a good logo design has meaning. It sets a standard. It is built around logic and order. It is a representation of the soul of the brand, a primary visual cue for the brand’s identity.

Logo design should not be separated from its ancient Greek counterpart—from logos. Certainly for brands with a strong mission, who are seeking to change the world or go above and beyond for their customers, the more ways in which your brand showcases its substance will only help its credibility in the market and beyond.

If someone were to see your current logo in isolation, knowing nothing of your brand or what you do, what impressions would they have? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What might they think we do?
  • What adjectives might they use to describe us and our personality?
  • What do the colors in our logo signify?
    Check out this terrific infographic to learn more about color psychology.
  • What do the shapes used in our logo signify?
    For more on the psychology of logo shapes, check out this article.
  • And finally: Is it time to rebrand?

If you’re unclear or unable to state confidently that your logo defines your brand in a way that adds meaning, it might be time to assess the strength of your brand’s identity.

Management consultant and brand strategist for small teams. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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Damir Radovic
Damir Radovic
5 years ago

I think it’s great that you emphasized that a logo is not just an illustration – it needs to be able to convey brand’s message faithfully to their audience, and a great designer is needed for that!