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  • Writer's pictureSarah Bryce

What is an illustrative logo?

Whats an illustrative logo? What's the difference. A logo is a logo right?

Nope. There are several different styles or types of logos. All are good, just different!

An illustrative logo is a logo which includes a detailed illustration as part of it's entire design. You will be communicating WHAT your company stands for, WHO is your target market, and your logo will be FAR more memorable than a standard logo design. (At least we illustrators like to think so!)

There are 2 types of logo designs: Illustrative logos and Iconic logos. Illustrative logos are much more elaborate and harder to design. They are the best among all treatments, but can also be much more time consuming for the designer!

To establish a logo as a brand in a highly competitive market, an illustrative logo is the best solution!

Illustrative logo design is MORE ORIGINAL and MUCH HARDER to copy accidentally.

There's only so much you can create ORIGINAL with circles and squares without logos starting to look alike. I've heard posts where one artist was about to sue when they discovered their logo design (comprised of a combination of triangles) was "ripped-off". Well, two people can possibly think alike when arranging triangles because they are simple basic shapes--right? Is that like putting a copyright on the C MAJOR chord because someone's song uses it?

Illustrative logos can also subdivided into groups called "emblems", "mascot logos", and "combination marks". Clearly, the KFC guy is the mascot and spokesperson for the company and very famous and well known.

The Burger King logo has been called a "combination mark" because although there is definitely an illustration here, the typography is also art, in combination with the crafted graphics of the bun and the abstract circular symbol shape that unites the two.

One of my favorites, Starbucks is considered a "emblem" logo.

And who can forget our old time favorites, Wendy's and Quaker oats. These two are considered obviously "mascot logos" because of their illustrated character that also has represented their company over the years and years.

BUT THERE ARE SOME LIMITATIONS.....If you want a logo to end up on a pen or embroidered on a sweater, a complex logo might not work well. Fine lines "disappear" so it can't be made TOO small print or complex for thread.

You may have to come up with a second version of your logo for very small branding. I don't think Starbucks seems to having any lack in their marketing, do you?

Which illustrative logos are your favorites? I'd love to know.

Now, if you were about to get a logo designed what style would you choose?

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