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Deciding what your company logo should look like is one of the first important decisions you must make a new business owner. In today’s post I put together some loosely connected items that define the various types and styles of logos to help you with some “Inspiration for Designing Your Small Business Logo”. I will expand on each of these topics in subsequent posts and dig deeper.


The majority of logos can be grouped into one of four categories:

  • Text based
  • Text based with an added graphic
  • Illustrative graphic
  • Abstract graphic

Text based logos represent the company name using a specific font such as the Sony logo:

sony logo

Some companies, such as Microsoft, enhance the tradition text based logo with the addition of a graphic:

microsoft logo

Other companies use an illustrative graphic with no text such as Alfeo’s Cleaning Services, which uses a graphic of cleaning supplies and another popular option is using an abstract graphic with no text such as Apple’s logo:

cleaning apple logo

Whichever category you decide to use for your logo, the most important thing to do is make sure it’s unique and easy to read or understand. Just remember that your brand is who you are. recommends steering clear of abstract graphics unless they directly relate to your company name, such as Apple’s logo of an apple.  The reason being, most abstract graphics, like Nike’s swoosh, have “no inherent meaning outside of what’s been created over the years through savvy marketing efforts that have transformed the logo into an ‘identity cue’ for an athletic lifestyle.”


Every year there will be certain logo design trends that emerge.  While you should aim to create a logo that defines your company and is unique to you, looking at trends may help inspire your own creative ideas.

Each year for the past decade the team at logolounge has put together a logo trends report; this year they analyzed over 32,000 logos from around the world. Three of the top trends for 2012 include:

  • Transparent links
  • Potato chips
  • Woven

Transparent link inspired logos combine multiple elements together in a linked fashion:

transparent logos

Logolounge describes the potato chip inspired design as such:

“Anyone who has ever wolfed his way through a stack of Pringles chips can relate to this shape, better known to the geometry world as a hyperbolic paraboloid.

To categorize the appearance of this shape in the world of identity, we’ll call it a potato chip as the form of each instance tends to vary a bit, much like the chips in a bag. Flattened out, most of these shapes would look like a circle or an ellipse, but with a gentle twist they occupy a unique three-dimensional space.”

potato chip logos

The Woven inspired logo design looks just like it sounds … woven:

woven logos


Many small business owners will design a logo on their own or ask a friend with some “photoshop skills” to create one for them. As their business scales these same business owners realize they need a professional logo to reflect the high quality of their product and services. At this time they hire someone to redesign their logo, which can cause branding and customer backlash.

Remember when Gap, a popular and well established large business, changed their logo in October 2010?

GAP logos

The company received so much backlash over the change they reverted back to the original design days after introducing the new one.  This was no doubt a costly lesson for Gap and one that a small business could not afford to make.

Not to mention, a redesigned logo for a small business often results in decreased brand recognition among existing customers and prospects.

It is much better to invest some money into a professional logo design in the early days than have to redesign your logo and risk backlash later on.

If you’re looking to create a professional logo for your small business, check out our affordable logo design packages.  If you have any questions about logo design, leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.