Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
You might have heard of the Nine Muses, Greek goddesses with their own creative specialties like dance, comedy or even math. Well, we’re here to be the tenth muse, the one that showers you with logo inspiration and ideas. As you start dreaming up your logo design, we’ll show you the right places to go for logo inspiration so you can come up with great logo ideas. You can stop chasing inspiration, and let it come to you.
Whether you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur or designer, here’s where you can find logo inspiration and create something new and beautiful.
Why is it important to find the right logo?
Before we get into where to go for logo ideas, let’s talk about the importance of a logo itself. Understanding the role a logo fills in your company will help you think up the best one for you.
In general, a logo’s goal is two-fold:
- Create a memorable link to your company for brand awareness and recall.
- Visually depict your brand identity to appeal to your target customer group.
The details in a logo affect both memorability and target marketing. Typically, you can break down a logo’s visuals into three areas: color, shape and typography. Different colors, shapes and styles of writing elicit different emotions and attract different types of people—for example, circles reflect a more casual and fun company, while less fun squares suggest strength, durability and prowess instead.
We don’t have time to explain all the details here—for now, it’s enough to know the main components of a logo (color, shapes, typography) so you can be aware of them when drumming up logo ideas.
11 places to find logo inspiration
Waiting for logo inspiration to come to you sounds like a good plan… until you check the deadline. If your company is without a logo, any delays are harming your business. Take matters into your own hands with our top 11 sources for getting logo ideas fast.
1. Big brands
Big brands hire only the best (or at least, the most expensive) designers, so more often than not, they have some of the highest-quality logos around. They’re usually more aware of logo trends, so seeing how they update theirs can help keep your logo modern.
Pay attention to the logos of big corporations. Don’t worry, they’re everywhere. Take a look at these famous logos or the logos of the world’s top companies. See if you can isolate which parts work really well and where there’s room for improvement. Pay attention to any similarities between logos, like common shapes or fonts, especially if they’re in your industry. Chances are, if the big brand is your competitor, their logo is the one customers will compare yours against.
2. Discover on 99designs by Vista, one of VistaPrint’s design services
Want to see all kinds of original logos from top-tier professionals? Check out 99designs by Vista Discover, a search tool that gives you access to a database of logos from expert designers filtered by industry, skill level or topic. Over a million professional graphic designers from all over the world are part of the 99designs by Vista community, so you’ll find a diverse range of design styles and techniques—perfect for getting inspired.
Use the Discover Filters menu to select the parameters you want, such as the industry you’re in. The Advanced tab makes it easy to limit your search to “Top Level” designers or specific languages. You can even enter your own keywords in the Search tab so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
3. Your own brand story
While we’re talking about places to go to find logo inspiration, you might consider looking inward instead of outward. After all, logos should represent your brand, so shouldn’t they develop from your brand story?
Think about your brand identity and see if any visual cues reveal themselves right away. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help inspire logo ideas:
- What qualities and characteristics does your brand prioritize most? What icons represent those traits? For example, if you want to highlight your wisdom or expertise, you might use an owl, book or microscope.
- Are there any visual puns or wordplay you can make with your brand name or slogan? These can do wonders for brand retention and recall.
- What typography matches your brand identity? Something classic and formal like blocky serifs, or perhaps something vivacious and carefree like loopy cursive?
- Are there any artists whose style would match your brand well? What is it about their style in particular that suits your brand?
Dig deep into your brand identity and make lists of words, ideas, colors and more. Use this as your foundation to build a logo that fits your brand.
4. Your competitors
It always pays to keep your eye on the competition—for what to do and what not to do. Typically, your competitors have the same business goals as you do, so their logos will use many of the same elements you should consider.
For example, take a look at the prevalence of blue in bank logos. Blue is the color of trust, which is always a top priority for a company asking people to give them their money.
It’s also worth checking out your competitors’ logos to see how you can best stand out. Sometimes, going in the opposite direction as your rivals is the best way to generate business, especially if you can steal a customer’s attention on the store shelves.
5. Social media
If you’re looking for a bunch of ideas on any topic, social media can help. Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest work best for logo inspiration because you can see multiple logo examples on your screen at the same time. That makes browsing and comparing a lot easier. Don’t forget to refine your logo search by using hashtags or following specific Pinterest boards.
Finding logo ideas on social media can be a great source of inspiration because of the limitless number of designs alone, but there are some drawbacks, too. You’ll probably need to sort through a lot of amateur designs just so you can find the gems. Of course, you can always find logo inspiration from non-professionals, but it can be a challenge to filter out the lower-quality designs.
Behance is like a social media platform for artists and designers where they can showcase their portfolios to the public. Although they don’t differentiate beginners from pros, Behance lets you browse the work of serious designers in a variety of styles.
Behance covers a wide spectrum of visual art, but you can easily find galleries of logos tucked into the Graphic Design category. Each card is its own gallery of logos, sometimes by the same designer, sometimes a collection built around a single theme.
7. Image searches
Strip away all of the branding and logos are really just images. Take that picture of your dog you love so much, give it to a freelance designer to draw a stylized version of it along with your brand name and BAM!, suddenly you’ve got a logo. Inspiration can come from any image, so the only tool you need is a search engine.
If you’ve already identified certain traits or elements that fit your brand, type them into Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo image searches. You can search for virtually anything, from abstract concepts like “strength” to more targeted searches like “red logos for fashion brands.”
When you need quick inspiration, image searches are a great place to start, especially when you don’t have much to think about yet. Just get ready for a lot of scrolling.
8. Wandering around stores
Don’t forget the “offline” logo inspiration galleries: store shelves. Every product box or bag is an example of a logo, and the best place to see them all together is at the store.
If you’re stuck for logo ideas, walk around a mall, supermarket or store for your industry. They’re like a smorgasbord of successful logos. You even get to see them in their “natural habitat,” where you can notice that certain colors or fonts draw attention better in person than on a screen.
The physical activity of getting up and moving around is also a great way to help get your creative juices flowing (on a physiological level). In other words, just walking around the store might inspire you just as much as the logos you look at.
9. Friends, family and co-workers
Sure it helps, but you don’t need to be a professional designer to collect some good logo ideas—you can bring in a professional later when it comes to the execution of your idea. Sometimes the perfect logo idea comes from the most unlikely sources, but you never know until you ask. Ask around the office to see if anyone has any worthwhile ideas or thoughts about what represents your brand, even if they need a little tweaking first. You can even ask your friends and family—there’s no penalty if they don’t have any good ideas, but if they do… your search is finally over!
Under certain circumstances, you can even leave the logo inspiration up to your customers. Running an official contest could either bring in a new crop of logo ideas or even present you with the final product on a silver platter. After all, that’s how Mr. Peanut was born.
10. Art museums
Although graphic design has only been applied to marketing for just a few centuries, the artistic principles it draws upon have existed as long as art itself. The perfect logo idea for your digital smartphone app could come from a Renaissance painting, Buddhist statue or prehistoric African vase.
With some art museums, the inspiration is thick in the air. You’re surrounded by thousands of years of artistic mastery, everywhere you look. And, like walking around stores, you’ll get some exercise to boost your creativity.
11. Design blogs and magazines
Last but not least, design blogs and magazines know how challenging it can be to find logo inspiration, so they publish a lot of content specifically about “logo inspiration.” Often, these are logo galleries or image collections curated by design experts.
Take a look at these blog articles, for example. You can find articles for logo ideas centered around any number of popular themes:
- Restaurant logos
- Colorful logos
- Hair salon and stylist logos
- Luxurious logos
- Modern logos
- Square-shaped logos
- … and more.
Check out this complete list of logo inspiration articles or search online for other design-industry blogs.
Creative logos always start with logo inspiration
If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur or a company decision-maker, creative tasks like designing a logo can be an exciting change of pace from business as usual. You have all these options in front of you: colors, shapes, styles, fonts and more…
So, gather as much inspiration and as many big ideas as you can, and you’ll be able to collaborate with a designer to dream up the perfect logo that fits your brand.
Want to learn more about logo design? Check out this article on how to design a logo.
Author: Matt Ellis