Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

Putting your valuable time and effort into selecting a type of logo – let alone selecting the logo itself – may seem inconsequential to many entrepreneurs and brand managers. However, getting it right is essential for your company’s success for a number of reasons. According to research that involved studying 597 logos, most of the leading brands find descriptive logos (a.k.a. letter logos) as the most influential type of logos.

For instance, while many companies have been busy with rebranding and redesigning logos, one of the leading companies, IBM, has managed to move ahead successfully with its iconic letter mark logo for around 50 years now. That being said, tailoring your logo with time, along with rebranding your brand overall, has its own sets of merits that cannot be overlooked. 

Regardless of sticking to your first logo or redesigning it when required, what is truly important to understand is why letter logos are effective, and how to do it right for your business. 

Why do many leading companies have Lettermark Logos?

Facebook, Google, PayPal, Intel, and many more well-established companies have been rocking their simple, unique, and on-point letter logos for a long time. However, when it comes to designing brand identity for your brand, some of us would prefer not to blindly follow the footsteps of these companies, regardless of how evident they are in terms of the road to success. Therefore, after thorough research, I have gathered a few aspects which explain the reasons behind the effectiveness of letter logos.

Customers’ Interests

Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

For a moment, let us keep aside the well-known fact that a good logo needs to be memorable. In order to be memorable, your logo design should pique the interest of your target demographic. With a combination of design elements and a clear message, a letter logo can help you make the customers wonder about – as well as understand – your brand and its products or services. 

Effective Differentiation 

Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

Most of us are familiar with the basic requirement that a logo design needs to fulfill: uniqueness. All logos need to be different from each other. However, that does not necessarily mean that it is fulfilling other requirements as well. For example, two logos can be simply an ‘i letter logo’ with different typeface and colors, but what makes them effectively unique is their association to respective brands. When you design a letter logo, you have the option to do so using the name of the company, its initials, a signature, or simply the first letter of the name. When you combine it with a color combination that is proven to encourage your target customers, you don’t only create a unique logo but a logo that makes you stand out and helps your customers relate the logo directly to your brand. 

Related: How a Good Color Combination Can Strengthen the Entire Design 

Besides these prominent benefits of a letter logo, with time, you will realize that a letter logo is beneficial in terms of strengthening your overall brand identity. As it sends a clear message – and in most cases, it has an innuendo that focuses on the company name – it will help you with marketing activities, showcase a sense of professionalism to investors, and represent what your brand stands for. 

Legendary examples of Letter Logos starting with I

We understand that lettermark logos (if done right) can become a crucial factor in branding your company in a correct manner. In fact, these are not mere words, many well-established companies have gotten it right and have a thing or two to teach us about the same. 

I (Heart) NY

Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

You could be in any corner of the world but I am certain that many of us know this iconic ‘I love New York’ logo. From putting it on coffee mugs and souvenirs to treating it as an emblem and tourism logo, people adore this letter logo.

Designed at the back seat of a taxi on scrap paper with the help of a red crayon, the I (heart) NY was created as an attempt to save New York’s failing tourism industry. Considering the same, the famous American designer, Milton Glaser, designed one of the most famous logos, which in his own words is defined as a logo that “informs and delights.” In all honesty, I think these two words sum up precisely what a letter logo should aim for under all circumstances. 

IBM

Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

Designed in the year 1972 by the legendary graphic designer, Paul Rand, the iconic IBM logo is now an assurance of immaculate IT services by the leading company under the full name: International Business Machines. 

As per experts, the logo is considered one of the most renowned logos all over the world because of its minimalist and simple design. Additionally, the logo’s all-capitals typeface adds a layer of authoritativeness to the same. Furthermore, as many new logo designers wonder about the IBM logo, its 8 horizontal bars do have a reason: suggesting a sense of unity and movement. This shows, with a little creativity, a letter logo can go a long way. 

Intel

Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

The world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer, Intel, is a perfect example that proves that the “do not fix something that is not broken” approach does not work in the logo design industry. In fact, you need to rediscover and reinvent with the changing world and preferences of the customers. 

The original logo with a dropped-e was changed significantly after 37 years. While the original logo worked just fine, the company required its logo to match with its new slogan ‘Leap Ahead.’ Thus, a swish was created on the boundary of the new logo and the ‘letter e’ was placed back in line with the other letters. Moving forward 15 years, the company has adopted a simplistic approach and redesigned its logo accordingly. As per the company “the new logo represents the dramatic simplification of Intel brand identity.” If a company as established as Intel has never stopped reinventing itself, I do not think that any of us can afford to disagree. 

Read more: Intel’s new logo loses its swirl (and some of its personality)

IKEA

Cracking the Code to Designing I Letter Logos (With Examples)

Founded by a 17-year-old Swedish entrepreneur, the company was named as an acronym for initials of founder’s first name (Ingvar), the last name (Kamprad), parents’ farm (Elmtaryd), and his hometown (Agunnary). 

Besides its interesting name and quality furniture products, the company is also known for the evolution of its logo over time. While the company’s current logo, with a blue and yellow color combination, is simple and direct, its first logo was the opposite and in red. Within 1 year, the first logo (which had a tiny italic font) was changed to a more square typeface with a clear brown background. From thereon, the logo has been changed thrice and reached its final version as it is known today. However, what many of us do not know is that this logo was very slightly changed in the year 2019 in terms of spacing and making letters squarer to increase the readability. Certainly, this taught us that redesigning a logo does not always mean noticeable, heavy changes. 

Final words,

All in all, while a brand is not merely about its tangible elements, such as the color of a logo or the design of a website, it certainly plays a prominent role in true branding, that is providing a quality experience to customers while encouraging them to know about the brand. For the same, a letter logo cannot let you go wrong with it.

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