What Is the Purpose of a Corporate Logo?

by Marilyn Parr; Updated September 26, 2017
Business card, place for text. Corporate style, identity. Company logo

A corporate logo is a graphic symbol that represents your company. But the purpose of a logo goes a lot further than mere symbolism. A logo is the foundation of your company's brand because it is often the primary means by which customers form an image of your company. It is an important promotional tool that sets your company apart and encourages customer loyalty.

Function

A corporate logo is a vital marketing tool because it appears on all of your promotional material, from corporate stationery such as letterheads and business cards, to advertisements in newspapers and other media. Depending on the nature of your business, your logo also might appear on the products you sell.

Significance

A logo communicates the purpose and values of your business to customers. It might be the first impression people have of your business, so it should encapsulate your business accurately. Furthermore, your logo distinguishes your business from competitors. It is the mark by which your company is recognized in the industry and also by new and existing customers. A professionally designed logo helps foster a sense of trust between your business and customers because the perception exists that a well-designed logo is the mark of a well-run business.

Types

Logos can be designed as raster images or vector graphics. Raster images are produced by digital cameras, scanners or pixel editing programs and might use file formats such as .JPEG or .GIF. Vector images are composed in drawing or illustration programs and are made up of lines, shapes and fills. Industry experts believe it is best to design your logo as a vector graphic initially because this format is easily modified to suit a variety of purposes, from tiny letterheads to huge billboards. A rasterized version of your logo is better for online purposes, such as your website.

A Head Start

Startups can get a head start by designing a logo that breeds familiarity. It is possible to use design elements such as shape and color to create a false sense of recognition, meaning that customers might feel familiar with your brand even though they haven't seen it before. This is a useful marketing strategy for small businesses with small budgets for promotions.

Considerations

If you have an especially unique product, service or logo, you will want to register it with the United States Trademark and Patent Office. The agency defines a trademark as a way to "protect words, names, symbols, sounds or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods." It can take several years to process a trademark application, so you will need to follow the application procedure accurately to prevent additional delays.

About the Author

A true philologist, Marilyn Parr has been charming words in a professional capacity since 2004. She cut her teeth in community journalism and graduated to writing about management and politics for "Succeed Magazine." She also writes travel articles for the "Sunday Times." She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University and is a member of the Golden Key International Honours Society.

Photo Credits

  • Kisa-Murisa/iStock/Getty Images