Some logos use words—like a brand name or initials. Others use images. Emblem logos use both to create an instantly classic feel. So why use an emblem instead of another type of logo? 

Well, here’s what an emblem logo can do for your brand:

  • Give you a distinguished, prestigious and even scholarly feel
  • Juxtapose youthfulness or a modern direction with traditional values
  • Create a connection to your company’s or industry’s history
  • Tie consumers to a community (like a sports teams uses an emblem to create a “tribe”)
emblem logos

Emblem logos have a very specific look. Many are round and this isn’t a coincidence. Historically, round rubber stamps and wax seals were used to make personal marks, and the shape stuck. Emblem logos also don’t use images quite like other types of logos. They rarely use mascots, and when they do, they use simplified or stylized mascots, rather than relatable characters.

Now, let’s take a look at 45 stunning examples of emblem logos in action.

Vintage emblem logos

round Spruce for Men logo
A round emblem logo for Spruce by Agi Amri.

Emblem logos are a popular choice for companies that want to evoke a vintage feel that communicates its values, process or ingredients. They can also be a whimsical way to play on consumers’ sense of nostalgia.

Old ford logo
Many vintage emblems contained more text than you’d find in a modern emblem and only two colors, relying on contrast to make the words and images pop. Via Ford.

Companies that have been around a long time—and new companies that want to distance themselves from the connotations of being a new player in their fields—can also use emblem logos to communicate this aspect of their brands. Having a long history (or even just looking the part) makes a brand appear to be a trustworthy provider of quality products and service.

Les emblèmes rétro sont souvent ronds, à l’image des tampons et des sceaux. Par coin!
Un autre emblème vintage, pour une brasserie artisanale cette fois-ci. Par Widakk
La simplicité est souvent de mise pour créer un logo vintage. Par Neatlines
Ceux qui souhaitent capturer l’esprit vintage peuvent s’inspirer des vieux emblèmes comme celui de Ford. Par green in blue
Si vous voulez communiquer le fait que votre produit soit fait main ou fabriqué avec d’anciennes techniques, un logo vintage pourrait bien être le style de choix ! Par austinminded
Qu’il s’agisse de bière ou de bœuf artisanal, on se trompe rarement avec un logo vintage. Par Neatlines
cubs logo
For an established brand, using an older iteration of the logo from time to time can be a fun way to connect with fans. Via Chicago Cubs.

Traditional emblem logos

You might be thinking, aren’t traditional emblems the same thing as vintage emblems? They’re similar, but they’re not the same. Both can be used to make a brand feel established and trustworthy. The difference is how that’s communicated.

Vintage logos often reimagine older styles and conventions; traditional logos are just that: traditional. They make the conscious decision not to step outside the box. That doesn’t mean traditional emblem logos can’t be creative, but their creativity plays by the rules and uses a limited toolbox.

If your company’s been around a long time, traditional emblem logos could be the way to go because they don’t rock the boat. A logo update doesn’t have to mean an entirely new logo. Maybe your brand just needs a bit more contour or a bit more shading.

Take a look at how General Electric has updated its logo since it was established in 1891:

 

general electric logo iterations
In 127 years, all GE’s logo got was a circle, some crisper lines, shadows and then, color. Via General Electric.

Traditional emblem logos use standard design elements in all sorts of different ways:

Emblème traditionnel simple : peu de couleur, peu de texte, images basiques. Par Neatlines
Associez votre logo à une tradition en reprenant des éléments des drapeaux et autres références culturelles. Par Angstrom Alliance
stella artois logo
When you’ve been around since 1366, a new logo isn’t the way to go. Via Stella Artois.
farmhouse and trees on an emblem
There’s a reason why simple is traditional: it’s easy to replicate over and over through the years. Via Project 4
Même lorsque votre design est assez complexe, vous pouvez jouer avec les différents éléments qui composent les emblèmes. Par Dusan Klepic DK™
Choisissez une image intemporelle pour votre emblème traditionnel : les arbres peuplent la terre depuis plus longtemps que les humains, et ils sont toujours aussi tendance ! Par Leukothea
Prenez une image qui veut dire quelque chose pour votre audience cible. La fleur de lys est l’un des symboles de la Nouvelle Orléans, en faisant ainsi un excellent choix pour ce logo. Par hildixx27

Modern emblem logos

With a modern-looking emblem logo, you can communicate similar values to a vintage or traditional mark, but without the connotations that can come with looking too old school. If you’re in an industry known for erring on the conservative side (like financial services, for example), a modern emblem logo can be a powerful way to differentiate yourself and show that you’re inclusive and progressive.

Here are a few modern takes on emblem logos:

tattooed man looking to the right with arms crossed
Twisting traditional art styles or imagery can be a bold way to create a modern emblem. Via Demonic™
Starbuck logo iterations
Often, modernizing an established emblem involves stripping it to its core and letting that core stand on its own. Via Starbucks.
Utilisez beaucoup de couleurs. Ne vous retenez pas, nous vivons dans un monde moderne ! Par Arthean
Choisissez des couleurs vives pour créer un emblème moderne. Par Neatlines
Il suffit parfois d’un petit sourire pour attirer le regard et donner à une image autrement traditionnelle, des petits airs de modernité. Par Widakk
C’est aussi le cas avec les animaux qui ne sont pas habituellement présents sur les emblèmes ! Par Zarkum

Bold emblem logos

Whether you’re using a wide palette or just two colors, you’ve got to make your colors pop. Contrast is key in emblem logos because your logo will appear in all sorts of places. It’ll be on black and white documents and on backgrounds that’ll change the tones of your colors.

Use contrast to design an emblem logo that your audience will instantly recognize anywhere.

New Orleans Pelicans logo
Choose colors that contrast with each other so none get overlooked. Via KVA
Le positionnement des couleurs peut tout changer à l’allure d’un logo. Créez un motif visuel qui attire le regard et donne du sens à votre design. Par Virtuoso”
Où votre œil est-il porté en premier, sur cet emblème ? Servez-vous du contraste pour guider le regard de votre audience là où vous voulez qu’il aille. Par Virtuoso”
Le noir et blanc fonctionne toujours lorsqu’il s’agit de contraste. Par J_Ivan
Superman logo
High contrast, recognizable anywhere: the Superman logo. Via DC Comics.

Scholarly emblem logos

Emblem logos convey authority. And if you’re a school, company or nonprofit in the educational sector, this is a great way to show that you’re a master on your subject.

Even if you’re not in the educational sphere, using a college emblem is a way to communicate that you know your stuff and can impart this knowledge effectively. Bookstores, medical groups and law firms are primary examples of the kinds of companies that can benefit from using scholarly emblem logos.

Ivy league school logos
When people think of the Ivy League, they think of prestigious institutions that provide quality education and research opportunities. Think of how differently Princeton would be perceived if its logo looked less like a shield and more like Tony the Tiger. Via Wikipedia.
Hogwarts emblem
Great emblems can be found in fiction, too. Hogwarts emblem via Pottermore, emblem designed by Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima – © WBEI.
Une exécution plus traditionnelle de l’emblème académique. Par Monkeii
Pas besoin de se montrer aussi sérieux que les célèbres universités, par contre. Les écoles primaires et les collèges peuvent très bien utiliser des couleurs plus vives et des images plus simples pour communiquer leur message. Par chaloa
Nombreux sont les emblèmes académiques qui s’inspirent des écussons héraldiques. Par patrimonio

Medieval emblem logos

Every emblem tells a story. But some tell more detailed stories than others. Think of the banners medieval knights would ride beneath with the stitched-on images of castles and stylized animals. Those are heraldic badges (also known as coats of arms), and they’re a type of emblem that’s been used to represent notable families and nations for centuries. 

A heraldic badge isn’t just a collection of images. It tells an intricate story through color and imagery choices. For a regal feel, tell your story in pictures with this type of emblem logo.

Welsh flag
Animals, real and imagined, are a key part of a heraldic badge. Flag of Wales via Historic UK.
Simple, basique, et efficace pour raconter l’histoire d’une entreprise à l’aide du symbolisme. Par nikunikudes
Avec ce type d’emblèmes, on peut voir de nombreux détails disposés ici pour raconter une histoire. Par mr.giraffe.design
Vous n’êtes pas obligé de vous en tenir aux images traditionnelles non plus ! Choisissez des images qui racontent votre histoire à vous, quelles qu’elles soient. Par agnesema

Make your mark with an emblem logo

Emblem logos share many of the same elements, but each is a timeless image that symbolizes a brand’s personality. This type of logo captures your values, your history and your product in an instantly recognizable mark. 

Want an emblem logo for your brand?
Our designers can create the perfect one for you.