Logos vs. icons

When thinking about logos and icons not everybody would consider much difference between them. But there is. It’s true that both are used to represent something, but logos represent the mission of the brand while icons are focused on directing, informing and calling to action.


A logo represents an organisation or a business. It should express everything that the organisation stands for and at the same time give an association to the company which it represents and finally it must emotionally connect the customers to the organisation. Logos should be simple, timeless, memorable, versatile and of course appropriate. They can be scaled to different dimensions without losing their quality as logos are used in various platforms; from websites, pens and key hangers to billboards.


As said above, icons focus is directing and usually they request some form of action. Icons are graphical representations that are designed to simplify the user experience. They are traditionally known as symbols. They play a major role in user experience and are used in applications as well as in responsive web design. For example – they help you to navigate through the website, show what are company’s main selling points, beliefs.. and when used in applications they simply show what the app does. They are used in user’s software to summarise an operation and in this manner navigate the user to the desired program.

Differences between icon and logo

  • Logo represents a brand’s message, icon is focused on directing and informing
  • Logos are scalable while icons are not
  • Icons simplify user experience

Today’s trends

Most companies are aware of the importance what logo design delivers to their brand identity. But it is important to stay up to date with the trends. Over the years, trends have changed a lot and nowadays simplicity is the key to success. Simple designed logos are considered more sophisticated. The same applies for the colours – no more rainbow coloured logos, a flat colour is a new trend. Also 3D effect is a history. Now there is an era of unique minimalistic logo designs without complicating them with unnecessary effects, shades and colours. The same goes for icons. So dear designers, next time a client wants a shiny complex logo, do not give in… you do not want to be responsible for the message it will spread to the customers. And you surely do not wanna be named the author of it, right?

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