Design, UI, UX, Inspiration

150+ Typographic Logos and Calligrams That Turn Words into Images

Clever Logo Ideas for Inspiration

Typographic logos are text-based logos that can also incorporate symbols and shapes to create a visual image of the subject. Usually, typographic logos show the brand’s name and tie with aspects of the brand which gives room for unlimited creativity. This is why, in this article, we will inspire you with 150+ typographic logos and calligrams that do an incredible job of using words to create images.

 

Before we start, here are some of the concepts you will encounter:

  • Typographic logo: A type of logo that is almost entirely font-based.
  • Wordmark logo: A typographic logo that includes the entire name of a company.
  • Monogram/ Lettermark logo: A typographic logo that uses a letter or a combination of letters, usually the company’s initials.
  • Calligrams: A typographic design where the letters of a word create a decorative pattern or a figure.

Typographic logos and calligrams equally depend on the font as they depend on the implemented visuals. When it comes to choosing the right font for any logo design, however, it all starts with inspiration. So you can check out some of the best fonts for logo design with some real-life examples.

 

Logos of Countries and Cities

In this section, we’ll take a look at some clever typographic logos of countries and cities as they best showcase the symbolism. The designers incorporate famous landmarks and architecture into the typography in order to create instantly recognizable visuals.

Starting from Vladislav Smolkin‘s CITIESET project, we can see a series of typographic logos of major cities done in a minimalistic style. What’s amazing about these logos is the clear message of Less is More, as the designer uses a minimum amount of strokes to recreate a landmark or a symbol with a significant meaning related to each city. For example, it only takes two thin lines between the N and B to visualize the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul.

Minimal Logos of Cities by Vlad Smolkin

The next series of typographic logos use a different technique to incorporate landmarks into the font. Unlike Vladislav Smolkin who creates minimal illustrations inside of the letters, Mohamed Aljaadaby makes calligrams, meaning he uses the letters to build a shape. For example, when building a logo of Dubai, he arranges the heights of each letter to create the shape of Burj Khalifa.

 

The last designs come from Isa and Yoga Praktiko Design where we can see minimalistic typography logos of countries with integrated country flags or symbols, all looking like actual company logos.

Logo Design by Isa Final Idea

 

Typographic Logos with Reference Imagery

Similar to reference icons, typographic logos with reference imagery use that technique to illustrate an object or a concept that represents the meaning in its exact function. With this in mind, we collected examples that prefer analogies when it comes to visual depiction.  So let’s see how this works.

Words as Image

In 2011, Ji Lee published a book called “Words as image” which contains nearly 100 words manipulated to visually resemble their meaning. The designer aims to make people see the letters beyond their dull and practical functionality. Unlike other calligram logo examples, Ji Lee uses only the graphic elements of the letters forming the words without adding any outside parts for this project.  The project is also available on Instagram.

 

Word as Image by Ji Lee

Negative Space

Another way to generate an image within the letters is to use negative space. In the following examples, Mohamed Aljaadaby manages to design the letters of the word FLY with a beautiful flying bird, and also make the letters of the word GROW to sprout.

 

Images Defy the Language Barrier

The following pictorial manipulation comes from the Egypt-based architect and graphic designer Mahmoud Tammam. In this personal experimental typography project, he transforms Arabic words into the shape of their meanings. Using the Arabic words’ characters, the designer turns their curves and dots into landscapes, objects, and animals.

 

Arabic Letters by Mahmoud Tammam

Now let’s see some more typographic logos with reference visuals by other creative graphic designers.

Concepts by MY GRAPHIC LAB

Podcast by Aljaadaby Logo

Logo Designs by Isa Final Idea 

Concepts by Daniel Carlmatz

Logo Concepts by Mustafa Omerli

 

Typographic Logos with Resemblance Imagery

When it comes to applying metaphors, these typographic logos use resemblance imagery as a direct depiction of a physical object or the concept the logo represents. This means the logo will have implemented an illustration of an object that performs the exact function written in the logo text.

For example, Swedish art director Daniel Carlmatz creates typographic logos using a common word and adding related visual elements through symbolism, creative use of negative space, and geometry.

Items by Daniel Carlmatz

The following designs by Piotr Gorczyca abandon minimalism and instead, show off a realistic paper art look.

Other great examples of resemblance imagery in typographic logos come from brand designer Sajid Branding and web3 brand designer Paulius Kairevicius with simple but very effective minimalistic designs.

Concepts by Yoga Pratikto Design

Logo and branding designer Garagephic Studio designs a dynamic logo that can work in any shape or form depending on the context in which it’s placed. The capital B is illustrated like a bulb icon that works well as a logo on itself.

King by Sajid M | Brand Designer 

Logo Designs by Isa Final Idea

And a couple of more examples with a more minimalistic approach.

 

Logos of Animals

When it comes to animals, brands usually go for brand mascots as they are vibrant, colorful, playful, and personable. Animal mascots are fun and serve as brand ambassadors to create a bond by relating audiences to an animated human-like character. However, depending on the brand, there are cases where you might need a more formal and strictly professional logo even if your brand is named after an animal.

With this in mind, typographic logos and calligrams do the trick perfectly with a tasteful minimalistic approach. The following examples use resemblance imagery through typography and negative space to illustrate each animal.

So let’s enjoy some more work by the amazing graphic designers whose work we’ve included in the previous sections.

Animals by Daniel Carlmatz

 

Logos of Famous People and Historical Figures

Many typographic logos use the brand owner’s name directly. This is a great opportunity to identify your name with your profession by implementing reference imagery into your name. For example, lawyers can easily include scales or other law-related symbols in the typography, while doctors a red cross, etc.

In this section, let’s see a collection of examples by brand architect and designer Mustafa Ömerli who has started a very fun project depicting famous people and historical figures as logos. Since this project is ongoing, make sure to check the creator’s Instagram page for more updates.

 

 

 

 

 

Typography and Image Metaphor Coming Together

Creating a memorable and interesting logo is a crucial step in building a brand and making it recognizable, so it never hurts to include something unusual like wordplay, hidden visuals, or a metaphor.

 

Tour de France logo with the hidden shape of a cyclist

We hope this collection of creative typographic logos with cleverly implemented images inspired you to try creating your own designs.

In the meantime, why not check some of the related articles about logo design and typography?

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