Mastering the Use of Symbolism in Branding

Post by
Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa

Mastering the Use of Symbolism in Branding

Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa

Since humans are inherently visual creatures, it’s no surprise that online users are more drawn to photos and videos than lengthy blog posts and articles. Besides visual content, they navigate the online world much easier through icons, particularly those used on apps and websites. For instance, a bird with a blue background is automatically associated with Twitter, while a stylised F represents Facebook.

Since these visual cues are so iconic, words become unnecessary. What could take sentences or even books could be expressed at a mere glance. These symbols are used to connect and engage with customers. This is what makes symbolism a powerful element of brand identity.

Going Beyond Logos

Symbols serve as valuable communication tools as they contain meaning. They are considered mini-billboards of values, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The most common symbols used by companies are icons. Compared to logos, they are deliberately designed to effectively represent brands and become navigation devices.

Another company that uses a powerful symbol is the McDonald’s brand. Almost everyone will immediately recognise the Golden Arches and connect it with the great fast food chain. It conveys personal and cultural meaning. Additionally, passing motorists will automatically see this symbol as a place where they can rest, find comfort, and enjoy a meal that tastes like home, no matter where they might be. 

Incorporating Symbolism into Branding

The Golden Arches stand on their own. Anyone will instantly know what the symbol represents. Another important symbol is the Coca-Cola bottle. In an effort to establish a symbol that would resonate with customers, the brand developed an extremely distinct bottle design that anyone would recognise lying broken on the ground or by feel in the dark.

While it seems almost next to impossible, any brand can create such powerful visual shorthands that won’t need any tagline or explanation. The key to building a significant brand symbol is to consider function. This means going beyond the logo and consider creating a tangible symbol that will embody the brand. 

Since aesthetics are not enough, consider developing iconic designs that can serve as navigational tools like Facebook and Twitter icons or even status symbols like Apple. It’s also advisable to create a visual identity that focuses on the direct point of contact between the product and the customer, conveys meaning, and improves customer experience.

Creating a T-Shirt Worthy Symbol

Many business owners want to connect with customers at a deep level they are willing to have their brand tattooed on their skin. Instead of having that same goal, aim instead to develop a t-shirt worthy symbol. Clothes, after all, can effectively promote the brand, build loyalty, and raise awareness as they represent beliefs and values. 

To create a t-shirt worthy symbol, it must be aesthetically appealing, connective, and simple. This means this symbol must be well-designed, iconic, and packed with meaning for it to be something that people will be proud to wear.


Even excellent customer service and high-quality products may not be enough to make your brand stand out, especially in a highly competitive marketplace. This is why a symbol is essential for branding. Unlike a logo made just to be placed on marketing collaterals, this visual identity delivers your branding message, represents your brand, and connects with your audience at a deeper level.

Establish an iconic symbol that will solidify your brand’s credibility in the industry with help from our digital agency in West London. At Vaxa Web, we can create an identity that goes beyond just logos. Since we are a full-service agency, we also offer website design, SEO, and digital marketing. Get in touch with us to schedule a meeting or request a quote!

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