Difference Wiki

Emblem vs. Logo: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 12, 2023
An emblem is a symbolic representation often with a motto or message, while a logo is a distinct graphic design representing an organization or product.

Key Differences

An emblem often encompasses a broader range of elements, including symbols, mottos, and pictorial representations, and it carries a deeper meaning or message. It can be seen as a tangible or visible symbol of a concept, quality, or entity. For example, the bald eagle is an emblem of the United States, symbolizing freedom.
On the other hand, a logo is typically a graphical representation designed for easy recognition. It is created for brands, companies, or products to distinguish them in the market. Logos might not always carry a deep symbolic meaning like emblems do but are crucial for branding and marketing purposes. Nike's "swoosh" or Apple's apple icon are examples of logos.
Emblems might not necessarily be linked to commercial entities. They can represent nations, organizations, or even ideals. Their primary function is not always tied to brand recognition but to symbolize larger concepts or ideologies. For instance, the peace emblem is universally recognized.
In contrast, logos are predominantly tied to commercial or corporate entities. They are used in marketing, branding, and for identification. A successful logo can become synonymous with the brand itself. It's more about identity than deeper symbolic meaning. For instance, when one sees the golden arches, they instantly think of McDonald's.
In summation, while there's overlap between emblems and logos, the key difference lies in their primary purposes. Emblems focus on symbolic representation, while logos center on brand identity and recognition.

Comparison Chart

Primary Purpose

Symbolic representation of a concept or quality.
Brand identity and recognition.


Not always commercial; can represent nations or ideals.
Predominantly commercial, representing companies or products.


May include mottos, symbols, and pictorial representations.
Typically a distinct graphical design.

Depth of Meaning

Often has deeper symbolic meaning.
Primarily for identification, might not have deep symbolism.


Flags, badges, seals, etc.
Branding, marketing, and corporate identity.

Emblem and Logo Definitions


A visual representation symbolizing a nation, organization, or concept.
The rose is an emblem of England.


A graphic mark or symbol used by companies to aid instant public recognition.
The company's logo was printed on all their products.


A distinctive badge or symbol worn to show rank, membership, or achievement.
The team's emblem was displayed on their jackets.


A unique design representing an organization or product.
The new startup unveiled its logo last week.


A symbolic representation often accompanied by a motto or slogan.
The lion is an emblem of courage.


A visual element forming part of a brand's identity.
The shoe had the brand's logo on the heel.


A sign or design representing a particular quality or idea.
The olive branch is an emblem of peace.


A graphic representation or emblem used by a company.
Their logo is known worldwide.


A distinctive badge, design, or device
Trucks marked with the company emblem.
The emblem of the air force.


A distinct symbol or design serving as a brand's identifier.
The coffee shop had a catchy logo that customers loved.


An object or representation that functions as a symbol
"a bed of sweet-scented lilies, the emblem of France" (Amy Steedman).


A symbol or design that identifies a brand.


An allegorical picture usually inscribed with a verse or motto presenting a moral lesson.


A visual symbol or emblem that acts as a trademark or a means of identification of a company or organization.


A representative symbol, such as a trademark or logo.


(by extension) An audio recording for the same purpose; a jingle.


Something that represents a larger whole.
The rampant poverty in the ethnic slums was just an emblem of the group's disenfranchisement by the society as a whole.


(science) A single graphic which contains one or more separate elements.


Inlay; inlaid or mosaic work; something ornamental inserted in a surface.


An ensign, a badge of office, rank, or power.


A picture accompanied with a motto, a set of verses, etc. intended as a moral lesson or meditation.


A company emblem or device


To symbolize.


Inlay; inlaid or mosaic work; something ornamental inserted in a surface.


A visible sign of an idea; an object, or the figure of an object, symbolizing and suggesting another object, or an idea, by natural aptness or by association; a figurative representation; a typical designation; a symbol; as, a balance is an emblem of justice; a scepter, the emblem of sovereignty or power; a circle, the emblem of eternity.


A picture accompanied with a motto, a set of verse, or the like, intended as a moral lesson or meditation.


To represent by an emblem; to symbolize.
Emblemed by the cozening fig tree.


Special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.


A visible symbol representing an abstract idea


A tangible or visible representation of an abstract idea or principle.
The heart has long been an emblem of love.


What is an emblem in simple terms?

An emblem is a symbolic representation, often encompassing symbols, mottos, and pictorial elements, to convey a deeper meaning or message.

Can an emblem be used as a logo?

Yes, emblems can be used as logos, especially when brands want to convey a deeper symbolic message alongside their identity.

How does a logo differ from an emblem?

While both can represent entities, a logo is a graphic design for brand identification and recognition, whereas an emblem typically carries a symbolic meaning or message.

Why are logos important for businesses?

Logos establish brand identity, differentiate businesses in the market, and foster brand loyalty through recognition.

Are emblems always ornate or intricate?

No, emblems can range from simple designs to more complex illustrations, depending on the message they aim to convey.

Is color important in logo design?

Absolutely, color can evoke emotions, convey messages, and play a crucial role in brand recognition.

Are emblems exclusive to companies or brands?

No, emblems are versatile and can represent nations, organizations, ideals, or even stories, not just commercial entities.

Do emblems have a role in national identities?

Yes, emblems often form integral parts of flags, seals, and other national symbols, representing a country's history, values, or ideals.

How do companies choose symbols for their logos?

Symbols in logos are often chosen based on what best represents the company's values, mission, or the essence of its products/services.

Can a logo be just text?

Yes, text-based logos, known as logotypes or wordmarks, use stylized typography to represent a brand, like the Google or Coca-Cola logos.

Why might an organization choose an emblem over a basic logo?

Organizations might choose emblems to embed rich symbolism, historical references, or to convey a specific message integral to their identity.

How have logos evolved with digital media?

With digital media, logos have become more dynamic, adaptable to different platforms, and sometimes even interactive.

Can a logo change over time?

Yes, many brands update or refine their logos to reflect changing values, market shifts, or to rejuvenate their brand identity.

Are there cultural considerations when designing emblems or logos?

Definitely. Symbols, colors, and designs can have varying meanings across cultures, so it's vital to ensure the emblem or logo resonates appropriately with the intended audience.

What does it mean when someone says "wordmark logo"?

A wordmark logo is a logo that consists primarily or exclusively of text, usually the brand's name, in a unique typography.

What should companies consider when redesigning their logo?

Companies should consider their brand's evolution, the message they wish to convey, current design trends, and how the new design will be received by their audience.

What's the primary aim of a logo in advertising?

In advertising, a logo's primary aim is to create brand recall, ensuring that the audience easily identifies and remembers the brand.

Can a single entity have both a logo and a separate emblem?

Yes, some entities might have both, using them differently based on context. For instance, a university might have a logo for marketing and an emblem representing its history.

Are there universal emblems recognized worldwide?

Yes, certain emblems, like the peace sign or recycling symbol, are universally recognized and convey the same message globally.

Why are some logos more memorable than others?

Memorable logos often have a unique design, clear message, or evoke certain emotions, making them easily recognizable and resonant with audiences.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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