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Animal Symbolism in Logo Design

Animal Symbolism in Logo Design
04/12/2019

Since the dawn of the simile, people have always used animals to make real world parallels. How often have you come across phrases like ‘as sly as a fox’, ‘as blind as a bat’ or ‘as busy as a bee’? Animals, in all their unique glory and millions of variations, are the perfect way to attribute traits to people and objects – and it’s something that has been common practice for a long time.

The world of logo design has also taken advantage of animal characteristics. Animals are so synonymous with their traits that we find ourselves making assumptions about a company just based on the animal it uses for its logo. A company employing the use of an elephant, for example, might make us assume the company is large and instil a sense of stability about that company. Car companies are notorious for their use of big cats in their logos to symbolise speed.

Here’s a look at the most common types of animals used in logos and which companies employ their use:

Big Cats in Logos Big cats vary a lot in the wild. You have the sleek, cunning panther, the fast and agile cheetah and the majestic and regal lion. However, one thing all big cats have in common is that they are a very powerful symbol. They are some of the most vicious and deadliest wild animals, and probably the last species you would want to accidentally encounter in the wild.

Here are some companies that utilise big cats in their company logos:

Puma Jaguar Peugeot Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

For Jaguar and Peugeot, no doubt their use of big cats is to symbolise the power and speed that they want to instil in the minds of their consumers when they think about their cars. For Puma, the founder wanted the logo to represent the speed, strength, suppleness, endurance and agility found in athletes; traits which are shared with the puma cat. As for MGM, their production logo of a lion roaring inside a ring is as iconic as logos come, and creator Howard Dietz claims he decided to use a lion as a tribute to his alma mater, Columbia University, whose athletic team nickname is The Lions.

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