Country Logos

Symbolic Ways Country Logos Embody Nationalism

Don’t you think it’s cool to have a logo for your country? The entire idea of branding a nation is monumental because the place where you live is getting a visual identity of its own, which means you live inside a BIG BRAND — YOUR COUNTRY. Wow! That sounds rather exclusive and princely. On the other hand, country branding also humanizes your state and sprinkles a hint of personalization, especially if your aim is to attract tourism.

There are two reasons to make a country logo:

1) The idea of destination branding started from countries with the goal to increase tourism. They wished to portray themselves in a particular way in order to invite tourists, travel bloggers and eventually boost their economies.

2) Nation branding, on the other hand, is about building and managing the image and reputation of a country. This, of course, does not only include the logo but it all surely starts with it.

Symbolic Elements In Country Logos

For your visual identity to represent your country, you need to use symbols that depict the essence of the particular city and state or an entire nation. Let us explore the way in which you can make an inviting and befitting country logo design.

Elements of a country logo:

  • Color palette
  • Icon or symbol
  • Typeface
  • Design Style

Deciding The Color Palette Of A Country Logo

  1. Use the national flag to pick the colors
  2. Base the color palette on the landscape
  3. Have a cultural reference for the scheme

The chosen color swatches need to have a connection with the country. For example, the new Paraguay logo design uses the colors of the flag. The new logo is designed by Creative Director Alejandro Rebull who participated in the contest to brand the country.

Country Logo
Image Source: underconsideration.com/flagpedia.net

Other ways to derive a color palette from the landscape or the culture of the particular region. For example, the logo for El Salvador use colors that portray a bright and fun personality of this Central American country. Folks at UnderConsideration/Brand New say, “At first glance this is an attractive, festive logo.”

Elsalvador Logo
Image Source: underconsideration.com

The agency that created this logo, Interbrand says on its official website that the idea to use such a color scheme was to celebrate the rich culture of El Salvador, its “resources and entrepreneurial potential” with the world. The Indigo blue used as the main color for the country logo serves two purposes: 1) its presence on the flag and 2) the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.

Picking An Icon Or Symbol For A Country Logo Design

  1. Focus on a landmark building or natural structures
  2. Pick a national symbol: animal, plant or food
  3. Use more than one icon to create a holistic concept

When it comes to selecting a symbol for your country, the icon can be of a famous landmark or a national object. In fact, some country logos try to encompass everything in one brand mark. For example, the travel logo for Taiwan. It encompasses a stencil style logotype accompanied with a heart shape that has a set of cute yet questionable illustrations.

Heart of Asia heart
Image Source: vignette.wikia.nocookie.net

There is no compulsion on the number of graphic elements you can use in a country logo, but we all know that the simpler it is the better it looks. This vector graphic is part of Taiwan’s brand identity called, “The Heart of Asia”. It is a modern rendition of Asia-specific aesthetic.

American sociologist, Karen A. Cerulo explains that national icons or symbols “direct public attention, integrate citizens, and motivate public action.” The use of a symbol depends on the culture and history of the country as well as its national leadership. This said, every country has its own symbols but they vary in type and style.

Selecting Befitting Typeface For A Country Brand Mark

  1. A custom typeface is better than a generic font
  2. Incorporate a symbol within a logotype
  3. Use special characters and accents for the extra touch

When making a wordmark, it is best to add a feature of interest in the logotype instead of a plain font with no unique characteristic. For example, the Peru logo has just one symbolic element of the Inca Cross connected to the type, yet it says a lot about the country.

The font used in the visual identity is called Bree Peru, designed by the Type Together foundry. The logo design uses a Spanish accent on the name of this country. The logo can be used as part of tourism marketing and on Peruvian-made goods.

Peru Logo

Adopting a Design Style That Best Expresses the Country Logo

  1. Logo design trends can greatly affect the way your logo looks
  2. Think of contemporary or ever-green styles – pick one
  3. Have a concept, a meaning and a purpose in the logo

A logo design style is all about the way a logo looks in totality. This is the point where you decide which design trend you want to choose for the specific country logo. In the past decade, we have seen some very out-of-the-box logos — modern; and focused on concept.

Bolivia Logo
Image Source: underconsideration.com

For example, the Bolivia logo is an example of a country brand that uses asymmetry and symmetry at the same time. I am saying this because the diamond shape pattern is symmetrical while the colors and patterns with the main diamond shapes vary. It is a rather artistic logo if you think about its construction.

Do you have a tip for a country logo? Share it with us and if it’s cool enough, we’ll add it here.

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A visual design blogger passionate about interactive, experiential and captivating techniques designers, marketers and brands use to accentuate messages, tell stories, and spread awareness. I’m a visual addict like Alice, who finds books (or anything) without pictures boring! My writings focus on graphic and web design, branding, and visual marketing. My hobbies are to write poems, draw zentangles, read mysteries, and watch YouTube videos.

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