You might have heard of the Nine Muses, Greek goddesses with their own creative specialties like dance, comedy or even math. Well, we’re here to be the tenth muse, the one that showers you with logo inspiration and ideas. As you start dreaming up your logo design, we’ll show you the right places to go for logo inspiration so you can come up with great logo ideas. You can stop chasing inspiration, and let it come to you.

flower fairy logo
Creative logo by Cross the Lime

Whether you’re representing a brand or a designer out of ideas, here’s where you can find logo inspiration and create something new and beautiful.

Why is it important to find the right logo?

Before we get into where to go for logo ideas, let’s talk about the importance of a logo itself. Understanding the role a logo fills in your company will help you think up the best one for you.

In general, a logo’s goal is two-fold:

  1. Create a memorable link to your company for brand awareness and recall.
  2. Visually depict your brand identity to appeal to your target customer group.

The details in a logo affect both memorability and target-marketing. Typically, you can break down a logo’s visuals into three areas: color, shape and typography. Different colors, shapes and styles of writing elicit different emotions and attract different types of people—for example, circles reflect a more casual and fun company, while less-fun squares suggest strength, durability and prowess instead.

We don’t have time to explain all the details here—for now it’s enough to know the main components of a logo (color, shapes, typography) so you can be aware of them when drumming up logo ideas. You can also check out our interactive widget for logo color ideas on our Psychology of Color page.

Logo inspiration: where to find inspiration for your logo & how to generate logo ideas
Illustration by OrangeCrush

11 places to find logo inspiration

Waiting for logo inspiration to come to you sounds like a good plan… until you check the deadline. If your company is naked without a logo, any delays are harming your business. Take matters into your own hands with our top 11 sources for getting logo ideas fast.

1. Big brands

Big brands hire only the best (or at least, the most expensive) designers, so more often than not, they have some of the highest quality logos around. They’re usually more aware of logo trends, too, so seeing how they update theirs can help keep your logo modern.

FedEx logo
The arrow hidden between the E and X may be subtle, but it’s dualistic symbolism is almost Shakespearean—which you might not expect from a shipping company.

Pay attention to the logos from big corporations. Don’t worry, they’re everywhere. Take a look at these famous logos or the logos of the world’s top companies. See if you can isolate which parts work really well and where there’s room for improvement. Pay attention to any similarities between logos, like common shapes or fonts, especially if they’re in your industry. Chances are, if the big brand is your competitor, their logo is the one customers will compare yours against.

2. 99designs Discover

Want to see all kinds of original logos from top-tier professionals? Check out 99designs Discover, our search tool that gives you access to our entire database of logos from our expert designers, filtered by industry, skill level or topic tag. Over a million professional graphic designers from all over the world are part of the 99designs community, so you’ll find a diverse range of design styles and techniques—perfect for getting inspired.

99designs Discover search tool screenshot
When using 99designs Discover, you don’t just find new logo ideas, you also find designers for hire whose style you like.

Use the Discover Filters menu to select the parameters you want, such as the industry you’re in. The Advanced tab makes it easy to limit your search to “Top Level” designers or specific languages. You can even enter your own keywords in the Search tab so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

3. Your own brand story

While we’re talking about places to go to find logo inspiration, you might consider looking inward instead of outward. After all, logos should represent your brand, so shouldn’t they develop from your brand story?

Flying Pig Garden Supply logo
A name like “Flying Pig” conjures up plenty of logos ideas on its own, but designer Mad pepper took it in a surprising—and effective—direction.

Think about your brand identity and see if any visual cues reveals themselves right away. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help inspire logo ideas:

  • What qualities and characteristics does your brand prioritize most? What icons represent those traits? For example, if you want to highlight your wisdom or expertise, you might use an owl, book or microscope.
  • Are there any visual puns or wordplay you can make with your brand name or slogan? These can do wonders for brand retention and recall.
  • What typography matches your brand identity? Something classic and formal like blocky serifs, or perhaps something vivacious and carefree like loopy cursive?
  • Are there any artists whose style would match your brand well? What is it about their style in particular that suits your brand?

Dig deep into your brand identity, and make lists of words, ideas, colors and more. Use this as your foundation to build a logo that fits your brand.

4. Your competitors

It always pays to keep your eye on the competition—for both what to do and what not to do. Typically, your competitors have the same business goals as you do, so their logos will use many of the same elements you should consider.

For example, take a look at the prevalence of blue in bank logos. Blue is the color of trust, which is always a top priority for a company asking people to give them their money.

Blue bank logos
These four competing banks use the same logo color because it works, but keep their individuality in other aspects.

It’s also worth checking out your competitors’ logos to see how you can best stand out. Sometimes, going in the opposite direction as your rivals is the best way to generate business, especially if you can steal a customer’s attention on the store shelves.

5. Social media

If you’re looking for a bunch of ideas on any topic, social media can help. Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest work best for logo inspiration because you can see multiple logo examples on your screen at the same time. That makes browsing and comparing a lot easier. Don’t forget to refine your logo search by using hashtags or following specific Pinterest boards.

Pinterest logo inspiration boards
Just some of the different boards Pinterest users created for logo inspiration.

Just for the limitless number of designs alone, finding logo ideas on social media can be a great source of inspiration, but there are some drawbacks, too. You’ll probably need to sort through a lot of amateur designs just so you can find the gems. Of course, you can always find logo inspiration from non-professionals, but it can be a challenge to filter out the lower quality designs.

6. Behance

Behance is like a social media platform for artists and designers where they can showcase their portfolio for the public. Although they don’t differentiate the beginners from the pros like 99designs Discover, Behance lets you browse the work of serious designers in a variety of styles.

Behance screenshot
Each card is its own gallery of logos, sometimes by the same designer, sometimes collections built around a single theme.

Behance covers a wide spectrum of visual art, but you can easily find galleries of logos tucked into the Graphic Design category. Each card is its own gallery of logos, sometimes by the same designer, sometimes a collection built around a single theme.

7. Image searches

Strip away all of the branding, and logos are really just images. Take that picture of your dog you love so much, give it to a freelance graphic designer to draw a stylized version of it along with your brand name and—BAM! — suddenly she’s a logo. Inspiration can come from any image, so the only tool you need is a search engine.

Although you have to sift through the (un)inspirational quotes, a quick Google search for something generic like “strength” still brings up new logo ideas: eagles, fists, fitness, rock-climbing, even sailboats can all be the early seeds of logo inspiration.

If you’re already identified certain traits or elements that fit your brand, type them into Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo image searches. You can search for virtually anything, from abstract concepts like “strength” to more targeted searches like “red logos for fashion brands.”

When you need quick inspiration, image searches are a great place to start, especially when you don’t have much to think about yet. Just get ready for a lot of scrolling.

8. Wandering around stores

Grocery cart in between store shelves
How our pre-internet ancestors conducted logo image searches. (Via Pexel)

Don’t forget the “offline” logo inspiration galleries: store shelves. Every product box or bag is an example of a logo, and the best place to see them all together is at the store.

If you’re stuck for logo ideas, walk around a mall, supermarket, or store for your industry. They’re like a smorgasbord of successful logos. You even get to see them in their “natural habitat,” where you can notice that certain colors or fonts draw attention better in person than on a screen.

The physical activity of getting up and moving around is also a great way to help get your creative juices flowing (on a physiological level). In other words, just walking around the store might inspire you just as much as the logos you look at.

9. Friends, family, and co-workers

Origin of Mr. Peanut from Planters
One of the most famous logo mascots in the world, Planters’s Mr. Peanut, was actually created by a schoolboy as part of a 1916 newspaper contest.

Sure it helps, but you don’t need to be a professional designer to collect some good logo ideas—you can bring in a professional later when it comes to the execution of your idea. Sometimes the perfect logo idea comes from the most unlikely sources, but you never know until you ask. Ask around the office to see if anyone has any worthwhile ideas or thoughts about what represents your brand, even if they need a little tweaking first. You can even ask your friends and family—there’s no penalty if they don’t have any good ideas, but if they do… your search is finally over!

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Under certain circumstances, you can even leave the logo inspiration up to your customers. Running an official contest could either bring in a new crop of logo ideas, or even present you the final product on a silver platter. After all, that’s how Mr. Peanut was born.

10. Art museums

Although graphic design has only been applied to marketing for just a few centuries, the artistic principles it draws upon have existed as long as art itself. The perfect logo idea for your digital smartphone app could come from a Renaissance painting, Buddhist statue, or prehistoric African vase.

Women sitting in front of paintings at an art museum
Even if you don’t come back with logo ideas, it’s comforting to know artists throughout history also had inspiration issues at times, too. (Via Pexel.)

With some art museums, the inspiration is thick in the air. You’re surrounded by thousands of years of artistic mastery, everywhere you look. And, like walking around stores, you’ll get some exercise to boost your creativity.

11. Design blogs and magazines

Last but not least, design blogs and magazines know how challenging it can be to find logo inspiration, so they publish a lot of content specifically about “logo inspiration.” Often, these are logo galleries or image collections curated by design experts.

collection of different food logos
A collection of logos from a blog article on food-related logos.

Take a look at our own blog, for example. You can find articles for logo ideas centered around any number of popular themes:

Check out our complete list of logo inspiration articles, or search online for other design-industry blogs.

Creative logos always start with logo inspiration

Nest Interiors logo
Want to get an inspiring logo of your own? Nest Interiors told designer ananana14 about their business goals, and she took it from there, bringing her creativity and artistry to match their brand.

If you’re a company decision-maker, creative tasks like designing a logo can be an exciting change of pace from business as usual. You have all these options in front of you: colors, shapes, styles, fonts and more…

So, gather as much inspiration and as many big ideas as you can, and you’ll be able to collaborate with a designer to dream up the perfect logo that fits your brand.

Get help turning your creative inspiration into real-life logo!
Work with our talented designers to make it happen.