The Most Popular Animals Used in Company Logos…and Why

In nearly every culture and industry, at any age and walk of life, you’ll find a reverence for our fury, scaly, cuddly, and sometimes creepy earthly companions―animals!  From cute little kitties to five headed dragons, marketers, designers, and story tellers have taken advantage of mankind’s admiration for an entire kingdom of these noble creatures. Magical mice, ninja reptiles―heck, even rampaging dinosaurs and have filled our books, screens, and cereal boxes since we can remember.

No doubt corporate design has adapted any and all types of animals for branding purposes. Let’s take a look the most popular animals used in corporate logo design…and why!

10. Snake

Snakes can be associated with both negative and positive characteristics. Speed and stealth are the most common attributes companies inspire to capture. From a graphic perspective, a snake’s long winding body can accommodate almost any design composition.

9. Bull

You’ll see branding that uses a bull when a company wants to reflect power, strength, and momentum. A broad base and curving pointed horns, the aesthetic of the bull’s head also provides an interesting use of space for accompanying text or graphic elements.

8. Domestic Dog

Domestic dogs are commonly used (outside of pet products) because of their relatability ―especially in a residential context. Dogs are associated with being loyal, playful, and often used in the action of fetching or bringing you something.

7. Crocodile/Alligator

A well-known animal figure that can portray tough, ridged, and secure qualities. Since they are creatures of both aqueous and dry terrain, they may also represent brands intended to withstand many elements; literally or metaphorically.

6. Elephant

The largest land animal on earth, yet dexterous, elegant, and gentle, elephants are instantly recognizable for their distinctively long trunks and famously large ears. They also entertain many playful colloquialisms about never forgetting, and innocently being afraid of mice.

5. Owl

Owls are a popular animal in general and have been for a long time. They can be illustrated as cute, stoic, or fierce. Even at a very minimal and abstract rendition they are very recognizable. They can be a symbol of wisdom, patience, and having great vision. All of which are positive qualities a company would want to encapsulate within their brand.

4. Bear

There are several recognizable species within the bear family and they all have a wide range of social perceptions from cuddly to ferocious. Broad and noticeable characteristics lend well to a logo selection. Typically most companies use bears to reflect rugged wild life or a closeness to nature. They also can demonstrate geographical association.

3. Eagle

Birds in general make great graphic images. But eagles are quite possibly the most prevalent. Soaring wings with intricate or abstract feathers can frame a design in a very pleasant and effective way. Eagles can represent freedom as a sensation or a state of being. They also hold a symbolic and sacred connection to many nations across the world.

2. Horse

The relationship and dependability between human and horse reaches back to the very founding of trade, business, and progress itself. Horses can represent power, prestige, wealth, and leisure. The look and feel a brand’s logo reflects, strongly relies on the designer’s execution of this more complex animal figure.

1. Lion

Lions could very well be the most desired animal figure to represent a company. Nicknamed “King”, lions are widely depicted as regal, brave, and aggressive. There are a millennia of fables, lore, and parables that represent a fierce hunter, wise leader, or a fearful regard for the line between man and nature. Like the horse, a lion’s figure can have more intricate features that can result in very creative interpretations.

Honorable Mentions:

Fox, Shark, butterfly, Squirrel, Rhino, Dinosaurs (T-Rex/Brontosaurus), Rabbit, Wolf, Spider, Octopus/Squid