We humans have been using metal for a long time—long enough that we divide ages of human history by the types of metal tools ancient peoples were using. So it should be no surprise that metal carries a lot of connotations—from building to agriculture to war to jewelry—and it makes sense why in modern times a metallic aesthetic can be a powerful tool for logo design.
If you’re considering a metal look for your next design project, keep in mind that there are a lot of ways to pull off a metallic logo. To help you evoke just the right feeling in your customers, we’ve rounded up some inspiring examples of metallic logo design. Let’s dive in!
High tech metal
From the Bronze Age to the Computer Age, metal has always been associated with the latest technology. After all, it’s not something we usually find in nature, which means our minds associate it with being man-made. Heck, even the phrase “shiny and new” indicates a bright metal logo conveys a sense of the new.
If you’re a tech company, a metal logo can show you’re on the cutting edge. But it’s not just for computers; anything that releases new versions on a regular basis can benefit from appearing shiny and new. Cars, for instance. Even artists and musicians can remind their fans that they’re constantly creating new material, utilizing a metallic logo.
Gold has been used as money for most of human civilization (for various reasons we won’t go into here). Suffice it to say, “gold = valuable” is something most people in most places and times understand.
If you want to show your product is both luxurious and rare, gold is the way to go. Focus on reflective, yellow-gold in particular. This is what we most associate with wealth. But don’t overdo it, by making the entire logo gold (we’ll address that in a later section).
On the other hand, gold is a bit obvious, isn’t it? Silver isn’t quite as rare as gold, but it has still been used as a store of value for millennia. Thus, it carries many of the same connotations as gold, including wealth, prestige and beauty.
Ironically, it’s used less often in marketing and advertising to portray these concepts. If you want your luxury goods to really stand out, a silver logo is a subtle way to accomplish that.
Sometimes, subtlety isn’t what you’re going for. If you’re in the kind of business that encourages ostentatious displays of wealth, then gold can definitely serve as the foundation for your metallic logo.
What sets this apart from a mere “luxury” brand is that a little does not go a long way, if you really want to hit the audience over the head with the potential of your product. You want to show that they can win so much money, they’ll be able to waste gold.
But don’t stop there. Use large, bold (and gold) fonts. Emphasize the glitter by putting your gold against a dark background. And don’t forget your complementary and triadic color schemes. Gold, which is yellow, pairs well with red, blue, and purple. Plus, purple has the extra association with royalty, which can work for that sort of brand.
Metal isn’t just about fancy jewelry and conspicuous displays of riches. A metallic logo can be practical, too. Focus on the kinds of metals that do real work, and don’t be afraid to let them get dirty.
Iron, steel, and bronze are used for weapons and tools. They’re pretty badass, too. If you want to show how sturdy and tough your product is, or even how tough you are, a solid, metallic logo presents that strongly.
Going for the gold (and silver)
Gold, silver and bronze medals have been awarded at the Olympics since 1904. And, of course, trophies have been awarded for achievement long before that.
If you’re a sports-focused company, a gold logo will help create that aspirational aspect for your players. But don’t neglect other metals in your logo. Silver or chrome still communicate strength and solidity, whether you’re looking for something more subtle than gold, or more badass.
Leafy gold accent
If your logo is going to be embossed on a business card, you have to consider how it will look in the physical, real world. Gold is really easy to overdo (see the “gaudy” section above). What’s worse, it can be hard to read in certain light.
If you intend to use faux-gold leaf on your card, a simple, elegant logo is the way to go. Make sure it’s set against a plain, solid background, either black or white. This really makes the gold shine, but just as importantly, makes it legible no matter how the light is hitting it.
Show your metal
A metallic logo is extremely versatile—perfect for any number of industries and professions—but it’s also easy to overdo. Make sure you choose a metallic logo that shows the strength of your brand but doesn’t blind your prospective customers with its sheen. With an expert designer, you’ll be proud to show your metallic logo to the world.