I am hacking together a temporary logo for my software startup company. I have a good single-word communicative name and geometrically shaped logo. To me, the two look best when text is positioned above logo but it seems this is a little unconventional.

Here is a mockup of my idea.

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Can this work? Why are text-above logos so rare? The only one I'm aware of is Bank of America.

  • 2
    I never noticed how much I have naturalised the fact that logos have to be that way (typo on the bottom). Great question (+1)
    – Yisela
    Nov 23, 2011 at 10:15
  • 1
    Nike kind of has that too but you're right, they are rare.
    – user474
    Nov 23, 2011 at 11:55
  • Škoda is the only other example I can immediately think of. BMW has the name inside the top edge of the mark.
    – e100
    Nov 23, 2011 at 14:41
  • 2
    The real answer is that it doesn't make a damn shred of difference. But that wouldn't get many votes :)
    – Alexei
    Nov 23, 2011 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


The Logo is often on the top because it's better to remember, the first thing you see is the first to remember.

If the logo is good enough to stand alone, its irrelevant where the name stands.

This could be a benefit, if you can place the name everywhere you can change the place for every format. Beneath or above the Logo on the web and for letters it could be besides the Logo.

  • Ideally the logo and logotype work as a unit together, so should be seen as a whole most of the time.
    – DA01
    Nov 23, 2011 at 19:49

There is no convention and no rule on this. The fact that it's common to have the type below the graphic is partly that it's currently fashionable and partly a design decision based on what the client or the design feels should have prominence.

There is only one case where going with what's conventional is actually required in a design, and that's when you want to appear conventional. That's not intended as a frivolous statement, for all it seems simplistic. There are plenty of occasions when this is an important consideration in a design. Similarly, there are occasions when you must to do the unconventional: when the client needs to appear unconventional, you'd be failing in your job if you used Time Roman or Helvetica for their wordmark.

In crafting your mark, definitely consider both the typography and the graphic as a single entity. They will work together how they work, and if the typography belongs on top then that's where it should be. But do base your decision on a good reason. A good reason is one that can be articulated and is not merely an opinion or feeling, such as "the graphic gives a solid base to the name and makes it stable and balanced."

"It's not usually done that way" or "it feels right" are not good reasons.

  • 1
    I'd be inclined to disagree with that last part. Ultimately, graphic design is an art, not a science, and flowery phrases like "gives a solid base to the name and makes it stable and balanced" are most often after-the-fact rationalizations invented sell the design after you've found one that "feels right". The actual meaning such phrases carry is often minimal and of little relevance -- you might just as well say that the logo "leverages the synergy of the textual company identity with the dynamic balance of the graphic" or something. Feb 3, 2012 at 13:40
  • We certainly disagree hugely on that point. Graphic design involves art, just as typography does, but both are also very mature technical subjects. A designer who can't give a clear and sensible (non-doubletalk) reason for every item and every placement in a layout has not learned the craft. There should be no need for after-the-fact rationalizations. There may be a need to translate design decisions into language the client can understand, but that is a different matter entirely. Feb 3, 2012 at 22:12

I think with a lot of company's (nowadays anyway, it seems), their aim is to become recognisable by just the image/icon, like Apple and WWF; so to have the text above would detract from the overall concept of branding that image. Text above and below wouldn't be as bad and I think I see that more often than the example you have provided.

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