There really is quite a challenge behind designing a logo mark that is based on the abstract, rather than a more defined visual link to ‘entity’ one is creating a logo for.
Can’t say I get many clients actually asking for an abstract logo, and I’m pretty sure that’s simply down to a misguided notion that it’s a easy and quick ay for a designer to say ‘job done’, and with that a clear lack of value for money. If the client can’t say, “what does that logo have to do with my business? Nothing? Then why the hell do I want a logo that communicates nothing meaningful?”
Of course, that’s all poppycock. An good abstract logo is neither quick nor easy, and neither should a client dismiss the option of an abstract logo as being poor value for money. A client isn’t just forking out dosh for some hired help, they are paying for expertise, wisdom, and creative confidence to make decisions that a client is not in a position to make. One of those decisions might just be related to going with a logo design of an abstract nature, if they feel this is the best direction to take after dismissing more literal/obvious routes.
In this great article: To Abstract Or Not Abstract?, Sagi Haviv looks at abstraction in logo and brand identity design, as well as other principles of identity design created by his firm, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.
Tom Geismar saided to Sagi Haviv, “Since we did an abstract symbol for Chase, many have tried to do it in cases where they shouldn’t have.”
If we are doing our job as designers, our solution should always grow out of a well-thought-out strategy, and an abstract symbol is only one possible tactic among many.