What difference, if any, is there between "logo" and "emblem"?

In particular, should "logo" be used for the Tokyo 2020 design that's attracted accusations of plagiarism, or is "emblem" ok as well?


Perhaps it's not an emblem until the games officially open...

The difference is that "logo" has more of a commercial connotation whereas "emblem" has a more traditional, historical meaning. Perhaps it's a "logo" while the national Olympic committee is still working on organizing the event. Once the games are underway, it becomes a worldwide event and stops being identified just with the committee, and thus the logo 'graduates' to being an emblem.

  • Commercial-ism / brand recognition seems to be key to me as well. Also, an emblem can be physical. For example you can have a Mercedes logo, where the hood ornament can be referred to as a logo, or an emblem but calling the same logo on a brochure an emblem would sound very odd. Sep 3 '15 at 0:30

The difference between logo and emblem is that, logo is the combination of words (mean abbreviation) where as the emblem is a design or a shape, like school or Islamic banks has etc.

  • Logo is an abbreviation!?! Mind sharing its full form?
    – CinCout
    Dec 23 '16 at 11:00
  • Not true. A logo is not a combination of words, it is an image - a design or shape. An emblem is often a living thing - animal or person.
    – Chenmunka
    Dec 23 '16 at 12:15

A logo is an art design with inscription of the name and sometimes an animated object that identifies a group like an organization, a nation's coat of arms, or a formation like the military. An emblem is a physical ornamental craft mostly worn by individual members of the organization as an identity. Like the flag of a nation worn on the lapels of jackets, or university alumni.


A logo is an illustration used as an identification of a company or business, while an emblem is the craft designed to represent the state of a community.

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