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A logo is more than just the visual representation of your organization. It’s a meaningful aesthetic that tells your brand’s unique story and influences how your product or service is perceived. It also offers a quick way for everyone else to instantly know what your business is about amongst a sea of other competitors.
Creating a well-designed logo is more than just putting images and text together—it’s building a strong visual narrative that tells your brand identity, who you serve, and what you offer. When done right, it offers customers an opportunity to connect and engage with your brand, which can help them feel more inclined to invest their time or money in your company.
For businesses of whatever size, age, or industry, it’s important to learn the different types of logo design, and understand which type suits specific businesses best, and why.
The Different Types of Logo Design
Wordmark is simply a text-only logo that uses the name of your business or brand. This is the most classic form of visual identity, with popular companies such as FedEx, Google, and Mobil using this type of logo design. The wordmark logo is ideal to use if your business name is also rather short.
Wordmark logos rarely feature any graphics or images. Instead, you’ll find stylized font faces with a combination of colors, spacing, and small shapes that best evoke the personality of the brand.
One reason why this kind of logo is popular is because wordmark logos are relatively easy to apply across various media. It also improves brand recognition because the design is simple and clean.
Interestingly, some companies often employ a slight variation when it comes to their wordmark logos. For instance, social media giant Facebook conveniently turns its wordmark logo into a monogram logo (a type of logo that symbolically abbreviates a brand’s full name) and features the ubiquitous ‘F’ to brand its mobile app, favicon, and certain areas of its website.
- Brand names that are short, distinct, and unique
- When your organization is a new player in the market and you want to increase brand awareness
- When you want your logo to be used seamlessly across various media (often digitally)
2. Brandmark (sometimes called Icon, Logo Symbol or Pictorial Mark)
A Brandmark is a type of logo that makes use of a striking symbol to represent the entirety of a brand. Some organizations select an image that literally describes their brand name, while others communicate the value they offer to their audience or market. Some companies using this type of logo design include Twitter (famous bluebird), Target (famous red bullseye), and Nike (the well-known swoosh checkmark).
Brandmark logos greatly improve brand recall, because of their easy-to-associate iconic image. This type is also ideal for organizations looking to reach a global audience.
- Brands that operate internationally, often targeting a global market
- When you have found the perfect icon or symbol for your brand
- Rebranding efforts, where people already know what your previous logo looked like
A Combination logo is a mix of wordmark and an icon or a symbol. This is one of the more popular types of logos because it allows more design flexibility in the sense that you can use both text and graphics at the same time. Some people opt for the image and the text to be side-by-side, stacked on top of each other, or fused together to create a unique logo.
Brands opt for this type because, in the long run, they want to ease into fully utilizing just the image in their logo. You’ll know it was a successful attempt when customers can identify the brand because of the image, even without seeing the text.
Some of the popular brands using this type of logo design are Lacoste (the ever-so-popular green crocodile), Puma (the leaping puma or panther), and Mastercard (the iconic Venn Diagram-like circles)
- When you need a versatile design that you can use across many applications
- When you want a seamless trademarking experience
- When you have an iconic figure (or mascot) that is well known
4. Emblem or Container
Much like the combination type, the emblem type of logo makes use of text and images, but the text appears inside the image. Emblem logos are very similar to how badges and seals look like. This is a popular logotype for brands looking to exude a sense of authority in their design. Audiences then get a certain feeling of prestige or opulence when they interact with the brand.
It goes without saying that this type of logo style is the go-to choice for organizations in the education sector, charities, sports teams, government agencies, and companies that want an authentic and conventional-looking logo.
Some organizations that use an emblem logo include Harvard University, Harley- Davidson Motorcycles, and Starbucks.
- Institutions and other formal organizations
- When your brand is already recognized within the industry or sector
- Brands with longer or complicated names
Abstract logos are one of the most creative but hard-to-master types of logo design. It fully encapsulates your brand’s message or value by using an image or symbol you created yourself.
This type of logo works best for big companies with many divisions or sectors because it lets you condense everything about your brand into a single icon. When an abstract logo is done right, it can work wonders for your brand. This is because you can play with the colors and shapes and create an exclusive and distinct look like no other.
Abstract logos allow your organization to stand out with far less similarity to, or confusion with other organizations’ logos.
- New brands entering a crowded market
- Enterprise companies
- Brands that operate globally
Create a Logo That Suits Your Brand
No matter what industry you’re in, there really is no one-size-fits-all solution. A successful logo is a product of meaningful brand messaging, good storytelling, and a brilliant eye for design.
Let these be the springboard so that your creativity and vision can help you determine what type of logo design suits your brand best. Don’t rush into making a logo just so you have one on paper. Instead, brainstorm for ideas so you can craft the perfect and memorable logo that is sure to have a lasting effect on your business.
Whether you’re in the early stages of brand development, or you’re looking to refresh your existing brand, learn how you can get quality logo design and contact us at 919.460.7978.