7 type of LOGO Design

A LOGO is an image that symbolizes your business. But did you know there are 7 different types of logos?

Though they’re all a combination of typography and images, each type of logo gives your brand a different feel and since your logo is the first thing new customers will see, you want to make sure you get it right. Want to choose the best logo type for your business? Here are the 7 types of logos you need to know about:

1. Monogram logos (or lettermarks)

Monogram logos or lettermarks are logos that consist of letters, usually brand initials. IBM, CNN, HP, HBO… 

Noticing a pattern, yes? They’re the initialisms of a few famous businesses with rather lengthy names. With 2 or 3 words to remember, they’ve each turned to using their initials for brand-identification purposes. So it makes perfect sense for them to use monograms—sometimes called lettermark logos—to represent their organizations.

Corporate identities: IBM & HBO

What makes a good monogram logo?

A great logo shows the world what you stand for, makes people remember your brand, and helps potential customers understand if your product is right for them. Logos communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements.

2. Wordmarks (or logotypes)

Similar to a lettermark, a wordmark or logotype is a font-based logo that focuses on a business’ name alone. Think Visa and Coca-Cola. Wordmark logos work really well when a company has a succinct and distinct name. Google’s logo is a great example of this. The name itself is catchy and memorable so, when combined with strong typography, the logo helps create strong brand recognition.

Corporate identities: Google & VISA

Also, like with a lettermark logo, typography will be an important decision. Since the focus will be on your name, you’ll want to pick a font—or create a font—that captures the essence of what your business does. For example, fashion labels tend to use clean, elegant fonts that feel high-end, while legal or government agencies almost always stick to traditional, “heavier” text that feels secure.

What makes a good typographic logo?

A great logo shows the world what you stand for, makes people remember your brand, and helps potential customers understand if your product is right for them. Logos communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements.

3. Symbols (or Pictorial marks)

A pictorial mark (sometimes called brand mark or logo symbol) is an icon—or graphic-based logo. It’s probably the image that comes to mind when you think “logo”: the iconic Apple logo, the Twitter bird, the Target bullseye. Each of these companies’ logos is so emblematic, and each brand so established, that the mark alone is instantly recognizable. A true brand mark is only an image. Because of this, it can be a tricky logo type for new companies, or those without strong brand recognition, to use.

Corporate identities: Apple & Instagram

The biggest thing to consider when deciding to go with a pictorial mark is what image to choose. This is something that will stick with your company its entire existence.

What makes a good icon logo?

A great logo shows the world what you stand for, makes people remember your brand, and helps potential customers understand if your product is right for them. Logos communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements.

4. Abstract logo marks

An abstract mark is a specific type of pictorial logo. Instead of being a recognizable image—like an apple or a bird—it’s an abstract geometric form that represents your business. A few famous examples include the BP starburst-y logo, the Pepsi divided circle and the strip-y Adidas flower. Like all logo symbols, abstract marks work really well because they condense your brand into a single image. However, instead of being restricted to a picture of something recognizable, abstract logos allow you to create something truly unique to represent your brand.

The benefit of an abstract mark is that you’re able to convey what your company does symbolically, without relying on the cultural implications of a specific image. Through color and form, you can attribute meaning and cultivate emotion around your brand. 

Corporate identities: bp & Adidas

What makes a good abstract logo?

A great logo shows the world what you stand for, makes people remember your brand, and helps potential customers understand if your product is right for them. Logos communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements. 

5. Mascots

Mascot logos are logos that involve an illustrated character. Often colorful, sometimes cartoonish, and most always fun, the mascot logo is a great way to create your very own brand spokesperson—er, spokes-character(?).

A mascot is simply an illustrated character that represents your company. Think of them as the ambassador for your business. Famous mascots include the Kool-Aid Man, KFC’s Colonel and Planter’s Mr. Peanut. Mascots are great for companies that want to create a wholesome atmosphere by appealing to families and children.

Corporate identities: Pringles & KFC

What makes a good mascot logo?

A great logo shows the world what you stand for, makes people remember your brand, and helps potential customers understand if your product is right for them. Logos communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements.

6. The combination mark

A combination mark is a logo comprised of a combined wordmark or lettermark and a pictorial mark, abstract mark, or mascot. The picture and text can be laid out side-by-side, stacked on top of each other, or integrated together to create an image. Some well known combination mark logos include Doritos, Burger King and Lacoste.

Corporate identities: Adobe & Burger King

Because a name is associated with the image, a combination mark is a versatile choice, with both the text and icon or mascot working together to reinforce your brand. With a combination mark, people will also begin to associate your name with your pictorial mark or mascot right away! In the future you may be able to rely exclusively on a logo symbol, and not have to always include your name. Also, because the combination of a symbol and text create a distinct image together, these logos are usually easier to trademark than a pictorial mark alone.

7. The emblem

An emblem logo consists of font inside a symbol or an icon; think badges, seals and crests. These logos tend to have a traditional appearance about them that can make a striking impact, thus they are often the go-to choice for many schools, organizations or government agencies. The auto industry is also very fond of emblem logos. While they have a classic style, some companies have effectively modernized the traditional emblem look with a logo designs fit for the 21st century (think of Starbucks’ iconic mermaid emblem, or Harley-Davidson’s famous crest).

Corporate identities: Warner Bros & Starbucks Coffee

What makes a good emblem logo?

A great logo shows the world what you stand for, makes people remember your brand, and helps potential customers understand if your product is right for them. Logos communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements. 

Want to create the perfect logo for your brand

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This article was originally written by Hilda Morones and published in 2016. It’s been updated with new information and examples.

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