Branding Strategy

Exploring 9 Logo Types and Their Effective Utilization

Do you ever realize how logos have become a part of our lives?

How do we look for it in every brand to validate?

Look around you - surrounded by types of logos everywhere! In fact, one is on the top corner of your screen right now! Maybe, one is on your shoe or your device, and plenty more in view.

Logo itself stands for Language of Graphics Oriented - simply but graphically built symbol that gives your brand an identification and helps to stand out distinct from other brands.

More than just a graphic element, it is the face of a brand which has a powerful impact on how a business is perceived by its audience. Giving a tangible expression to your brand - it communicates ownership, qualities, and values of the same.

As a crucial asset of business - it is likely to be one the first interactions people will have with your company. More than on your products, websites, social media, or business cards, it will most importantly imprint itself in customer’s minds. So, this pressurizes any business to create a logo that is memorable.

From a lone visual symbol, to plain text, or different combinations of the two - there are nine different types of logos you’ll find.

Let us take you to all of them and understand their utility!

9 Types of Logos

As a logo-maker or a freelance designer, whatever you design should fit the brand. Before starting the designing process, you must know which type of logo you are required to create.

There are two main categories: Image or icon based and Name based. Although, we will break it down in the following 9 types:

1. Wordmarks/logotypes

Wordmark (a.k.a logotypes) consist of the company's name, written in a certain typeface or font. This may sound very simple and straightforward, but as said - “simple can be harder than complex sometimes.” To successfully learn logo designing, you need to pay extra attention to little details.

Essentially, logotypes are just business names set in some kind of particular typeface. Some brands create custom typefaces especially for their logo, like Coca-cola.

One of the best advantages of using wordmarks/logotypes is, no one has to guess when they see a wordmark, it is clear what company the logo presents.

Wordmark/logotype would be perfect for the businesses having catchy names - they can use it to their branding advantage and highlight the name. As the logo will appear throughout all their communication and marketing materials.

Examples: Coca-cola, Subway, eBay.

2. Letterforms

Letterform logos are just one-word logos that only include the first letter of a company's name. Of course, these logos should be bold and designed well, since it’s difficult for a letter alone to convey a clear message.

Letterforms are easily scalable. When your logo is just one letter, you can stick it anywhere and have it look equally as good. And, a successfully-designed letterform will subconsciously invoke the full name of your brand in people’s minds.

Generally, letterform logos are a good choice for brands that are already reasonably well-known. Otherwise, it can be tricky getting people to know and remember your company’s name. They’re also beneficial for brands with long names. They can also be used by large companies, with a lot of visibility as part of rebranding efforts. And if you're a brand who believes in minimalism they're also a good choice.

Examples: Facebook, McDonald’s, Netflix and Pinterest, Uber and Beats.

3. Lettermarks/monograms

Think abbreviations. Lettermarks, or monogram logos, are typography-based logos that take the abbreviated initials of a company and spruce up their design a bit. Boom! You have a no-fuss, no-frills logo.

lettermarks can also be made using a custom typeface, or by finding a font that successfully conveys your brand identity. Make sure to take into account various typography parameters, like kerning (the spacing between letters), width, weight and style (such as bold or italic).

Likely more than ever before, the world loves abbreviations (maybe we have the current technological era to thank for that?). From our interpersonal communication style – LOL, BTW, OMG – to name a few – to our luxury car companies (BMW), acronyms are throwing themselves all over the modern era.

Also, they’re to the point: Lettermarks turn your lengthy business name into an identifiable brand identity.

Examples: HBO, IBM, NASA, HP, and Louis Vuitton.

4. Logo symbols/brand marks/pictorial marks

Logo symbols (a.k.a. brand marks or pictorial marks) are graphic icons, symbols or images that reflect the brand’s identity or activity. Normally, these types of logos represent an object from the real world. Some of the best logos using symbols are the kind that you instantly know which brand it is, the second you see them.

Brand marks are clean-cut and easy to remember. If you offer a specific service, an image representing that will send a quick, clear message to your audience.

Is there one thing your business does really, really well? The Twitter brand mark is well-suited because it’s a bird, which instantly reminds people that the company tweets. If your business already has some traction, and/or if you specialize in one product or one service that can easily be represented by an image, then a brand mark could be a great choice for you.

Or, if, like Apple, your business name represents a real-world object, then you could also use a brand mark of that same object.

Examples: Apple, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat.

5. Abstract logo marks

Abstract logos are your conceptual, think-about-the-big-picture logos. Like brand marks, an abstract logo consists of just a symbol – but one that is tailor-made for you. This type of image doesn’t necessarily mimic an object that exists in real life; rather, it’s a unique logo that’s designed to express something specific about your brand.

There’s room to play with these designs, because you can create a logo that really communicates your values or something about your brand that you’d like to emphasize.

If you’re a business that does several distinct things, a well-thought out abstract mark may be the perfect logo for you! Abstract designs are great for communicating brand values or something else that you want to distinguish about your business.

Examples: Airbnb, Chanel, Nike, Google drive, Pepsi

6. Mascots

Arguably the most family-friendly type of logo, mascots are images of a character or person that act as a visual representation of your business. Think of them as your brand’s “spokesperson” – much of your advertising will be centered around them.

Mascot logos consist of illustrated characters that act as visual representations or “ambassadors” for a brand. They can be anything from fictitious creatures to real people, as long as they reflect the brand’s identity.

Mascots give their audience that warm-and-fuzzy feeling, which leads to creating a distinctly memorable brand. Also, nothing appeals to kids more than a physical, tangible character that they can relate to.

Examples: Colonel Sanders by KFC, Michelin Man by Michelin.

7. Emblems

Even the name has that impressive, traditional feel. Emblems have stood the test of time, from family crests to the royal stamps of powerful monarchs. These logos consist of a typeface that sits within a border – usually a seal or a crest. Think universities and government organizations.

Emblems are memorable, and they lend an air of professionalism, traditionalism and importance to your brand. They also give the impression that your company has been around forever, and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

This logotype is great for brands who want to seem reputable or tell their audience that they uphold traditional values. Emblems look particularly good (read: prestigious) when they’re engraved, so it may be a good option for you if you run an organization with uniforms or garments of some kind.

Examples: Starbucks, Warner Brothers, Manchester United.

8. Combination marks

The name is pretty self-explanatory, but combination logos incorporate – combine – both images and words into their design.Combination mark logos include any combination of images and words that you choose; you can pair a letterform with a mascot, a monogram with an abstract image – whichever combination speaks to you the most.

For companies that are not yet well-known, combination marks can be a great starting point, helping you build brand recognition. With time, you’ll have the freedom to use just the text or just the icon, while remaining recognizable. Also, supporting the text with icons, symbols and other forms of imagery helps potential customers understand what your brand is all about.

Examples: Taco Bell, Toblerone, Dropbox, CVS, Dove and NBC.

9. Dynamic marks

You could say dynamic marks are the new-age logo. Unlike other logos, this type of logo adapts itself to the context in which it’s used. This means that rather than having one standard font-color-text combination in your logo, these elements can change – whether on the internet or on different branding materials.

You can be as creative as you want! Because there are so many mediums through which to build your brand (think responsive web pages or mobile sites, blogs, digital media, merchandise, ads – the list doesn’t end) you can modify your logo to fit any scenario or make a slew of impressions on potential customers.

This is a great option for brands in entertainment, media, or creative industries. If your business will have a number of different branches, like FedEx, then a dynamic mark with a changing color could be a great way to differentiate those parts to your customers.

Examples: MTV, Nickelodeon, Google, Hilary Clinton

Create Your Own!

You already know about the types of logos out there, it’s time to craft your own! Don’t worry - we tailor brand logos to make it memorable for every customer of yours. Our designers are dedicated to design the logos - paying attention to every little detail of your business. With Wolfable, get brainstorming, consider your color palette, and get creative!