// branding //

4 types of logos

September 13, 2016

Which is the right type of logo for your brand?

Why are some logos so successful? Learn about the different types of logos, so you can decide which type is the right fit for your brand | thatistheday.com

Why are some logos so successful? Learn about the different types of logos, so you can decide which type is the right fit for your brand | thatistheday.com

Let’s start this post with a quote from the sports world:

There are some teams and logos you see, no matter where you are in the world, and you know exactly who they are and what they mean.  – LeBron James

Besides the NBA logo, which is already a good example of logos we know around the world, there are many more we instantly recognize. Some are symbols which recall a company’s name even without it being written out or there are some which emphasize colors we directly connect with a certain product. When you’re starting the process of creating a logo for your brand this can all be overwhelming. How to transport your brand message? How to attract your ideal audience? But most of all you might ask yourself why are logos like the ones mentioned above so successful? In this post, we will prepare you for the first step towards your perfect logo. You will learn about the different types of logos, so you can decide which type is the right fit for your brand.

What is a logo?

A logo is a mark that identifies a company. The word “logo” derives from the greek language and means “word”. It is, if you want, a word, letter, symbol or icon to name your company in an obvious and at the same time abstract way. Great logos are designed for their audience. The audience is connecting a certain meaning to your logo when they see it and then they connect this meaning with your brand. That’s why a logo by itself is just a logo. It’s the audience who makes it great.

4 types of logos

Wordmark

The simplest, but in many cases most effective way to create a logo is by creating a wordmark. The name of the company or brand is typed out to serve as a logo. It’s of course not as simple as that. You have to give this type a special accent to make it stand out from other type/ plain text. Designers do this by creating a font especially for this company, altering an existing font, or adding color. If you want to use this type of logo, you have to pay immense attention to the spacing between the characters to achieve a balanced-out design. There are many examples of memorable and timeless logos which work just with a simple word mark. Here are some examples:

The simplest, but in many cases most effective way to create a logo is by creating a wordmark. The name of the company or brand is typed out to serve as a logo | thatistheday.com

Letter mark

Letter marks make use of abbreviations, characters, and numbers. It is important, though, that the brand is still recognizable. That’s why mostly established brands use this type of logo or it is used in combination with a word mark. Some companies decide to use a letter mark because their name seems too long for a logo or it is really difficult to pronounce.

Letter marks make use of abbreviations, characters, and numbers | thatistheday.com

Symbol mark

The same effects are to consider using a symbol. Many brands use a symbol or icon to represent their company but these are mostly big companies with background and are already known. Take e.g. Nike; when they first introduced the swoosh, they still added the lettering. Only after the symbol was established, they let it stand by itself. For small brands and those who are just starting out, it’s better to go for a combination of symbol and word mark or to add a symbol as a submark or variation.

Many brands use a symbol or icon to represent their company | thatistheday.com

Combination mark

A combination of wordmark and symbol is probably the most popular type of logo. If the business name doesn’t really explain what you are selling or you want certain aspects of your brand to be reflected by your logo, you can express this with a symbol. But keep it simple. Only add symbols if they are really necessary. Otherwise, you will overload your logo with meaning and confuse your customers. You did a good job if your wordmark and the symbol can also stand each by themselves and still don’t lose their attraction. It makes your logo versatile because you can change its form depending on the outlet you use.

A combination of wordmark and symbol is probably the most popular type of logo | thatistheday.com

What to keep in mind?

Wordmarks are a great way to create a simple but effective logo. You should add a symbol only if it adds value to your logo. Symbol marks and letter marks have to be self-explanatory which can be difficult to achieve. You can use them for already established brands who don’t need their name in the logo to be recognized. The most popular, powerful and flexible type of logo is a combination mark which can stand in its full glory but can also be used as two single elements.

A + takeaway from this post:

Take a look at the examples above to see the key points to designing a great logo.

A great logo reflects the brand, is simple, memorable and timeless.

If you are looking for more information on logo design check out this post on 5 Logo Design Mistakes you should avoid making. Before you go: Make sure to pin this post! You will need it later!


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