I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “your logo is the face of your business.” Well, it’s true. It’s often the first impression potential clients get of what you’re all about. It’s a visual representation of everything your business stands for. If you want to connect with your dream customers, then it’s absolutely vital that your logo tells your unique brand story.
First and foremost, your logo must tell your story and appeal to your target customers. But that’s not the only thing to consider when choosing a design for your brand.It’s also important to consider how your logo will function – where will the finished logo most frequently be used? Will it need to work in a square format? Will it be printed at small sizes? Knowing the 4 different types of logos will help you choose which one to use when creating a strong brand identity.
It’s also important to consider how your logo will function – where will the finished logo most frequently be used? Will it need to work in a square format? Will it be printed at small sizes? Knowing the 4 different types of logos will help you choose which one to use when creating a strong brand identity.
Symbols and Icons are both terms used to describe distinct, simple representations of a brand. They’re usually used as a secondary or alternative logo to provide versatility to a brand. The simplicity of their design means symbols and icons take a lot less time for customers to process, making them great for quick recognition. Symbols and icons are used often by larger companies with the power to ensure their logos are seen enough times to develop recognition. It takes a while for the public to be able to associate a symbol with a brand if it’s used alone. There are two different types of symbol/icon logos used frequently by brands.
Pictorial Marks use a form of literal imagery to identify a business. Their appearance takes the form of a recognizable object that’s been altered to make it more unique and memorable.
Benefits of Pictorial Marks
- Express ideas more strongly than text
- Universal – requiring no explanation regardless of culture. They’re easily able to overcome language barriers. This makes them great for global companies.
- Build brand recognition and provide versatility
Drawbacks of Pictorial Marks
- Often require the presence of accompanying type to get their message across
- It takes some time to develop association with a business
ABSTRACT AND SYMBOLIC MARKS
Abstract Marks take the form of a nonliteral interpretation of a business, concept, belief, or idea. They rely strongly on geometry and precise shapes.
Benefits of Abstract and Symbolic Marks
- Allow limitless expression of creativity
- Can be used to tell the story of a brand
Drawbacks of Abstract and Symbolic Marks
- Not immediately recognizable as the imagery it represents
- May make less of a connection with the target audience
- Difficult to create successfully
2. Typographic Logos
Typographic logos are characterized by words and letters used to translate a message about a business and convey a sense of style. While they may seem simple, there’s more to do than simply choosing a font and typing out the needed characters. Like symbols and icons, typographic logos can be further split into two different forms.
Also called Logotypes, this type of logo spells out the name of a business in a graphic representation featuring only text. To differentiate the design from a common font, designers will alter the letters in a memorable way or sometimes create an entirely new font just for the logo. To differentiate the design from a common font, designers will alter the letters in a memorable way or sometimes create an entirely new font just for the logo.
Benefits of Wordmarks
- By focusing solely on a graphic representation of the business’ name, the chances of the design being original are increased
- Including the business’ name helps to form valuable recognition and awareness, especially for a new brand or business
Drawbacks of Wordmarks
- If it’s too simple, it may not be memorable enough for the audience to create recognition
- Work best as primary logos only when the brand name is relatively short or extremely unique
Lettermarks are logos that use a single letter or number as the logo’s defining characteristic. Typically, Lettermark logos use the initials of a company’s name to form a simple, distinctive mark. The simplistic nature of Lettermarks makes them useful when used as secondary or alternative logos.
Benefits of Lettermarks
- Versatile – they work well at small sizes
- Their simple structure allows them to become iconic and extremely powerful
- Good for businesses with names that are long or difficult to pronounce
Drawbacks of Lettermarks
- Takes time to develop recognition with the target market as a representation of a business
- Difficult to create a unique design
3. Combination Marks
Combination Marks combine a wordmark logo with a symbol, icon, or lettermark. This type of logo works well because it spells out a company’s name while building an association with a visual mark.
Benefits of Combination Marks
- Versatile – they can be broken apart and the elements (wordmark and symbol/icon/lettermark ) can be used separately
- Distinct – combination of different components sets combination marks apart from other logos and brands
- Work well as a company’s primary logo
Drawbacks of Combination Marks
- Difficult to design because they require lots of time and intention to make each component fit well
The emblem logo type is similar to the combination mark because it also includes different components. The defining characteristic of an emblem logo design is the incorporation of a company’s name within the overall design.
Emblems are usually quite compact. They’re easily recognizable by their resemblance to a badge or a seal. This resemblance makes them popular with prestigious organizations such as governments and sports team logos.
Benefits of Emblems
- Work well on packaging
- Create feelings of intentional design and professionalism
- Customers perceive a more personal relationship with the brand
Drawbacks of Emblems
- Not as versatile as other logo types due to the difficulty involved in separating and splitting apart
- Difficult to downsize because the words are contained within the shape
Hopefully, this post helped clarify the right uses for each of the 4 logo types. By understanding each logo type, you’ll be one step closer to selecting the appropriate design and creating a strong and memorable brand identity.