The 8 Different Types of Logo Designs
“The logo is the simplest form of graphic communication.” - Michael Bierut, Pentagram
In an interview with UK based design-centric platform It’s That Nice, one of the world’s most prolific graphic designers Michael Bierut provided my favorite summary of what a logo really is. He described a logo as “the simplest form of graphic communication”.
He continued, “in essence, it is a signature, a way to say, “This is me.” The illiterate’s scrawled X is a kind of logo, just as much as the calligraphic flourishes we associate with Queen Elizabeth or John Hancock. So are the peace sign and the swastika. And so, of course, are the graphic marks that represent Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald’s and Apple.”
There are several different types of logos that can serve an array purposes depending on the vision and messaging of your brand. This guide explains the different types of logo styles and how you can utilize them as part of your company’s brand identity.
Type Based Logos
Type based logos focus more on typefaces, words, and letterforms.
There are main three types of typography focused logos including wordmarks, lettermarks, and monograms.
A wordmark is a type based logo that focuses on the name of the business without an image. Creating the perfect wordmark logo requires matching the correct combination of words, typeface, and colors to capture the heart and soul of your business. A wordmark logo works well when a company has a unique name. It essentially becomes the companies’ corporate signature.
A lettermark, similar to wordmark, is a type based logo that focuses on the initials of the business or organization. Lettermark logos tend to focus on simplicity. It’s much easier for people to remember two or three letters (IBM) compared to two or three words (International Business Machine).
A monogram is a unique combination of two or more letters working together that result in a creative signature that stands out. Monogram logo designs are primarily used in fashion or apparel, often to denote luxury and high quality.
Image Based Logos
As the name suggests, image based logos tend put more emphasis on graphic based images, though they can also be combined with words to create a unique brand mark. Some variants of image based logos include abstract marks, pictorial marks, emblems, combination marks, and mascot logos.
An abstract mark takes a unique design that represents your business. You can create your own company culture with a design structure that creates a new meaning. These logos create a positive feeling that leaves an everlasting impression. The exact meaning of the logo is always open for interpretation.
Symbol / Pictoral Mark
A pictorial mark is an icon or graphic based design. It’s essentially the face of your brand. It’s important to decide on an image that will represent what your company is about for the life of its existence. Brand marks work well for established brands because they’re an instant stamp of recognition.
Emblem / Crest
Emblem logos are more traditional looking. They combine an emblem with typography to create an authoritative look that establishes trust. Commonly emblems feature historical information about the brand they represent like a motto, established date, or city of origin.
A mascot is the official brand ambassador for your company. Ideally, your mascot is a bright and colorful character that embodies everything that your brand represents. The purpose of a mascot is to represent your company in a unique way that helps sell the product. Mascot logos work best when targeting family friendly oriented niches.
A combination mark combines a wordmark and an icon to create a brand synergized combination logo. These combination marks use images and text to establish the company culture and are highly versatile for startup companies.
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