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Blog / Marketing tips / 10 Types of Logos (and How to Choose Yours)

Marketing tips

10 Types of Logos (and How to Choose Yours)

10 Types of Logos (and How to Choose Yours)
Ketlina Sarkisjane 

By Ketlina Sarkisjane 

10 min read

There are various types of logos everywhere you look—on buildings, billboards, on your smartphone, and every product within our homes.

Whether you’re a large organization managing multiple brands, a small startup company, or two best friends who own a t-shirt business via Shopify dropshipping, a logo is a necessity regardless of the size of your company. It’s the key element of visual branding that leaves an impression and sets a business apart from its competitors. The brand’s identity is communicated through a logo, conveying a purpose to the audience.

But that doesn’t mean that logos have to be complex. A logo might be a minimalistic letterform, a bright emblem, or just a few abstract lines that can make a brand instantly recognizable. The different types of logos are as diverse as the brands they represent.

If you’re in the process of creating your logo, in this article, you’ll learn about 10 different logo types, get inspired by some examples, and find useful tips on how to choose your logo design.

How to choose your logo design

If you’re about to start your business, coming up with a logo should be at the beginning of your to-do list. A well-crafted, memorable, and prominent logo will successfully impact your brand’s recognition. But how do you achieve that? Start with a simple brainstorming.

  • Understand your brand’s purpose. A logo should reflect your brand’s core values. A purposeful message behind a brand can increase its credibility.

  • Define your communication style. Consider what feeling you want to convey. To effectively communicate brand values, choose a style of how you want to be perceived. Elegant, fun, professional, or perhaps approachable and inclusive?

  • Choose colors. Logo design doesn’t need a lot of colors, but even if it’s just one, it’s powerful enough to impact the brand’s perception. Research color psychology to make an appropriate choice.

  • Decide on the logo style. Various logo styles can accentuate your visual branding. Whether it’s an abstract logo, combination logo, or any other type of logo, you want to choose one that’s most suitable for your business and its industry.

To make things easier, let us introduce you to the 10 of the most popular logo styles, highlighting their distinctive features and usage across various industries.

1. Wordmark

Wordmark logos are one of the most commonly used logo types. These logos consist solely of text that’s most commonly a company’s full brand name. Because wordmark logos don’t contain any graphic patterns, the text alone must make it unique and recognizable.

Logo types like wordmarks suit companies with short, distinct, or memorable names. However, for this type of logo, the design mainly relies on the text font, so it should capture the essence of the business. 

To make an effective wordmark logo, select or design a font that aligns with the brand personality while also setting it apart from competitors. It should have its unique identity, avoiding any resemblance to existing wordmark logos. For example, the brand PRADA, which has this type of logo, specifically designed a custom font. Now, the logo of the stylized wording “PRADA” is protected by trademark law because it’s a valuable part of the brand’s visual representation. 

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2. Lettermark

A lettermark logo differs from a wordmark logo as the design consists only of the company’s initials or an acronym. In most cases, it’s the abbreviation of the company name.

These types of logos are especially common within industries where companies have lengthy and complex names. For example, the media and entertainment industry have many companies using lettermark logos. 

It’s less likely you’ll hear anyone say, “I watched it on Cable New Network,” or “I bought this shirt at Hennes & Mauritz,” when the abbreviated versions are more widely recognized. Therefore, companies with a lettermark logo gain recognition by the abbreviated versions used in their logos. 

3. Monogram

Monogram logos are similar to lettermark logos. The only difference is that the brand’s initials are placed in a way that creates a decorative design. Usually, it’s achieved by overlapping two or more letters. It’s a clever way to make your logo unique and outstanding with something you already have—your company’s name.

Just like lettermark logos, a monogram is another logo style suitable for companies with lengthy names. Besides large companies and organizations, monogram logos are ideal for creating personal logos. If you offer services as an individual, like a photographer or an artist, this logo style is a prime choice for using your initials. You can create an impressive personal logo that will serve as a signature representing your brand.

If you’re considering starting a clothing brand, monogram logos are popular among fashion brands as they can be incorporated into the fabric pattern. It’s a sleek way to build brand recognition, making the apparel item recognizable without mentioning the brand name. 

a blue and white shirt

Source: GUCCI

4. Letterform

A letterform logo uses only the first letter of the company’s name in its logo design, making it simple and minimalistic. However, businesses with letterform logos might have an additional wordmark logo using each of them in different contexts. 

These types of logos are common for popular online platforms and social media accounts as they ideally fit the frame for profile pictures, favicons, and app icons. 

It can be difficult for customers to memorize the name of your company from just one letter. If you have a new company and are trying to build strong brand recognition, a letterform type of logo might not be the best option. But if that’s not the case or you’re up for a challenge, make sure you use a unique background and text font to stand out from other letterform logos on the market.

5. Pictorial.

Unlike the previously discussed types of logos, pictorial marks, also known as symbol logos, represent the brand without relying on text. They are symbolic icons representing a real-life object that serves as a brand mark. Usually, logo symbols reflect the company’s function or the name of the company. For example, Domino’s Pizza has a logo symbol of a domino piece from the table game. But it’s not a strict rule. It’s possible to choose any symbol or icon to represent your company in a pictorial logo design.

Pictorial marks come with a lot of advantages. It’s another type of logo design suitable for use across digital platforms. They retain their clarity and can be easily recognized even when scaled down to smaller sizes like an app icon or favicon. Another advantage of a pictorial mark logo is that it doesn’t have a language barrier, offering to gain global recognition and brand association.

Building a brand association using a pictorial mark requires time and exposure. If you have a new company without a strong brand presence but wish to use a symbolic icon, consider combining it with one of the logo types that incorporates text. You’ll ensure that the symbolic icon is associated with your brand name and effectively communicate the meaning behind the symbol.

6. Mascot

Mascot logos are exactly what the name entails—a mascot in a company’s logo. But what exactly is a mascot? It’s an illustrated character that serves as the commercial face of the company.

You can use a mascot logo as a powerful tool to build brand recall and stand out with advertisement strategies. Mascots work for TV advertisements or other promotional purposes, like using an inflatable Michelin man outside a tire shop. It’s common for the mascot to use a catchphrase or slogan, like “It’s not easy being cheesy” from Cheetos or “A better way forward” from Michelin. When repeatedly used in commercials, these slogans and their mascots are another tool to build brand recognition.

If your company offers products that compete in dense market segments, such as food and beverages, a mascot logo is a superior way to stand out from the competitors and successfully advertise the brand. Mascot logos are also popular for colleges and sports teams because organizations like these often already have a mascot participating in their events. These logos are usually placed on college attire or sports team merchandise.

If you think a mascot logo is for your business, consider print-on-demand services to create merchandise featuring your mascot.

7. Emblem

An emblem logo design differs from other types of logos, as it’s enclosed within a badge or crest. This logo design usually incorporates elements commonly used in crests—a year number, initials, or the full name of the brand with some sort of symbolic imagery. 

Just like crests are often used to represent an organization, emblem logos share the same purpose. It’s another common logo type within universities and sports teams. A good emblem logo can be incorporated into flags, uniforms, and other items to create a traditional feel and represent the belonging to the organization.

You can find emblem logos in other industries as well. They’re frequently used by vehicle companies and are preferred by beer, coffee, and other brewing companies, evoking a sense of tradition and preserving the feel of the company’s history and heritage.

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8. Abstract

Abstract logos are a powerful tool to demonstrate creativity and make your brand’s logo stand out. They differ from pictorial mark logos as they don’t represent a specific and recognizable object but rather a combination of graphic patterns, abstract forms, shapes, and lines that resemble the brand’s identity. Take the Spotify logo—a bright green circle with three lines that resemble sound waves.

The right combination of shapes can create an abstract mark that can tell a message without using literal imagery or text. For example, abstract logo marks are popular in most car logos. Think Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Audi, and others. These car brands have used subtle geometrical shapes and collections of lines to create their brand mark that are now recognizable representations of the company.

Since abstract logos don’t represent an actual object, they offer the possibility of creating something unique. If you know the message you want to convey to your audience, experiment with abstract logos and ensure your logo is distinct and unlike any other. 

9. Dynamic

Dynamic logos or animated logos are unique in their ability to transform and adapt. Strong logos don’t have to be consistent and dynamic logos prove it with their versatility. Although the base of dynamic logos usually remains consistent, the logo design modifies and shifts shapes and colors to fit different conditions and times.  

A great example of animated logos is Google, which modifies its wordmark logo on national holidays, the world’s national days, and other events. Similarly, look at MTV’s logo. Although it’s considered a monogram logo, it also is an example of a dynamic logo with multiple creative versions of the original design adapting to the context in which it is used.

A dynamic type of logo is a top-notch choice for the creative industries. This logo type can be modified for specific events and holidays and for the website, app, or advertisements. You don’t have to start with a dynamic logo. Each primary logo design can be modified and become dynamic over time. 

10. Combination

Combination mark logos are any combination of 2 (or more) types of logos discussed here. 

Combination marks are one of the most commonly seen logo variations for various reasons. Companies with a combination mark can split up the text and imagery in different contexts for different purposes and be recognizable by each of them. 

The most common combination logos are those where a wordmark is combined with a pictorial mark. Whether food, beauty, fashion, or sports, combination logos are popular among all industries allowing you to use multiple tools to accurately communicate brand identity and get the company name out there.

Time to choose your logo design

After going over 10 of the most popular types of logos, you might have an idea of what to start with. If not, don’t worry! You can create logo variations and experiment with all of the logo styles to find your unique logo design.

Your first logo is not set in stone and can be changed and updated over time. Many big companies, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Apple have redesigned their primary logo multiple times to follow up with trends and reflect the internal changes of their business. Therefore, embrace this process of designing your logo, and let the adventure of your brand getting recognized begin!

 

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By Ketlina Sarkisjane  on Jan 29, 2024

Ketlina Sarkisjane 

Guest author

Ketlina is a freelance content writer. She's passionate about digital marketing and has experience working as a social media manager. In her free time, she enjoys going on long walks with her dog while listening to her favorite podcasts. 

Ketlina is a freelance content writer. She's passionate about digital marketing and has experience working as a social media manager. In her free time, she enjoys going on long walks with her dog while listening to her favorite podcasts.