So you decided you want a new logo for your firm. But where do you go from there? Before you start thinking about colors and typefaces, let’s start with the fundamentals. In this post, I have outlined the 5 basic types of logos and included a visual guide you can download for your reference.
As indicated by the name, this type of logo features only text. However, that doesn’t make the word mark any less distinct. Oftentimes, a custom font is created or a visual element is integrated into the type to spell out the company name. On that note, it is also usually because the company name is so distinct and simple that stylizing the text is all that is needed to make the mark memorable.
Examples: Facebook, Pinterest.
Similar to word marks, lettermarks are only comprised of text as well. However, instead of the full company name, they feature the initials of the company. This type of logo is most suitable for long or complicated names because it makes them easier to remember. It also makes them more flexible for use across all of the different mediums that will feature your logo, such as the header of your website, or your business card.
Examples: NPR, HP.
The brand mark, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of the word mark and letter mark in that it only features an icon. This type of logo is generally reserved for larger companies who have become household names, at which point consumers don’t need to see the name of the company to know who the symbol refers to. The symbols are often abstract and metaphorical, speaking to a core value of the company. You know you’ve made it when your brand becomes “iconic”.
Examples: Apple, Nike.
With the emblem, the text goes inside the image, making it take on the look of a badge or seal. This mark makes your company name both visually memorable and more compact. However, at smaller sizes, the emblem can render the company name illegible, and it is not as flexible in terms of placement since you cannot separate the text and the image.
Examples: Starbucks, NFL.
Lastly, there is the combination mark. This is the most common type of logo because you can separate the icon and text, making it flexible enough to potentially be a brand mark, or it can be a letter mark on occasions where it doesn’t make sense to include the icon. It is also very popular because it is suitable for both larger and lesser-known companies, allowing their names to be displayed in a legible and visually interesting manner.
So there you have it. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different types of logos and you can move onto the next phase of your logo design process!