Different Types of Logos: Which Should You Use?
There are a lot of different types of logos, but is there a specific logo type you should use for your business? Let’s find out.
Image Source: Adobe Illustrator
Logos are an important part of a business. It plays a major role in a company’s overall branding efforts.
One doesn’t need to take online marketing courses to know how much of an impact a logo can bring. As a consumer, you know that logos act as a face for the brand.
In the morning, when we check our phones, we already see the logos of our favorite applications. When walking down the street, we see logos of various companies. Even as we boot up our computers, we are also presented with a ton of logos.
Given the importance of this small yet very big aspect of a business, have you decided on what type of logo you’re going for? What type of design are you going to use?
If you’re quite confused about creating your logo, this article would be of great help to you. You’ll know the different types of logos and the pros and cons of each one.
The Different Types of Logos
1. Lettermarks or Monograms
This type of logo allows you to reduce the name of your brand name to an acronym. This works well for businesses that have lengthy names.
A couple of famous examples would be NASA. The acronym on the logo stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Putting all of that in a logo is possible but it doesn’t have a cool ring to it like NASA.
Another one is a logo you see on the news channel every day. The CNN logo stands for Cable News Network.
Can you imagine putting all those long words in a single icon? The image would need to have bigger dimensions. And bigger icons will usually have a hard time fitting in small spaces.
If your business name falls under the category of being lengthy, you can go for this type of logo.
The next decision to make is the typography.
As you’ll notice from the examples below, these companies are using monograms but their font design is very different from one another.
When it comes to monogram logos, you need to have a design that’s eye-catching but not too complex.
You must make sure that your monogram is still readable. If it’s too hard to read, people will be quick to forget it and will ultimately affect your digital presence.
Here are few examples:
Victoria and Albert Museum – a museum located in the UK that displays art, design, and performance. A very classy logo design.
Deividas Bielskis – a professional graphic designer who specializes in logo and identity design. Who says that logos are only for companies?
The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company – famously known as 3M. Rather than putting that lengthy name on a logo, they strategically made it to a more memorable acronym.
Pros: It’s easy to remember. It doesn’t need complex designs. If your brand has several words to its name, this type of logo is a good solution for that.
Cons: If your business is just starting, you want your customers to know your business name. They might remember the logo but they’ll need your full business name when they search for you online. A way to counter this is to temporarily place the full business name under the logo.
2. Abstract Logos
Sometimes, this type of logo is the easiest way to be unique.
Most abstract logos is an image without clear letters or none at all. The image that you come up with in this category doesn’t need to mirror a real-life object.
An abstract logo can represent what the brand wants to achieve. But most of the time, it’s a completely random icon.
A good thing about abstract logos is that the logo alone can speak for the brand itself. If you see a checkmark on something or a swoosh logo, you know that’s Nike. If you see a circle icon with radio-like frequencies, you know that’s Spotify.
Rather than showing known brands as examples, let’s use different the lesser-known businesses:
Close – a Saas company that provides a variety of software for different teams in a company. They have collaboration software, predictive dialers, growth softwares, and many more.
If you look at their logo, it might seem odd at first but as you get to know what the business does, you’ll understand that it represents integration.
ClickUp – is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for any business. Notice how their logo is quite different from others. It’s minimalistic but also plays around with colors. What’s good about ClickUp is they matched the colors in their website to the logo.
Here are a few more examples of abstract logos:
Pros: You have more room to play around with your design until something sticks to you. Abstract logos tend to be remembered for the reason that it’s unique and it’s not an everyday sight.
Cons: If your business is new to the market, you’ll need to put some extra effort into letting your logo be known with your brand name. Before your logo can stand on its own, what you can do is to place your business name beside it for a couple of years.
3. Pictorial Marks or Brand Marks
Pictorial marks or brand marks are the types of logos that mirror a real-life object. These logos are simple but are very useful for growth hacking.
If used properly with branding strategies and excellent visual presentations, these logos can be very easy to remember.
Take a look at these famous brandmark logos:
I’m pretty sure that you know the businesses behind these logos. Brandmark logos are illustrations or graphic images that represent a company, product, or brand.
Sometimes, businesses use brandmark logos to show what their company does or what it represents.
So if you’ve determined those aspects of your company, you can have an idea of what your brand mark logo would look like.
One of the biggest things to consider when going with this type of logo is choosing the right image. The process of choosing a real-life object as a logo might look easy on paper but it’s harder than it looks.
Remember, your brand logo stays with you for a long time. You just can’t keep changing your logo every year.
Given the information stated above, do you follow the easy route like Apple’s logo? Or do you go deeper into your service like what Snapchat did with its ghost logo-following what it does in its app?
To give you some inspiration, here are some examples:
EcommerceCEO – a blog that teaches readers all things eCommerce. It has topics on how to sell on Amazon, the best eCommerce platforms, what to sell online, etc. Its logo mimics a shopping bag but is structured to follow the shape of the letter E.
Equity Bee – a company that enables startup builders, the employees, to obtain the capital needed to exercise their stock options.
Pros: If you haven’t created a business name yet and you’re thinking of a brand mark-type logo, you can go with a name that can easily be represented by a simple image. Think of Apple and Target.
Cons: Without a loyal following or enough exposure to your market, brandmark logos would be difficult to remember. Because as we mentioned earlier, these logos mimic real-life objects – so it’s nothing out of the ordinary. This logo only works well with heavy advertising campaigns.
4.Wordmarks or Logotypes
This type of logo is the most simple to make but can also be the best logo for content marketing purposes. Why? Because with a wordmark logo, you’re using your business name as the logo itself.
Think of eBay, Coca-Cola, Google, Visa, and Nescafe. This works well with business names that have a nice ring to them. A name that’s unique yet not hard to remember.
The main differentiator for this logo is typography. But the fonts and design here aren’t the average ones, it plays around with the feeling of what the brand wants to convey.
Since wordmark logos tend to be remembered the most because it uses its business name as a logo, small websites and online businesses have chosen this type to make branding easier.
Here are examples of them with their logos:
3Wishes – a sexy lingerie and costume store. Notice how its font gives out a sexy vibe to it.
Whit and Millie – a pet accessory store. Look at how they played with “&” to make it look like a paw.
Camabord – a foreign online store that sells dashcams. Check out how the business creatively inserted the camera on its logo.
VPNOverview – a website that doesn’t sell any service but rather serves its readers by educating them on cybersecurity, online privacy, and internet freedom.
Look at how the website played with the color schemes. The term “overview” looks like it’s highlighted since it’s what they do – they summarize or talk about different VPNs and other topics that surround it.
Pros: This logo design is simple yet very powerful. This is an easy way to get your brand out there and be exposed to different audiences. Mix it with small details and color schemes, it will surely pop out and be attention-grabbing.
Cons: If not properly thought out, the logo may come out as lackluster. It can lack the impact for it to be remembered by people.
5. Emblem Logo
An emblem logo is a design where a font is inside a symbol or an icon. This is how old logos, badges, and seals were designed.
These types of logos have a traditional yet classy feel to them. That’s why schools and other organizations use these types of logos.
Take a look at Harvard’s logo:
Another famous brand that takes on the traditional design would be Harley-Davidson:
Pros: If your business manages to create a great emblem logo, then it’s already guaranteed that your logo will stand out. And what’s great with emblems is that it never goes out of style. It will always remain classy and a classic style logo.
Cons: Being a bulky logo, you would need bigger than usual space to place them. And if you’re planning to resize it smaller, it might just ruin the smaller design which can ruin the entire logo.
6. Mascot Logo
Rather than going for abstract designs or going simply with brand names, some businesses draw a person or non-human but have human-like features. The figure that they come up with becomes their mascot logo.
Look at how Michelin and Reddit used a mascot as their logo. It’s clear that it doesn’t mirror a person but it does have eyes, mouth, arms, and ears. The simple reason for that is to make people easily recognize it but it is still unique to their eyes.
Mascot logos aren’t just used for business with products and services, they are also widely used by sports teams.
Pros: A mascot logo is a good way to be remembered by your audience. Whenever they see that “face” they can instantly connect it with your brand. But only if you’ve done enough meaningful marketing.
Mascot logos are also good if your business is trying to cater to kids. You can see how cereal companies use animals as mascot logos to be easily remembered by kids.
Cons: A mascot logo isn’t viable for a business that wants to be professional and serious. These mascots are used to convey a fun feeling for its customers.
7. Combination Logos
The last among the logo types would be the one that combines 2 to 3 types of logo. These logos have their brand name plus another icon that also goes with them.
A prime example of this is again, Nike. If there’s a swoosh icon, then you can also expect the word Nike near it.
A combination of logos works well with businesses who are having a hard time thinking of one icon to make it a logo.
There are thousands of businesses who choose to go with this type because it works well for their marketing.
Not only are they exposing their brand icons but they’re also putting their name out there.
When you’ve done enough advertising throughout the years, you can now use the image only of your logo or just go with the brand name. Either way, there would be a good number of people who already recognize your brand.
Here are some examples of small-medium sized businesses that use a combination of logos:
Cou Cou – a children’s wear company located in Boston. Its logo uses an animal to attract kids and they also display their brand name.
Referral Rock – a customer referral software business. It used an abstract logo partnered with its company name. Notice how it didn’t go with only one color scheme.
Flippa – an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of digital assets and businesses. The platform also helps you determine the value of your online business. Again, to put more life to a logo, the company stuck with 2 colors.
Everytale – provides real-time access to recorded and live events across various fields of knowledge.
Glass Moon Media – a video production company that helps with the marketing efforts of businesses.
Pros: A great option for businesses that want an icon to represent their brand and their name to go with it.
Cons: Some businesses might overdo this type of logo. It would just make the overall image look noisy and not very appealing.
It’s no secret how important a logo is for a business. A well-designed logo can help in building brand identity, recognition, and customer trust.
If you have no prior experience in logo making, the best option is to hire an illustrator or graphic designer. Since a logo is very important to your brand, investing in professionals is a good idea.
Sometimes, a logo is enough to share who you are as a company. A single icon can tell what you do or what you serve as a business.
When creating a logo, remember to have fun, be creative and strategic all at the same time. This logo might seem small but it plays a big role in the overall sustainability of your company.