9 types of logos to inspire your next design (Examples Included)

Understand the different available logos types to create an effective logo. Read on to know how to create a successful logo for your business.

Logo design is an essential part of any branding strategy. A well-designed logo can help a company to create a solid and lasting impression on consumers. And to create an effective logo, it is essential to understand the different available logos types.

In this blog post, we will explore nine different types of logos that you can use to inspire your next design project. We will provide examples for each type of logo and discuss each design's benefits and drawbacks. This information will help you create a successful logo for your business or organization.

logos types
Photographer: Alexander Shatov

Why are logos important?

Companies use logos as symbols or designs to represent a company, product, or service. Logos are important because they can help to create an immediate and lasting impression on consumers. They can also help companies communicate their brand values and messages concisely and visually appealingly.

There are many different types of logos, each with advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the correct logo design for your company or organization is essential to create successful and impactful branding for your business.

Importance of Logo Designs

What are the different types of logo designs?

There are nine different types of logos: wordmark logo, lettermark logo, brand marks, combination marks, emblems, abstract logo marks, mascot logos, abstract mark logos, and dynamic mark logos.

Here are the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of each logo design to help you decide which type of logo to use for your project.

Combination logo

A combination mark is simply a type of wordmark logo and logomark combined into one symbol. For example, text and images or icons are combined to enhance the branding message and help clarify what a business is.

Photographer: Tim Mossholder

When do you use a combination logo?

A combination logo is an excellent choice for any business out there. It's versatile, usually highly unique, and the most popular choice of logo among prominent companies.

If you want to use a wordmark logo or logotype for your brand and add an icon or symbol (or both), a combination mark is a way to go.

Burger King is an example of a business that uses a combination mark. The company's logo consists of its wordmark with an icon (the king), showing everyone that Burger King is the king of all burgers.

Another example is Google and Pepsi, which uses combination mark type of logo design.

How to create a combination logo?

  1. Choose an icon and font that represent your business well but work well together too.
  2. Try various layouts – right, left, center, top, and bottom icons.
  3. The size of the icon and text should be well-balanced.
  4. Create something simple since there will already be a few elements on your logo to coordinate.

Monogram logos or lettermark

A monogram logo is a decorative design combining one letter to three letters (traditionally three) to create a single symbol. Therefore, companies use monograms to represent a person's or company's name initials.

Logo designers may use the letters in this logo style combined with imagery to further illustrate the brand's concept. In addition, it allows the owner to send a message about their style.

monogram logos types
Photographer: Rubaitul Azad

When to use monogram logos or lettermark logos?

Monogram logos work well in global markets and are a smart choice for companies with a long or difficult-to-pronounce business name. They're also easy to remember.

For example, everyone knows LV stands for Louis Vuitton, and although it's a French name and not everyone speaks French, it's memorable.

Home Box Office (HBO) and Chanel are companies that use monogram logos.

How to create a monogram or lettermark logos?

  1. Find a distinct typeface. This type of logo design requires attentiveness to the logo font you choose. Monograms are all about the letters, so finding a typeface that reflects your brand's personality and target audience is critical.
  2. Mix it up with a character feature. With a two or three-letter monogram, you can play with the idea of a character feature. Take one of the most iconic logos of all time: the McDonald's logo. The letter "M" was taken to new heights by designer Jim Schindler with the famous "Golden Arches." Reminiscent of its world-class fries, the Golden Arches is a creative take on a standalone letter "M."
  3. Choose the color wisely. Less is more when it comes to the creation of monograms. Limit the number of color combinations and use no more than two to make the letters of your monogram stand firm.
  4. Experiment with shape and layout. The most common is a horizontal layout with overlapping letters, falling into a traditional rectangle shape. Luxury fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent strayed away from this by arranging the initials "YSL" overlapped in a vertical orientation.

Wordmarks or logotypes

It's a type of logo design that includes only the company name. It has no symbol, mascot, or badge. Wordmark logos are also called "logotypes." And can consist of monogram logo variations for smaller spaces like social media profiles and favicons. Because of the simplicity of these logos, typography and spacing are extra important.

wordmark logos
Photographer: Marjan Blan | @marjanblan

When to use wordmark logos or logotypes?

  • You have a short, distinctive business name.
  • You're planning to use your logo across many different mediums or on top of images and diverse backgrounds. A wordmark logo is more accessible to integrate across multiple platforms because you don't have to worry about the legibility of a symbol or the space it takes up. You don't have to worry about various variations with the wordmark logo.
  • You want to use a bright, distinctive color or typeface in your logo. A strong wordmark doesn't need other elements competing with it or taking away from its impact.

Examples of famous wordmark logo designs include Google, Coca-Cola, and Calvin Klein. In these cases, the words have become the visual landmark of the company name and have given them brand recognition.

How to create a wordmark or logotype?

  • Choose a font that represents your company well and is easy to read. Because logo creators build wordmarks using only letters, choosing a typeface that communicates your brand personality is critical. As Michael Evamy writes in his book Logo, "Words carry meaning; typefaces convey character."
  • Use a character feature. Sometimes the only thing standing between a "regular" typeface and an eye-catching one is a single character that looks different from the rest.
  • Communicate with color. When text is the main attraction in a logo, color is a great way to differentiate your brand and draw the eye.
  • Get detailed with spacing and letter casing. If you're designing a wordmark logo, it's time to get extra picky about kerning, which is the spacing between each letter in your logo.
  • Play with shapes. Although LinkedIn is a one-word company name, the logo puts a blue box around the "in" to make it visually distinctive. Adding the "in" in the LinkedIn logo suggests the "in" feeling of having connections in your industry.

Brandmark/logo symbol/pictorial mark logo

A pictorial mark (called a brand mark or logo symbol) is an icon or graphic-based logo. It's probably the image that comes to mind when you think of "logo." An example of brandmark is the iconic Apple logo, the Twitter bird, and the Target bullseye.

Pictorial marks comprise everything from line art to detailed drawings that uses actual imagery as an identifier for a brand instead of the wordmark or symbol. They often take the status of iconic logos such as Apple that showcases an image to make a quicker connection with the audience due to an already recognizable image.

Photographer: Sumudu Mohottige

When to use brandmark/logo symbol/pictorial logo?

It is often the best way to design a strong, exciting logo. Logo designers can easily make brandmark or pictorial symbols eye-catching and engaging, allowing for an intriguing representation of the business.

For example, companies like Ralph Lauren Polo have iconic logos on every garment in the clothing industry. Apple, Android, and Windows also have pictorial stamps that are instantly recognizable.

Still, other companies, like Nike in sportswear and Mercedes in the automotive market, have iconic symbols that give their brand recognition.

Twitter is another example of a company's name using a brandmark logo design.

How to create a brandmark/logo symbol/pictorial mark logo?

  • Choose a pictorial mark that narrates a unique story. Or tell a story with a pictorial mark and repeat it until a time people start to develop an association with your brand and recall the story.
  • When crafting a pictorial logo, try to gain perspective from multiple aspects and look beyond the social and cultural context. Brands that wish to establish their presence internationally can avoid confusing or offending their overseas audience. Before expanding their brand to new cultures, they must ensure the pictorial mark is not mistaken for something else.
  • One pictorial logo should present a manageable number of ideas. Try to avoid combining symbols results in overload and possibly give conflicting opinions. An iconic logo with a unified message has a better chance of clicking with a larger audience.

Mascot logo

The mascot logo is often exaggerated, like caricatures. They use simple shapes to convey the personality of the brand or team. But mascot logos are still logos. They need to be legible, simplified, and unique. They may need to include the entire team or the company's name within the logo.

kfc logo design
Photographer: Rubaitul Azad

When to use mascot logos?

Mascot logos are ideal for companies targeting families or children. Sports teams can also use them to communicate their fun-loving, spirited personalities.

Mascot logos are often seen in food brands, making products appear more approachable and kid-friendly. Kool-Aid Man, Mr. Clean, Chester Cheetah, and Geico are all examples of mascot logos.

How to create a mascot logo?

  • Choose a mascot that represents your company well.
  • Design the mascot in a unique way that reflects your brand identity.
  • Ensure that the connection between the mascot and your company is straightforward.

Pictorial marks (or logo symbols)

Pictorial marks are the opposite of wordmarks. While word marks consist of words, pictorial marks are symbols without words.

Most easily-recognized pictorial mark logo symbols started in a "lockup" with a wordmark company name. Over time, the logo became associated with the brand through repeated exposure.

When to use pictorial logos?

A pictorial mark is an excellent choice if you want your logo to be easily recognizable. In addition, you can use pictorial marks to communicate what your company does without using words.

The famous Nike Swoosh and Apple logo designs are examples of pictorial marks that have become synonymous with the brands they represent.

How to create a pictorial mark?

When designing a pictorial logo, your only job is to choose the right image to represent your brand. Select a continuous image in one shape created with an outline rather than disparate elements.

It's also a good idea to use a graphic that does not require different colors to be understood for situations where the logo must be rendered in only one shade.

Speaking of shadows, before choosing a color for your pictorial logo, survey other brands to ensure that your preferred tone has yet to be made famous elsewhere.

Emblem logo

An emblem logo consists of a font inside a symbol or an icon; think badges, seals, and crests. These logos have a traditional appearance that can make a striking impact and are often used in business cards. Thus they are often the go-to choice for many schools, organizations, or government agencies.

classic emblem logo of Mercedes-Benz
Photographer: Tommy

When to use emblem logos?

  • When you want to link your company or industry to its historical roots, you can use an emblem logo.
  • Convey a sense of established authority with an emblem logo e.g. police badges.
  • Add a distinguished and intellectual flavor to your brand with an emblem logo.
  • Make your consumers feel like they're connected to a specific community of like-minded people.

Harvard University, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and Harley Davidson's emblems are all excellent examples of this style.

How to create an emblem logo?

  • Pick the right container shape. The all-encompassing body you fit your emblem logo design into is what holds it all together. Therefore, the container is just as important as the design itself.
  • Avoid adding a slogan. When adding words or slogans to emblem logos, less is more. Space is at a premium within those container walls. Those little extras that appear on many symbols, such as "year established", often shrink to oblivion when the logo is scaled down.
  • Consider your colors carefully. While bold, high-drama colors are great for grabbing extra eyeballs, you rarely see them used in emblem logos. Subtle color schemes with muted or neutral tones better suit the timeless sophistication of this logo style. Emblem logos also tend to be more intricate than most, so fewer shades mean less chance of information overload.
  • Remember your audience. You might have made the most beautiful emblem logo in the world, but if your design aligns differently with your brand or connects with your consumers, it will fade into the background.

Monogram/lettermark logo

Monogram logos are your brand's way of signing your brand. And like a signature, it guarantees that your business can make good on promises, provide products and services beyond expectations, and be accountable to the customers who have put their trust in you.

When to use monogram/letter mark logos?

Lettermark logos are the best choice if your brand name is long and contains more than two words. A lettermark logo minimizes the length by using the initials of each word and creating a group. In some cases, the letters will sound like a word. NASA is an excellent example.

Well-known examples of this type of logo include ESPN, Louis Vuitton, Coca-Cola, and Procter & Gamble.

How to create a monogram/letter mark logo?

  1. Type your letter. Pick a typeface and in a drawing program, type your letter and then convert it to a path. Select its counter (the hole) and delete it.
  2. Make (or find) a simple graphic that illustrates the product or services of your company.
  3. Position your silhouette to replace the missing counter. Note that although the graphic is larger than the counter, the letter retains its original character.

Abstract mark logos

Abstract mark logo expresses multiple concepts and feelings in a single symbol, making them a popular choice for brands with much to say. These logos can include line-drawn symbols, shapes, patterns, or illustrations that communicate a brand's message using non-literal imagery.

Photographer: Bastian Riccardi

When to use abstract logos?

Abstract logos are suitable for businesses that:

  • Need a universal symbol between different diversities and cultures
  • Have a unique and compelling brand story and identity
  • Foresee that their business direction may change in a favorable path
  • Anticipate that their business model will be transitioning soon

Nike Swoosh, Adidas, and Twitter are some of the most well-known examples of the abstract logo style.

How to create an abstract logo?

  1. Do your research. Since your brand image represents your business ideas or some bits of it, you should consider going for a logo design that responds to the aspects of your business and delivers the notion of connectedness to the audience.
  2. Adapt a versatile Design. Although abstract logo designs don't ask for much, it's necessary to cover its overall features. Ensure that your logo is adaptable across various media platforms and has a voice that communicates across multiple themes.
  3. Coloring the logo abstract. Once you've come up with a final design, the fun yet challenging part comes next. When using a logo maker, your chosen colors should encapsulate the ideas and messages you want your audience to perceive.

What are the things to consider when choosing a logo design?

When choosing a logo design, there are a few things you should consider:

  • What does your brand stand for?
  • How will your logo be used?
  • What is your brand's personality?
  • How long do you want your logo to last?
  • What feeling do you want your logo to evoke?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What message do you want your logo to communicate?

Your logo is integral to your brand identity, so choosing the suitable logo design for your brand is essential. Consider your brand's personality, your target audience, and how your logo will be used when selecting a logo type.

Things to Consider in Creating a Logo

What are the things to consider when defining your brand?

Before you start thinking about your logo, you must consider your branding. Your logo represents your brand, so it's essential to have a clear and strong brand identity.

To do this, you need to consider what your brand stands for and what message you want to communicate. You also need to think about your target audience and what type of business you are. All of these factors will help you choose the right logo type for your brand.

Some things to consider when defining your brand:

  • What are your core values?
  • How will your logo be used?
  • What is your mission statement?
  • What are your unique selling points?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your brand personality?
  • Which feeling do you want your brand to evoke?
  • What message do you want your brand to communicate?

Your brand identity is essential, so take the time to define it before considering your logo. Consider your core values, mission statement, and unique selling points when determining your brand. These factors will help you choose the right logo type for your business.

Why hiring a brand strategist is essential?

Brand strategists can help you define your brand and choose the right type of logo for your business. They will consider your core values, mission statement, target audience, and brand personality when helping you choose a logo design.

Brand strategists will also think about how your logo will be used and what message you want to communicate. Hiring a brand strategist is a good idea to create a solid and cohesive brand identity.

Photographer: John Schnobrich

Where do I find a brand strategist and a logo designer?

There are many places to find brand strategists and logo designers. You can search online or ask for recommendations from friends or family. Once you've found a few designers, you can read reviews and check out their portfolios to see if they're a good fit for your brand.

Design Match is an excellent place to find brand strategists and logo designers. We offer a free consultation so you can get to know us and see if we're a good fit for your brand. We'll help you define your brand and choose the right logo type for your business. Contact us today to get started.

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