11 Types of Logos and How to Use Them
We see different types of logos everywhere. When We see them, We think that they are merely a symbol. But that’s not the case. Logos are more complex and meaningful than you may realize. Humans are visual creatures. They have a remarkable ability to remember images and symbols. And this is the reason why brands pay thousands of dollars to get a well-designed yet simple logo that gets recognized quickly and remembered for long.
But developing this simple logo isn’t that simple, after all. The designer has to understand the proposed brand identity and brand positioning before deciding which of the ten logotypes suits the brand best. We have created a list of 11 types of logos. Each type has a special significance. Let’s know about them one-by-one.
Wordmark or Logotype
A Wordmark (or logotype) is a simple text/font-based logo that focuses on the brand’s full name. It’s basically a typographic logo that uses a unique font or style to write the brand name without any significant graphics, meaning, or symbolic intervention.
Wordmark uses fonts that are slightly modified for design purposes. It can further be classified into simple wordmark (Google’s logo) and handmade wordmark (Disney’s logo).
When To Use A Wordmark?
Wordmark is a good option if you happen to have a short name – with 3 syllables or less. It’s not suggested to go for wordmark if you have long names like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) or Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW).
However, you can go for wordmark if your brand name is a frequently used word or something that can be easily remembered. A good example would be Coca-Cola. Even though the name has more than three syllables, it’s not hard to remember the name.
Lettermark or Monogram Logos
Lettermarks or monograms are logos that consist of only letters or brand initials. Usually, companies use the initials of their big brand names to design the logo and make it easier for their target market to recognize their brand.
Take IBM (International Business Machines), for example. If the brand used wordmark for its logo, it would have been hard for it to build the brand image it has right now.
Now, if you choose a lettermark as your logo, make sure you or your designer have a good knowledge of typography and fonts. Also, ensure your logo is legible when published online or offline.
When to use lettermark
Consider a lettermark logo if your business happens to have a long name. Condensing the business name into initials will help simplify your design and likewise, customers will have an easier time recalling your business and your logo.
Pictorial/Brand Mark or Logo Symbols
A pictorial mark is an icon, symbol, or graphic-based logo used to represent a brand. It’s usually the image that comes to your mind when you talk about the brand. Examples include the blue-bird for twitter, bitten apple for Apple, and mermaid for Starbucks, etc.
A significant advantage of choosing a pictorial mark as your logo is that it can be highly imaginative — it can be derived from your brand name (Target), your brand promise (Adidas), what your offering is known for (Snapchat), or what emotion do you want to evoke in your target audience (WWF).
When To Use Pictorial Mark
Using logo symbols is totally up to your discretion and there’s no strict rule when to use them. You can opt for a pictorial mark if –
- You do business globally
- You operate in more than niche
- You want to create a completely unique image for your brand
However, we suggest you write your brand name below your logo if you’re new to the industry or market, and not everyone recognizes it.
An abstract mark logo falls under the pictorial logo symbols. But unlike recognizable images like an apple or a bird, it includes the use of geometric or totally abstract design or a symbol to represent the brand. Pepsi, Adidas, and BP are known for their abstract logos.
When To Use Abstract Marks
An abstract mark is usually preferred when you operate in more than one industry and want to create a totally unique identity for your brand.
As the name suggests, mascot logos, unlike symbols, include illustrated or anthropomorphized characters. They are often vibrant, cartoonish, and fun. If you want to create something unique to represent your brand, mascot logos are the best bet.
A mascot works like an ambassador of your brand. Food brands, service companies, and sports team are great consumers of these logotypes. The purpose of such brandmarks is to get familiarized with the audience.
When To Use A Mascot?
Mascots are a good option when you want to cater and appeal to families and children. Mascots offer an image that can be relied on and is an easy way to go on with holistic marketing strategies.
A combination mark is the fusion of a pictorial mark and a wordmark. The picture and text can be laid out side-by-side, stacked on top of each other, or integrated together to create an image. Some well-known combination mark logos include Doritos, Burger King, and Lacoste.
When To Use A Combination Mark
It’s your choice if you want to use a combination mark or just a pictorial mark for your logo. However, we suggest you use this type of logo when –
- Your company is new.
- You’re using an abstract mark logo
- Your pictorial mark logo can be mistaken for another brand.
Emblems, often used by universities and schools, are among the oldest logos known. These include adding a brand name (and sometimes a slogan) inside a symbol or an icon, think badges, seals, and crests. These logos tend to have a traditional appearance about them that can make a striking impact, thus they are often the go-to choice for many schools, organizations or government agencies. The auto industry is also very fond of emblem logos.
When To Use An Emblem
An emblem is a good option if you want to set your brand identity as a classic or a traditional brand with a stronghold on the niche it is in. Some industries which see the use of emblems as logos are universities, schools, beers, coffee, etc.
Contoured words are brand names within geometric shapes. These logos make use of the psychology of shapes to set a brand identity for themselves. Examples of brands using contoured words as their logos are Samsung, Denny’s, Ikea, IMDB, and BBC, etc.
When To Use Contoured Words
Contoured words are a good alternative to wordmarks or logotypes as they bring in the benefits of shapes as well. Circles represent completeness, love, eternity, etc. while four-sided structures depict trust, stability, and uniformity.
Slime logos are new-age brandmarks. Unlike the ones mentioned earlier, these types of logos have a cartoonish context. It means that instead of having a standard typeface or symbol, it has slime-inspired elements.
When To Use Slime logos
If your brand is into kids’ interest or serves playful purposes, choosing a slime logo is the best idea.
Dynamic logo or Adaptable logo
A dynamic logo is among the new types of logos, which changes according to the context it is placed in.
Mit Media Labs logo(s) falls under this category. The company has over 40,000 variations of its logo, which are used separately according to the context they are placed in.
When To Use Dynamic Logo
You can use a dynamic logo if you want to play on the unicity and are financially capable to trademark all your variations.
These types of logos are the minimalistic versions of monogram logos. They are also known as letter logos. To get into notice, these brandmarks need to be bold as well as beautiful. Since, it’s challenging to think of just one letter as a representative of your brand, hire a professional graphic designer to get things right.