What are the Types of Logos?
Types of logos are the topic here…but follow me for a moment. Take a walk around New York City’s famous Central Park on a warm spring day and you might come across dozens of birdwatchers.
Study them for a few moments and you’ll notice that there are two amazing things going on. The first is that there are literally hundreds of different species of birds living in a relatively small, forested area that’s surrounded by one of the world’s most densely packed urban zones. The second is that they can pick out their favorites in seconds, even if they only see a quick flash or hear the lightest chirp.
Now…why bring any of this up on a website about custom logo design? It’s because there are some good parallels between ornithology and logo design. Just like birds, there are millions of logos out there. And, in the same way that people with binoculars can get excited about discovering their winged friends, our passion and knowledge for branding give us insights into the brands that we see in the wild.
Types of Logos and Which to Use For Your Brand
Knowing all about logo types and categories makes it easier for us to both create and evaluate. For instance, when a business owner or marketing executive tells us they want something bold, our minds can go to strong fonts and striking colors. When they speak of elegance, we might translate that into subtle gradients and classic hues.
You might not ever develop the skill, or need to. But as a client you should know a bit about the most prevalent types of logos and how they tend to be used. That way you can pick out your favorite styles, see what leading brands have used successfully, and think about your preferences in a more organized way. Also, it might mean that you’ll never look at another logo in quite the same way again.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the six common logo styles you’ll see in the wild world of business, along with what makes them so effective…
6 Types of Logos
A Field Guide (with examples)
Monogram Logos (Lettermarks)
This logotype is all about simple elegance. They are typically made by putting together one, two, or three simple letters or initials. Monogram logos work wonderfully when you have a famous business, or one that’s known by a short acronym (for example, think IBM or NYC).
It’s easy to overcomplicate custom logo design. The beautiful thing about a monogram logo is that its simplicity is its strength – they are memorable because they put the clear focus on the business name. They also tend to have a professional, understated look. That’s probably why they are so popular with law firms and other professional services companies.
A letter mark or monogram logo design is a typographic logo that uses initials or acronyms to represent the brand. The benefits of using a letter mark or monogram logo design include:
- Can create a strong visual identity with just a few letters
- Can be easily recognizable and memorable, especially for companies with long names
- Allows for versatility and flexibility in branding across different mediums and platforms
- Can convey a sense of professionalism and sophistication
- Provides an opportunity to highlight the company’s initials or acronym
- Can be easily scaled up or down without losing its clarity and legibility.
Workmark Logos (Logotypes)
A word mark logo is a type of logo that primarily consists of a stylized version of a company’s name or brand name. The primary benefit of using a word mark style logo is that it provides a clear and concise representation of the brand name, making it easier for customers to remember and recognize the brand.
Some other benefits of using a word mark style logo include:
- Versatility: Word mark logos can be easily adapted to fit a variety of design elements such as different colors, fonts, and backgrounds. This makes them highly versatile and easy to use across a wide range of branding materials.
- Timelessness: Depending on the font, word mark logos tend to have a classic and timeless look, which means they can withstand the test of time and remain relevant even after years of use.
- Clarity: By using a word mark style logo, businesses can clearly communicate their brand name to customers. This can be especially beneficial for new or lesser-known brands looking to build brand recognition.
- Simplicity: Since word mark logos are primarily focused on the brand name, they can help to reinforce the brand’s messaging and create a direct brand identity.
Overall, word mark logos are an excellent option for businesses looking to create a clear and concise representation of their brand name, reinforce their brand messaging, and create a versatile and timeless design that can be used across a variety of branding materials.
Pictorial Logos (Brand Mark)
Pictorial logos, also known as brandmarks, focus on the visual identity and image of the business. A logo of this type distills the public-facing personality of the company down to a simple – and hopefully instantly recognizable – point that will resonate with customers.
When they are done correctly, pictorial logos help a business associate itself with a certain type of product or service, while also conveying a certain tone (fun, upscale, industrial, etc.). That means it’s crucial that you and your logo design team are very deliberate about the image that is created and applied.
Abstract Logos (BRAND Mark)
Abstract logo designs, as their name suggests, utilize shapes and markings for a distinctive look. When done well, this type of logo can be very effective at drawing the eye and creating the right impression. The risk with this type of logo, however, is that it can easily become too busy or complicated.
For that reason, it’s important that you have a clear vision of your branding business before deciding on an abstract logo design. You also have to fight the impulse to keep adding elements that might detract from your brand identity.
Emblems (Crest Logos)
An emblem or crest style logo design is a graphic element that contains text, symbols, and images inside a shape or emblem. Emblem logos put distinctive fonts inside symbols or icons. The resulting effect is that they can look like badges, seals, or crests. In that way they emphasize traditional periods, which can create a sense of history or credibility – perfect for businesses that want to create (or lean on) the notion of legacy.
The appeal of an emblem logo is clear: the intricate designs can be visually striking. They also give the subtle impression of history and trustworthiness. However, these logos can sometimes be difficult to implement on business cards, website designs, and other marketing pieces if it’s hard to see your print at smaller sizes.
Here are some benefits of using an emblem or crest style logo design:
- Classic and traditional look: Emblem or crest logos typically have a classic and traditional look, which can be appealing to brands that want to convey a sense of history or longevity.
- Strong brand recognition: These logos often incorporate elements such as symbols or crests, which can help to establish strong brand recognition and make the logo easily identifiable.
- Versatile: Emblem or crest logos can be used in a variety of contexts, such as on merchandise, signage, or packaging. They can also be easily adapted to different sizes and formats.
- Professional appearance: Because of their traditional and classic look, emblem or crest logos can give a brand a professional and sophisticated appearance.
- Can convey a sense of authority: The use of symbols and crests in an emblem or crest logo can also convey a sense of authority or prestige, making them a good choice for businesses that want to project a sense of expertise or exclusivity.
Mascot Logos (Characters)
This type of logo is all about using an illustrated character to stand in for your brand identity. In some cases, the character might be based off a real person. Usually, though, they tend to be cartoons or exaggerations – similar to the mascots you would see at a sporting event.
Mascot logotypes can be highly effective if the character catches on and becomes recognizable to the buying public. However, the illustrations need to be original, memorable, and drawn in a way that will age well over time.
Here are some benefits of using a mascot or character style logo design:
- Memorable and fun: Mascots and characters are often memorable and fun, making them more likely to stick in the minds of consumers.
- Emotional connection: They can create an emotional connection with consumers by representing the brand in a relatable or likable way.
- Versatile: Mascots and characters can be used across a wide range of marketing materials and mediums, including merchandise and social media, making them a versatile branding asset.
- Personality: Mascots and characters can add personality to a brand, making it more relatable and engaging to consumers.
- Storytelling: Mascots and characters can tell a story about the brand or its products, helping to communicate the brand’s values and messaging in a creative way.
- Differentiation: A mascot or character can set a brand apart from its competitors, helping it to stand out in a crowded market.
How Do You Choose the Right Type of logo for Your Business?
Now that you know a bit about the six different types of logos you might encounter in the wild, the big question becomes: how do you choose the one that’s right for your business?
Simply asking this question puts you a step ahead of your competitors. It’s unfortunate, but many entrepreneurs and marketers choose a brand identity without giving any real thought to vision or strategy. They simply pick a design that appeals to them on that day. Even worse, they work with logo designers who don’t know anything about their businesses, or the logotypes themselves, and end up wasting time or money.
The fact of the matter is that no perfect logotype, font, or color is right for every company. That’s why we work with our clients to get the facts before we start to draw any logo designs.
You should work with a custom logo designer who does the same.
What are different types of logo design attributes to consider?
- What kinds of logos are prevalent in your industry? Do you want to follow convention or buck the trend?
- What is your company’s marketing personality like? Are you trying to project fun and excitement, safety and stability, prestige and service, or something else?
- Why do people work with you? Is it because of your history and reputation? Your value and service? Something else?
- And finally, is there anything distinctive about your business or name that absolutely has to come through in the logo?
Thinking through these sorts of issues will likely lead you in the right direction. And of course, your custom logo design partner should help you find the answers you need as you move through the design process.
What’s important is that you make these decisions with the right context and intention. In other words, that you know about the different types of logos and evaluate designs with a thought toward where they will lead your business in the future.
Hopefully, our field guide to the major logotypes – including the differences and best uses for each one – can help you find the right identity for your business. But if you are serious about taking the next step forward with your business, get help from the best logo designers in NYC today.
It only takes a moment to get started with your online questionnaire, so let’s begin on your new logo design now!