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Logo Design NYC

6 types of logos

What Type of Logo is Best for My Brand?

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.

What are the types of logos?

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.

law firm logo design lettermark
logo design nyc wordmark

Workmark Logos (Logotypes)

Wordmark logos are similar to monogram logos. Both feature simple, font-based designs rather than graphics. And each one highlights the company’s name, with nothing more. However, with a wordmark logo design, the focus is on an actual word rather than individual letters or initials. That gives a bit more room for length and creativity.

The trick to getting wordmark logos just right is being very precise about font and color choices. They need to not only be visible and memorable, but also convey a certain type of personality.

diner logo design
logo design nyc brandmark

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.

logo design nyc combination mark

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.

Cosmetic Product Logo & Brand Design
logo design nyc emblem

Emblems (Crest Logos)

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.

Example of Mascot Logo by Logo Design NYC

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.

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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 design team 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!