Looking for a logo for your business? Before taking a decision, it’s a good idea to document, look at the existing logo types, and think about what kind of logo suits /fits your company. And because nowadays it’s not enough to have only one logo, I’ve also written about the variations of a logo and why it’s so necessary now.
In this article we will discuss about six types of logo. Factors such as your business, the competition in your niche or the image that you want your business to have on the market will influence the way the logo should look.
For the best results, it is advisable to consult a graphic designer to share your ideas with and discuss how you want the company’s image to be present on the market. The designer will be able to synthesize the ideas and history of the company, document the target audience and the field in which you work.
Rules for getting a great logo
Regardless of the type of logo you want, there are a few basic rules that must be respected to prevent certain problems in the production environment when we start using the logo in the company’s business:
- The logo must be vector so it can be scalable without losing quality.
- It must be legible regardless of whether it is printed on a business card or on a billboard. Particular attention to detail, such as fine lines that still need to be visible if the logo is used at a smaller size, but it retains its quality if it is printed in large size.
- Make sure the logo looks just as good when it’s placed on different color backgrounds.
So let’s talk about the logo types, namely the six of which we will discuss more: lettermark, wordmark, submark, brandmark, combination marks and emblem.
What types of logos are there?
The logo consisting of a few letters, most of the times the company’s initials, is called a lettermark type logo. It is often used to simplify the company’s too complicated or long name.
The company’s letters are the foundation of this logo. Shape, proportions and colors will determine the impact on the brand. Make sure your logo fits your company and is qualitative – it has to be used in any environment – digital and print – so look carefully at font thickness, distance between letters, colours, etc., before you buy a logo.
If your business is just starting out or only now you understand how important a logo is for your company and you want one, you should add the company name right next to the abbreviation or acronyms, so people can make a link between the lettermark and your company. In time, after you have consolidated your image on the market, you can quit adding the company’s full name and you can start using only the lettermark logo.
It is the most used logo type. What is it? It’s just the name of the company. Why did I say it is the most used? This type of logo makes you aware of the name of the company at first sight. Perfect for a start-up or business that still strives to make a reputation.
It works best if the company has a short and attractive name.
Even if you might think it’s easy to conceive, a logo designer knows it’s not that way. The shape, proportion (kerning, tracking), style and colors must match the company’s values and domain. This type of logo needs to be built with great care, especially if the firm’s niche, scope of business or activities do not come to mind from reading the business name.
Considering that it is often a type of logo used by companies at the beginning of the road we have to think about the future of the company. Suddenly the attributes and the way a wordmark logo is built becomes very important. It can pave the way in which it can be modified in the future, when the company will need a more complex branding project.
Note: to be fair, you should tackle the whole branding subject and the brand identity right from the start;
Maybe you did not know it was called Submark but you see it daily. Icons or app icons like Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Google +, Youtbe, etc. are submarks. Therefor a sub mark is a sign derived from the company logo.
They consist of a letter or a few letters in a form and most often used when you have a longer logo that you want to shorten in one graphic element. You might need to use your logo as a favicon for the site, social media profiles or icons for various – for example, for application icons where space does not allow for a large logo.
Some companies have submarks for each of their services. This method assigns a different symbol to each service, but keeps an image of the consistent brand. The most known example is GOOGLE – you can look at the Google +, Google maps, Google search and so on.
What does the brandmark include? When you hear the brandmark term you can already think of symbols, pictures and icons that varies from a minimalist design to a more complex design.
Does your company match this type of logo? You will find out immediately.
Images can do a better job in expressing an idea or value you want to stand out for, idea that will successfully represent your business.
Most of the time it’s used when the brand is already known and the audience does not require a text confirmation to know that the product or service is part of that brand.
- Pictorial brandmarks are representative icons or icons in which there are forms recognized by everyone as objects or animals.
With the help of a logo of this type you can understand through an image in any country and going over the language barriers. You may see this as an advantage, but if you are a start-up or a company that has not yet made its brand known, a brandmark is just a picture without text from which the public does not understand what the company is doing or what you can offer.
Their style can vary greatly.
Examples include logos such as: Redbull, Pringles, Apple.
You see them quite often and you understand now what they are. Brands such as Renault, Nike, Adidas or Pepsi use the most abstract logos. Their logos are recognizable because these companies have invested heavily in branding, but if you did not know about these companies and saw their logos for the first time, you did not understand what they were doing.
If you have not consolidated your brand identity yet, this type of logo is not reliable for your company. Only an abstract and minimalist sign at first glance will certainly have another meaning from person to person and none will think directly about your business.
- Mascots is the type of logo which embodies a mascot, a lustrous character, representative of your company. When designing or choosing a mascot logo, there must be a balance between a friendly design and professional design. It differs from other types of logos because this type of logo makes more appeal to people’s emotions.
Establishing an emotional relationship with your clients may be what differentiates you from the competition and you can have mascots at your stand or in your physical store sustaining all the work your company is doing.
You can choose a mascot logo when you want to attract children, families and you want your brand to be known as a friendly and fun one. Fields such as catering, restaurants, food, beverages, services for children such as private kindergartens, children’s stores, and so on, you got the idea. If you are a start-up it is still advisable to have the company name below the mascot until the mascot only will be recognizable and linked to the company.
Below, you see the example of Michelin. The mascot is called Bibendum, or Bib for short, and is the face of the MICHELIN brand since 1898. A great example of using a mascot in order to consolidate your brand and products in the customer’s eye.
We refer here to combinations of the types of logos reviewed above. You can opt for a combination like a brandmark and a wordmark or lettermark and you can have your company name along with a symbolic representation. It is the most used type of logo because you present your company beliefs, the field of activity and the name of the company.
Because it is quite complex in its initial form and difficult to use in all environments, you can use variations of it. If you’re working with a graphic designer it is recommended to specify that you want variations as well.
When it comes to variations, this type of logo is very versatile. It can also represent the company by using the graphic symbol or company name separately and still maintaining the brand’s consistency. For example – if you need to use the logo as a favicon for your website then you use the graphic representation. For example, Sinners Projects or Dove.
As the name calls it this type of logo is an emblem.
Emblems are probably the oldest forms of logos ever since the Middle Ages, if not earlier. We can see emblems or crests on fortress or shield images.
This type of logo is much more visually overburdened because the name of the brand is included in an emblem. While on combination marks you can separate for example the graphic text element from wordmark, in this case you don’t have that option. It’s difficult to be used especially in smaller spaces – for example, if you want to use the favicon logo or the icon for an app.
Most of the time the emblem has a classic and traditional design. It inspires trust and authority, probably because that in most cases emblems are used by state departments, schools or universities. There are also brands like Alfa Romeo or Burger King who use emblems.
Conclusion – Types of logos
Now that you’ve seen some types of logos you can start analyzing what kind of logo you think fits your company. However, it is recommended to contact a graphic designer – a logo designer – for your company to have a logo properly crafted for your brand.
We recommend that if you have a start-up or if you just started to invest in your company’s branding to choose a logo that displays the company name and a representative symbol. The graphic symbol is an option, depending on the niche or the imagine that you want the company to display on the market.
The chosen logo and its variations aim to strengthen and impose a consistent and attractive image of your brand and to prepare the ground for the company’s evolution as a brand in the eyes of your clients and partners.
Beyond the rules that apply in the process of creating a logo, details and execution rules, a company must choose the type of logo that matches it’s vision and values.