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What are the 8 types of logos?

As a Graphic Designer specialising in brand design and development, I’ve created a lot of logos. And I’ve been increasingly aware of the logos surrounding me in my day-to-day life, even away from the desk. Look around you: there’s on your TV, on the coffee shop window, scattered along the train carriage, on your pencil, on your shoes – I guarantee there’s one on the phone/tablet/laptop you’re using to read this.

Every single one of the countless logos you encounter every day is a visual identifier -and if it’s a good one it will communicate something about the brand's personality and values to you, even subconsciously.

But who knew how many types of logos there were? Nine, the answer is nine.


1: Logotypes (otherwise known as wordmarks)

These are excellent for simplistic, elegant logos because they’re quite literally made of typography. The Coca-Cola logo is an excellent example of this; it takes a relatively intricate typeface and uses it as the brand identity.

2: Lettermarks (otherwise known as monogram logos)

A letter mark is, once again, a typographical logo that usually incorporates the brand's initials or abbreviations. Letterfmarks are excellent for a wide range of use because they can be easily scaled, they’re never particularly intricate so they remain identifiable, and they’re applicable everywhere. The punchy nature of the logo often requires a bold design, and companies often decide to have custom fonts created for this type of logo.

The BBC (which stands for British Broadcasting Corporation, I looked it up) is an excellent example of a letter mark. These types of logos are very popular amongst freelancers who trade under their own name or use their initials to create their brand title -often in an artistic or handwritten font.

3: Letterforms

Similar to logotypes, a letter form is even more simplistic; one letter logos. McDonalds is the example that immediately comes to mind. The Golden Arches are symbolic of the entire company and they used a single ‘M’ to do it.

They are often the result of already established brands re-designing their logos and are not always recommended for start-ups because it can be difficult to get people to remember who you are based on a letter alone.

4: Symbol Logos (sometimes known as Brand Marks)

Symbol logos are logos that, as the name suggests, rely on a certain symbol, rather than text to convey their identification. They are typically very literal, taking direction from the company name (Apple, for example). Some of the best (and biggest) logos in today’s media are symbols: Twitter, Apple, Instagram, Snapchat, etc, identify almost exclusively by their symbol logos.

5: Character Logos or Mascots

Now, you may be able to guess where this is going. Different from all previously mentioned logos, a mascot logo typically makes use of both text and an illustration of a mascot. In these cases, the mascots (not always portrayed as a logo) become the face of the company – things along the lines of KFC’s Colonel Sanders or Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger.

These types of logos typically work best for companies with target audiences consisting of children and are somewhat of a dying trend amongst adult-focussed audiences.

6: Abstract logo marks

Abstract logomarks are, arguable, a risky decision for a start-up business because there’s often no connection between the company name and icon, making them difficult to search for if you’ve only noticed them in passing. That’s not to say that they should be avoided; these logos often provide designers the freedom to leave the name behind and truly articulate other aspects of the company, like their goals and values – and the results can be terrific. Take Nike, for example, the logo was designed to accompany their slogan rather than their name, and it works fantastically.

These logos also have the benefit of being understood and recognised across any language, which makes them a solid choice for international companies. They simply require a strong brand design to push them.

7: Logo Badges (otherwise known as Emblems)

Logo Badges are typically quite intricate and almost exclusively symmetrical – whilst there’s technically no right or wrong type of logo for any industry, Logo Badges are particularly popular amongst alcoholic drinks, coffee shops, and university/sports teams. Starbucks is an excellent example of a modern Logo Badge.

Typically resembling crests, badges, or trophies, these are often very detailed, and thus, they’re not reliable for certain applications, such as small print, embroidering, or apps, so they’re often accompanied by a smaller, simpler sub-logo. The downside to Logo Badges is that they often look rather dated. However, the biggest advantage of this type of logo, is that, due to intricate details, you’re very unlikely to accidentally design something similar to another brand.

8: Combination Logos

Of course, there’s no rule that you have to stick to a single type of logo. A lot of designers dabble with various combinations of the types stated above, create interesting, mix-matched hybrids of logotypes to develop something that perfectly suits the client's brand – these are called combination logos.

If you happen to be looking for a logo design, I just so happen to be a logo designer – get in touch now: use the Contact Me form or email inksplotdesigns@gmail.com

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