Maybe you’re on your way to creating or reinventing your own company and you hear the word “logo” around every corner. What are the different types of logo? What does it really mean? What is a logo? Which one to choose for your company? What are the pros and cons of each logo?
In this article, we explain all the types of logos that exist in the world with their names, provide examples and give you some useful tips to decide if they are a good choice for you.
What is a “Logo”
A logo can be an image, a text, a shape, an abstract form or a combination of these, which is used to represent a company. It is a mark, which can be placed on a variety of products, business cards, stationery, and help the user identify the company. Not least, one of the most important functions is to provoke a certain emotion and analogy in the user.
Let’s now look at the different types of logo design one by one and talk about their characteristics, their proper use and give you examples:
Types of Logo: Monogram / Letter mark
A monogram logo, also called a lettermark, is a letter or combination of letters, usually the initials of the company. The most common use is when the company name is too long, and they choose to be represented by the initials only.
- Simplify complicated/long names.
- Adapt better to different spacing and sizes
- Easier to remember than a symbol, for example
- Are easy to reproduce in different media, which is good for new and developing businesses.
- May not be readable
- May look like many others
Types of Logos: Word Mark / Logo
A wordmark logo (or logotype) is similar to a lettermark logo, but this time the full company name is included. It is a typography-based logo and is mainly used by companies with unique names. The brand name itself forms an image, using a unique typography (fonts and letterforms).
- Easy to remember the brand name
- Easy to use
- Will need fewer variations and changes over time, compared to other types of logo.
- Can look generic if not done well; Use unique fonts and colour scheme to differentiate them from the competition.
Types of Abstract Logos
Businesses prefer to use an abstract type of logo to capture the customer’s attention. The product or service is represented by a symbol or icon, which is easy to remember and visually pleasing to the eye. In short, it conveys a complicated concept by means of an interesting shape, an icon.
Most often they are made up of geometric shapes in different compositions and combinations.
- Can work well for large companies with numerous divisions, operating in more than one industry.
- Very effective for technology companies
- Difficult to design well
A pictorial logo is a stylised and simplified image, a drawing, that is immediately recognisable. The most famous examples are Apple’s apple image and Twitter’s bird logo. They are a popular type of logo because they communicate more about a brand than simple text or an abstract shape. They rely on the associations people make. Also, people have always preferred visuals and images, and they help us to remember them.
- Visually pleasing
- Can be very original
- Symbolic and able to create a certain feeling in the viewer
- Highly imaginative, as it communicates a promise, an emotion or an offer you want to make
- Ideal for global business, as it does not force the user to read/pronounce strange names (wordmarks)
- Suitable for representing more than one product or service you offer
- Highly unique
- Can be simple, something that the emblem logo, for example, cannot offer
- Without a word mark, it can be difficult to recognise as a brand, if the brand is new – you need to advertise.
- If you are a barber, or cook, or hairdresser, etc., it is difficult to create such a logo, which tells the viewer what your trade is and also sets you apart from the rest
- Sometimes, it can be too abstract and ambiguous for specific professions, services and products.
Types of Logo: Mascot
The most prominent element of mascot type logos is the use of illustrations and characters.
They are vibrant, colourful, playful and friendly. Many children’s product companies and food businesses, sports teams use mascot logos, as they attract attention and are the most appealing of all types of logo.
Also, this type of logo helps the client to create a bond with your brand and relate to the animated character.
- Excellent at serving children and families.
- They are friendly, warm and put a smile on the users’ faces
- Seem more approachable, so are preferred by larger groups of people
- Difficult to appeal to companies and more corporate clients.
- Difficult to include in more exclusive and high-end products and services (as they are more affordable)
- Requires a good designer to create the illustration
- Over time, design adjustments are often needed to make the logo better fit the look and feel of the current audience.
Logo Types: Emblem
Emblems have a long history: families, castles and universities have been using emblems for a long time.
Thus, the emblem type of logo evokes a sense of reliability and a “here for good” attitude.
It carries a word, a symbol and a geometrical shape, solidity.
- Easily reproducible on badges, seals and crests.
- Ideal for more traditional businesses, universities, government agencies and other institutions
- If you want to establish your brand as a “classic”, a “special type”.
- Perfect also for beers and coffees
- It is very original and difficult to imitate to create something similar, therefore – difficult to confuse
- Most current trends lean towards simplicity and the principle of “less is more”; it is difficult not to overload an emblem logo, due to its many elements/parts.
- Not suitable for all types of businesses/companies; limited to traditional brands.
Types of Logo: Combined Branding
This type of logo is a combination of pictorial marks and word marks.
Elements can be placed side by side, on top of each other, or integrated.
- You can use this type of logo to separate yourself from the competition.
- It enhances the changes to be remembered: you offer the viewer both image and text to remember.
- It is perfect for newer companies, who have not yet established themselves in the market.
- Once established as a company, people can recognise you by either symbol
- Preferred by manufacturers this type of logo stands out on the shelves of products in shops
- Now there are 2 elements to design to work together simultaneously.
- Sometimes it can be difficult to place them in different media.
- Sometimes the company has to decide which of the two (image or text) to place on products, marketing materials, etc., which can lead to confusion.
This is one of the most modern types of logo, as it is characterised by movement, animation and changes of form depending on the context in which it is placed.
- Many innovative and fast-paced companies use this type of logo to project agility, movement, constant change and evolution.
- Helps the user navigate the changing environment and situations (festivals, forums, events)
- Offers diversity
- Fresh, different and moving, always captures the viewer’s attention
- Often preferred by innovative and large companies with many divisions and different services/products
- It is difficult to achieve consistency in the different variations.
- More difficult to communicate a clear message (what does the logo change tell us?)
- It is difficult to create a complex symbol, with different shapes, that is recognisable as a whole and by its separate parts.
Logo Types: Word Outlines
The contour word logo type is very similar to the word mark logo: it again includes the company name, but this time an interesting shape is included along with the typeface. This gives the company the opportunity to include more colour. In addition, companies can express friendliness and approachability by including rounded shapes in the design. If a rectangle is used, in the language of shapes, this translates into stability, reliability.
- Communicate even more to the user, by including shapes in the design.
- Appear less strict and dry, more accessible.
- Many household brands have this type of logo, which expresses availability, affordability and convenience.
- Can be difficult to compose and place on different media, due to the extra space they take up
- Can be difficult to create a good contrast between shapes and letters, if they are not well designed.
Logo Types: Slime
This type of logo is characterised by a cartoonish style, splashes, dots and drip effects. They are relatively new, time-wise. Rather than using a more conventional typeface and symbols, these logos have more slime-inspired elements and a more organic feel. In short, they’re playful and fun.
- Very attractive for children’s products and services
- Fresh and the market is not yet so saturated with this kind of logos.
- Not suitable for more corporate companies, so its use is more limited.
- If not done well, it can be difficult to read, remember and recall.
What kind of logo is right for you?
We hope that this article has given you an idea of the types of logo of a company that exist and that you can make a more informed choice for your brand. Creating a logo can be an easy task but it can also be a difficult one, so it’s best to let an expert take care of it. Here’s a short checklist that you can go through in minutes to help you decide what kind of logo is right for you:
Do you have a more traditional or more innovative business
Consider an emblem versus an abstract type of logo, a dynamic logo.
Are you a cheerful, family-oriented brand or a more serious, corporate brand?
In this case, a mascot logo, a slime logo or a word mark would be best suited to you.
Are you new to the market, or have you established your name to some extent?
You may want to try a mascot, a combined brand logo, a word mark, or a dynamic, abstract or pictorial logo.
Is your company name short or long?
Consider a choice between a word mark, an outlined word logo or a monogram/trademark.