Updated: Aug 23
We are faced with different types of logo designs everyday. Look around you and you’ll find them on your television, your laptop, your bag, your coffee cup, even your watch. Some are more commanding as a logo and others are more subtle in design. There are seven types of logos that house them all. So, how do you know which design is right for your business?
1. Monogram Logos or Lettermarks
Let’s start with monogram logos, since that’s what I use for my own brand. A monogram or lettermark logo are those that rely solely on the initials or letterforms of the brand.
If your business has a long name but is more frequently referred to by its initials, then this may the logo style for you. Monogram logos are very common for banks or television networks.
Even if it doesn’t serve as your primary logo, having a monogram logo as a secondary logo in your brand system is a great way to give your brand versatility.
2. Wordmark Logos
Wordmarks are a very common logo design style. Fairly self-explanatory, wordmark logos are typography based and rely on the letterforms for their design.
While you may be inclined to think that this type of logo is an easy one to design, a great brand designer will make careful and deliberate choices when it comes to selecting the typography that best suits your brand.
Having a solid understanding of typography is key to an effective wordmark logo. You have serif fonts that are more traditional and formal, sans serif fonts that offer a clean, modern look, and script fonts that offer a more elegant touch. Your designer may even choose to design custom letters for your brand.
Beyond the typography selection there are careful choices made with regards to letter spacing, colour and whether the logo design will be upper case, lower case or sentence case.
Magazines, designer labels, and other name brands will frequently use wordmark logos. If you run a business where your name is the brand, a wordmark is generally the way to go.
3. Emblem Logos
Emblem logos can come in a few different forms but are characterized by being contained within a shape, crest, or badge design. Common emblem examples are university logo designs, fast food restaurants, and car companies.
Two of my own emblem logo designs showcase how different in style they can be. Vagabond University, while not a real university, the intention for the emblem style was to evoke as much. This emblem design showcases the name around the perimeter. In contrast, Restorative Touch Therapies uses a soft line weight with the name across the centre of the oval shape, offering a different approach to the same type of logo style.
Emblem logos are great for those companies who want to contain a lot of detail in their design but be mindful of where your logo will be used most often. If your logo will be used on a small scale more frequently than not, those details may get lost.
4. Mascot Logos
Mascot logos are a great way to add personality to your brand. They are often used by food brands and sports teams and are represented by an individual or anthropomorphized character. Think of kid-friendly cereal brands, fast food chains, and your favourite sports team.
Even some service companies use mascot logos as a means of creating a friendlier tone to their brand. With that being said, if you are aiming for a more serious or authoritative tone for your brand, a mascot logo is probably not the way to go.
5. Combination Marks
Combination mark logos pair a wordmark with an icon. This can be either alongside the wordmark or incorporated in the wordmark.
Combination marks are a great way to give your brand versatility because they can be used together or independently. Combination mark logos are popular for start-up companies because it allows them to promote their name while having a visual icon to build brand familiarity.
6. Pictorial Logos
Pictorial logos, or brandmarks, are simple icon designs that represent your brand. They are generally quite simple and iconic. Pictorial logos are common among tech companies. Think of where their logos are most often displayed: on your phone. They need to be easily identifiable and concise. An emblem logo, for this very reason, would not work successfully for a tech company.
In other instances, pictorial logos have often started as a combination mark but over time drop the need to showcase the name.
7. Abstract Logos
Not all that different from pictorial logos are abstract logos. These types of logos are not relying on a recognizable image or icon but are custom made designs that become iconic and synonymous with the brand they represent.
CHOOSING AMONG THE DIFFERENT LOGO DESIGN STYLES
Now that you know all of the different types of logos there are, which is the best design for your business? While you may be drawn to one type of logo design style, is it the right one for your brand?
Using what you now know of logo design styles, what they represent, where they’re best used and why — which serves your industry best? Be mindful of these aspects of your business when considering the best type of logo for your brand:
Where will your logo will be used most frequently?
What is the tone of your brand?
Is the name the focus of your brand?
Will your brand evolve and need to adapt?
It’s not a one size fits all answer. You will see each of the seven types of logos used across each industry. Some are timeless, some evolve and those with a strong brand identity will have a range of logo variations and brandmarks to suit different placements.
If you’re looking to invest in your brand, let’s chat! I help entrepreneurs and business owners craft brands they are proud of. Let’s start designing your brand identity today!