7 Types of Logos you should know about

Logos (or brandmarks)can be designed with an almost infinite variety of shapes and styles, each ofwhich will display a different set of characteristics and a differentpersonality for your brand. That said, the majority of logos can fit into oneor more of these seven logo design categories:


Wordmark logo example

A wordmark is typically a company name or acronym designed toexhibit a brand’s characteristics using only the letterforms of the chosenword. The best wordmarks are legible above all and incorporate distinctive fontcharacteristics to integrate personality and uniqueness. Wordmarks may alsoinclude pictorial or abstract elements within the words. Some wordmarks you mayrecognize are: Google, IBM, FedEx, and IKEA

Letterform Marks

Letterform logo example

Letterform marks are similar to wordmarks with the notabledifference being that they are made of a single letter rather than an entireword. The letter is a great choice as a stand-alone logo and is easily appliedto smaller uses like app icons. Letterform marks can sometimes be seen inconjunction with a wordmark. Some examples would be: Flipboard, Vanderbilt,Univision, High Line, Herman Miller, and Quest Diagnostics

Pictorial Marks

Pictorial logo example

Pictorial marks use a more literal image.. It could allude to thecompany’s name or backstory or a brand attribute. Generally, the best designersknow how to simplify and translate the image to create something recognizablewhile balancing light and shadow and positive and negative space. Some notableexamples are: NBC, Starbucks, Apple, Twitter, World Wildlife Foundation, andPBS.

Abstract Marks

Abstract Logo example

An abstract mark is just what it sounds like. It’s a mark thatuses abstract visual form to display a big idea or brand attribute. These typesof logos are great for large companies that have diverse and seeminglyunrelated divisions within itself. It’s also useful for technology companies orservice-based companies since it can be used to represent something intangible.Chase, Sprint, Nike, and HSBC are some examples of companies that sue abstractmarks.


Emblem Logo example

Emblems are typically logos that consist of a containing shape anda wordmark, letterform mark, or pictorial mark and sometimes frames, lineworkand other design elements meant to help create hierarchy within the shape. Theelements within emblems are never separated and because of this, emblems lookgreat on packaging, signage, and as patches on clothing. The downside of anemblem, however, is that it tends not to work well when it’s scaled down andused in settings like small device screens or social media profile pictures, and therefore presents a legibility challenge. Examples are: Harley Davidson,TOMS, Porsche, Stella Artois, and Starbucks’s previous version of their logo

Dynamic Marks

Dynamic Logo example

Dynamic marks challenge the idea of what a brandmark is.Historically companies have achieved brand equity through the reach andfrequency of a single icon like Apple’s trademark bitten apple or Nike’sswoosh. But as technology has evolved and changed to a more complex and digitalworld, so have brandmarks. Dynamic marks are logos that utilize strongrecognizable elements that change. Examples of this would be things likeGoogle’s doodles, MIT Media Lab, or IBM’s Smarter Planet.


Character logo example

A character trademark is perhaps the most lovable icon for a brandwhen it’s used in advertising and brought to life through motion. It’stypically an animal, person, or product that embodies brand attributes orvalues and displays a clear personality. The best characters can become culturalicons loved by customers and children alike. Many of them have not only aspecific appearance and personality, but also a recognizable voice or jingle aswell. These attributes are often used in television ads to bring the characterto life and give it the personality and voice that supports the brand so well.Some well-known examples would be: Uncle Sam, Aflac duck, Geico gecko, MickeyMouse for Walt Disney, Energizer bunny, etc.

So when you’re lookingto have a logo made for your business’s brand, think about what you’re tryingto accomplish and how you’d like to use the logo because that will inform theway the designs unfold. If you’re designing the logo, think about thesecategories through the lens of the company’s needs to see which attributes couldfit your client.

If you think you may need some help with your business’s visual branding, feel free to contact us for a consultation or free quote.

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