types of logos

7 Types of Logos: How to Design A Logo For Your Business

The logo is a touchstone of the branding process. What seems to be a simple picture, becomes a strong identifier of a brand, and has its own impact on a viewer.

Logos help to:

  • Set the tone.
  • Evoke memories of interaction with a brand.
  • Hint on what to expect from a brand.
  • Get noticed and recognized.
  • Identify the brand.

‘I want a logo, but there are so many different types of logo design – how do I choose?’ Don’t worry, it’s a common question. The types of logos are chosen according to a list of factors, including the target audience, the emotion to convey, the name of a brand, and much more.

Before going to your designer, we encourage you to look through our 7 Types Of Logos guide and make some mental notes of what you think will be suitable for your brand: this will provide you a starting point for the design.

types of logo design

Who knows, maybe after reading this you’ll find some logo alternatives that you haven’t thought about!

Typography based logos. 

Based on the name of the brand.

1. Logotypes (a.k.a Word mark Logo) 

word mark logo examples
Word mark logos examples

As it’s understood from the name the Logotype or a Wordmark will consist of text only. Usually, it’s the company name.

Fun fact: Among all of the types of logos, this one can be found in 37% of the top 100 companies.

What business should consider using a wordmark logo, instead of all other types of logos?

  • A young business that wants to create buzz around their name. A great way to boost recognizability.
  • Businesses with catchy, creative names: a wordmark is a way to highlight it.
  • Businesses with short names.
  • Your name is a brand.

What to consider?

  • Make sure you use a suitable font. Since the attention is focused on the name of the brand, the only way for you to become noticeable and memorable is by choosing the font that reflects the essence of your brand.
  • Make sure your brand name is not too long.
  • Make sure the design of the logo reflects the identity of your business. For example: creating a wordmark for an elegant jewelry brand you don’t want to choose a big, bold, and chunky font.

2. Monogram logos (a.k.a Lettermark logos) 

letter mark logos examples
Letter mark logo examples

Lettermarks are logos that contain only a few letters – usually the initials of the brand name.  

What business should consider using a letter mark logo, instead of all other types of logos?

  • Business with a long name: people won’t likely remember long word combinations. Using an abbreviated logo helps in such cases. People will remember CNN, but not Cable News Network. 
  • Businesses with hard-to-pronounce names. 
  • Businesses with ethnic names, that are hard to memorize – if you’re planning on scaling and catering to global audiences.
  • A scalable business, that will need to often replicate a logo on branding materials. 

What to consider?

  • Make sure you use a suitable font. Since the attention is focused on the letters, the only way for you to become noticeable and memorable is choosing the font that reflects the essence of your brand.
  • Make sure it is scalable. Since you are using words – letters essentially – you want them to be readable, and scalable to different sizes.

Use brand books to present logo designs: uploading a logo is the only thing you need to create a professional brand guidelines doc. Try Gingersauce.

Symbols/imagery-based logos.

Based on the symbol or an association with a brand.

 3. Pictorial mark logos (a.k.a Logo Symbols) 

twitter logo
Pictorial logo example
shell logo
Pictorial logo example

Pictorial marks are graphic logos that are created around the first association with the name of a brand. Usually very simplified to be more memorable. 

What business should consider using a pictorial logo, instead of all other types of logos?

  • Businesses wanting to convey a certain emotion, idea, or even services through the very first impression on the client.
  • Businesses with long names.
  • Businesses with names that can be easily interpreted into a picture, for example, Apple.

What to consider?

  • Make sure you think in the long run. Remember that what you put on your logo will be tied to your brand in people’s minds. If you’re planning to scale in the future, don’t use anything very specific, like a pizza – for a pizza place that may become a restaurant later.
  • Make sure to choose the picture rationally: consider the impact on people, the emotion you want to convey, or the possibilities to play off of the image.

4. Abstract Mark Logos

pepsi logo
Abstract logo examples

One of the most creative logo design types. Abstract mark helps represent the business, but not in a literal way. A designer uses geometric shapes, forms, and other elements to symbolize the identity of a brand.

What business should consider using an abstract mark logo, instead of all other types of logos?

  • A company that has a few different specializations. All of the service areas can be incorporated in an abstract mark, creating a perfect representation of your business.
  • A business that wants to stand out. A well-designed abstract mark will be closely tied to your brand. Remember, almost 40% of brands use wordmarks. You can choose another way to be remembered. When you earn a name on the market, you will have a distinctive mark that nobody else has. 
  • A business that wants to evoke emotions, rather than thoughts.

What to consider?

  • Make sure all the elements of an abstract mark is well designed according to your brand’s identity. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated, you don’t want it to be misunderstood.
  • Make sure you created your brand identity and thought it through. Since it is highly based on emotions, you need to be sure which one you want to be representing.

5. Mascot logos

kfc logo
Mascot logo example
wendys logo
Mascot logo example

Mascot logos are the ones that include illustrated characters. They often represent a brand as a spokesperson, thus personalizing a brand, and allowing people to think of it as a human being.

What business should consider using a mascot logo, instead of all other types of logos?

  • Businesses that cater to families and children.
  • Businesses that want to establish close, friendly relationships with their customers.
  • Food, beverages, and sports are the industries you will see Mascot logos the most often.

What to consider?

  • Complicated and detailed designs might be difficult to use on small printed materials like business cards.
  • A mascot logo is not the right choice for a brand that wants to create a serious, credible, and authoritative position.

An interesting read for you:

How to design negative space logo: 26 examples for 26 letters.

How To Create An Alternative Logo: Examples And Use Cases

Logo Design History: Where Do Logos Come From?

Mixed logos.

Logos that incorporate 2 or more previously mentioned types.

6. Combination mark logo

combination logo
Combination mark logo examples

A combination mark is a type of logo design that includes a symbol or an icon, and a wordmark. Among all the types of logos, this one is the most versatile.

What business should consider using a combination mark logo, instead of all other types of logos?

  • A brand that needs a flexible logo, that can be used in different mediums: both elements, or just one of them.
  • A business that leans towards using imagery but wants to create a strong association with its name.

What to consider?

  • Try to stay clear of busy designs as they are hard to remember. Combination marks can become too complicated in a desire to fit in all the identity elements into one image.

In recent times, it is getting more likely to see brands using not one type of logos, but a combined one.

With the new social media introduction, and new mediums appearing it has become more important to have a flexible logo, that looks good everywhere.

Brands are more often using an Icon + a letter mark/word mark type of structure. It’s worth to mention that both elements are rarely seen together, but rather separately – each on its own place, on it’s own medium it’s more suitable for.

7. Emblem logos

emblem logos
Emblem logo examples

Technically speaking an emblem logo type is a text inside an image. The design takes its roots from family crests of the middle ages, and royal stamps of monarchs. 

What business should consider using an emblem logo, instead of all other types of logos?

Businesses that want to give off a serious, professional vibe.

  • Companies that want to ensure the audience that their brand dates back and knows what they are doing.
  • This type of logo is generally used within the education sphere, but not limited to it.

What to consider?

  • Make sure your emblem logo is scalable enough to be printed. Emblems tend to have a lot of details that can be easily lost.

Created a Logo? Make a Brand book off of it!

If you’re a designer working on logo prototypes for your client, what is the better way to present them than using brand books? You can efficiently create separate brand books for every prototype you made, and offer your client a ready brand instead of a simple logo option. All in minutes!

If you’re a business owner and just recently started indulging in branding: the logo is just a first step. When you have it, try generating a brand book from – it is everything you need to create one and stay true to your brand identity.

Gingersauce is a professional application for creating brand guidelines that combines smart automation and your creativity. It’s a professional tool – meaning, it won’t do a half-baked job, leaving you with a mediocre result. 

You can download a created brand book right away – it will only take a few minutes to do so!

Create My Brand Guidelines

The author

Josh Bloch
Josh Bloch

Josh is a multidisciplinary designer with over 20 years of experience in industrial design, exhibitions, branding, 2d and 3d animation, graphics for print and digital, illustration, and UX/UI for mobile and desktop apps.

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