A logo is an organic part of your brand identity. It’s the first thing your potential customers see when making acquaintance with your brand.
If it’s doing its job correctly, your logo will create positive associations between your company and target audience, in the form of a visual cue.
Though they’re all a combination of typography and images, each type of logo gives your brand a different feel. And since the logo is the first thing new customers will see, you want to make sure you get it right.
From this article, you’ll learn about 7 types of logos used by modern companies. Plus, we’ve created beautiful examples to help you visualize each type.
Even the name has that impressive, traditional feel. An emblem logo consists of a font inside a symbol or an icon. Stamps, coats of arms, and similar designs all fall into the category of emblems. Emblems are often used by schools, universities, social organizations, and state agencies. An intricate emblem design won’t be easy to replicate across all branding. For business cards, a busy emblem may shrink so small before it becomes too difficult to read. Also, if you plan on embroidering this type of logo on hats or shirts, then you’ll really have to create a design that is on the simple side or it just won’t be possible.
These types of logos consist of letters, usually brand initials. IBM, CNN, HP, HBO… Noticing a pattern, yes? They’re the initialisms of a few famous businesses with rather lengthy names. With 2 or 3 words to remember, they’ve each turned to use their initials for brand-identification purposes. The letter mark is all about simplicity. By utilizing just a few letters letter mark logos are effective at streamlining any company brand if they have a long name. Also, they’re to the point: Lettermarks turn your lengthy business name into an identifiable brand identity. It’s relatively easy to get this logo up and running, so monograms could be a great option if you’re a new/small business who needs to get their name out there.
When it comes to abstract designs, the only limit is your imagination! Like a brand mark logo, an abstract logo consists of just a symbol – but one that is tailor-made for you. This type of image doesn’t necessarily mimic an object that exists in real life; rather, it’s a unique logo that’s designed to express something specific about your brand. This makes the Abstract logo unique in all categories. The biggest names that use abstract designs include Adidas and Pepsi. Like all logo symbols, abstract marks work really well because they condense your brand into a single image. However, instead of being restricted to a picture of something recognizable, abstract logos allow you to create something truly unique to represent your brand.
Brand marks – or pictorial marks – are logos that are made up of a graphic symbol or icon, one that (usually) represents a real-world object. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Twitter? A bluebird, obviously. As for Apple, the IT giant is known for its bitten apple. The logos of these brands have become standalone symbols that allow us to identify the brand by only looking at its corporate sign. Tread cautiously if you’re a new business or don’t yet have many followers. While a brand mark is often the hallmark of companies that could be considered iconic, you need to first be established enough to be recognized. Otherwise, your logo may not communicate enough about you to your audience, and they’ll lose interest in your brand.
The name is pretty self-explanatory, but combination logos incorporate – combine – both images and words into their design. Taking the best of the two worlds, a combination mark is the most popular type of corporate design. Because a name is associated with the image, a combination mark is a versatile choice, with both the text and icon or mascot working together to reinforce your brand. The combination also allows for easy rebranding – your company name, for example, combined with an image (abstract or otherwise) will be associated as one, so that eventually your customers will only see the symbol and still immediately think of your brand. A combination mark brings together 2 powerful tools, a business name, and a graphic image. If you have enough artistic talents to craft a balanced combination of the two, your design will be easy to perceive and memorize.
Similar to a letter mark, a wordmark or logotype is a font-based logo that focuses on a business’s name alone. Think Visa and Coca-Cola. No one has to do any guessing when they see a wordmark – it’s quite clear what company the logo represents. Because the design is all in the lettering, logotypes are one of the most versatile logo options that are easily transferable onto any marketing material. Imagine Coca-Cola, its corporate image is literally bursting with positive vibes. There’s no better way to feel the upcoming holiday season than watching Coca-Cola’s iconic Christmas ad! The playful font goes well with the idea of cheer and celebration. Does your company name say anything about what you do? If you’re not well-known, or if your business is named after a person rather than a concept, it may be difficult to create the kind of brand recognition you’d want a logo to help foster.
Arguably the most family-friendly type of logo, mascots are images of a character or person that acts as a visual representation of your business. Colonel Harland Sanders, the owner of the American fast-food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, didn’t think twice before putting himself on his brand logo. An image like that immediately establishes an emotional bond with customers which explains the wild popularity of the KFC brand all over the world. If you own or manage a children’s café, entertainment center, or school sports team, prepare to explore the world of superheroes, animals, and fairy-tale characters. Find the mascot that communicates your brand message and makes your value proposition unique. Think of them as the ambassador for your business. Famous mascots include the Kool-Aid Man, KFC’s Colonel and Planter’s Mr. Peanut.
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