The 7 best types of logo design

4 min read • Felipe Alvarez

A logo is a symbol made with design and visual elements that represent a business. A well-designed logo must be easily identified and must represent what the company does. However, there are many types of logo design, here you'll find the top ones.

Types of logo design

1) Monogram

Monogram logos (also known as lettermarks) are those which only have letters. IMDB, BBC, TDP… these are the initials of different brands and are a perfect example of this type of logo design. This kind of logo allows brands to make people remember a bunch of words with just their initials. This is a great way of brand identification. Monogram logos are very simple, they can be very effective and are composed of 2-4 letters. But simple isn't really simple… Steve Jobs once said ”simple can be harder than complex.”. Being able to create a simple lettermark means having to precisely know which visual elements to use and how to use them, you cannot just use an initialism and type it in a boring Arial 11. Using unique fonts and colors will help your logo to stand out. Think about HBO… how much easier is it to say and remember these 3 letters against “Home Box Office”, very much, right?.

If your business has a long name, these might be the most suitable of all types of logo designs there are for you. Lettermarks allow customers to remember and recognize your brand easily. Monograms are also a good option to simplify your design and have the possibility of easily replicating it in any other marketing material such as websites, social media, business cards, or clothing.

2) Wordmark

These are also font-based logos. Instead of using only the initials, wordmarks (A.K.A logotypes) contain the entire name. Think about Google's logo, simple but creative. Logotypes are suitable for brands with catchy and original names such as Coca-Cola and Subway. A catchy name and a good typography and color design will lead to better brand recognition. The font you choose must capture the whole vibes and energy your business has. Let's take for example Kellogg's logo, seems like a handmade design, right? This gives homemade and natural vibes, ideal for a food company.

Logotypes might be useful for a small business that wants to get its name out there. Of course, your name has to be pretty short and simple, this will let you take advantage of this type of logo design perks. If your brand has an original name that is easy to remember a well-designed wordmark will be perfect for you, this will be really useful for brand recognition.

3) Abstract

These logos consist of an abstract geometric form that reduces a business to a simple image. This logo type allows you to represent what your company does symbolically and uniquely, like Nike, this swoosh represents movement and velocity. Abstract logos are a perfect way of cultivating emotions with the usage of design elements like color and shape. These logos are also more “universal”, instead, logo symbols are more cultural, Let's break this down with an example. An image of a cow in a logo might remind US citizens of a milk company, right? But in India, where the cow is a sacred animal, this logo will probably represent something completely different. It's important that whoever makes an abstract logo knows how to correctly use shape and color, if not, your logo will be a meaningless doodle.

Abstract logos are ideal for global commerce. This is because these logos do not contain any kind of typography so we will not need any kind of translation.

4) Logo symbols

These are icon-based logos. That blue little bird we know is an example of this type. A good logo symbol or pictorial mark will be constantly associated with its brand. Some examples are Apple, Twitter, and Instagram. These consist of just an image. When creating a pictorial mark we have to somehow transmit what our company does. Think about Snapchat. Its ghost symbol represents that the photos and videos we and with this app will disappear once it's seen by the user that received them. Or Wikipedia´s puzzle-globe logo with letters from different alphabets that, well… that one is pretty easy to interpret.

These logos are ideal for a graphical demonstration of what your company does, but be careful! The design can not be very specific. This means, for example, that when you start your food business, even though you only sell burgers, your logo can not be an image of a burger. Why? because your menu options can expand, and when you start selling sushi, pasta, and ice cream, your logo will not correctly represent your company's service.

5) Mascot

Mascot logos are those that have a drawn character. We all know the mythical Coronel Sanders of KFC. This looks like a charismatic, elegant, and fun old man, well… that's what mascot logos are all about: creating a character that represents what the company does in a wholesome and friendly way. This type of logo is really efficient for families and little kids. The only disadvantage of this type of logo is that it won't be able to replicate in many forms.

6) Emblem

Emblem logos are those that contain letters inside an icon. It's really common in college and sport club badges. Because of their traditional appearance, emblems might be associated with something more formal. However, modern companies like Starbucks, have found a way to modernize this classical design.

7) Combination

Combination logos are those composed of a lettermark or a wordmark combined with a mascot, abstract or pictorial logos. Think about Burger King, its logo is clearly a burger image where its patties, instead of being illustrated, are the words “Burger” and “King”. This is a versatile choice that can reinforce your brand recognition. The main disadvantage we can find is if the logo isn't correctly designed. This might lead to a big confusion.

Final thoughts

There are many types of logo design. There are 7 types we think are the most efficient, these are lettermarks, wordmarks, abstract, pictorial marks, mascots, emblems, and combinations. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day types of logo design aren't really important if the product is well designed.

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