Having sound knowledge of the different types of logos helps you choose the ideal one for your brand. It helps you avoid making the wrong judgement, which will completely ruin your brand identity.
Your logo should represent your purpose and give customers an idea of what your company stands for. Don't select a design just because you like the concept of it. The logo type should reflect your brand voice in every way and help establish strong brand recognition.
In this article, we will take a look at the 7 different types of logos along with their pros and cons so that you can make the right decision when creating a logo design for your business.
What are the 7 types of logo designs?
Logos fall into 7 categories: Emblems, pictorial marks, wordmarks, lettermarks, abstract logos, mascot logos, and combination logos. Let’s learn more about them!
1. Emblem logos
Emblems have existed since forever. An emblem is a logotype that consists of a text, symbol or image inside a geometric shape. This logo type has the power to give your brand a traditional feel. Unlike other types of logos, they are often richer in detail which gives your brand a sophisticated look.
They are found on seals, stamps, crests, government agencies and prestigious school logos. DC’s Superman, Stella Artois beer and Harley Davidson’s Bar and Shield are examples of emblem logos that are recognized worldwide
Your brand will surely stand the test of time if you come up with a good emblem logo. Besides that, the chance of finding another brand with a logo similar to yours is notably smaller. Emblem logos are memorable, professional, and give a powerful feel to your brand.
Scalability is probably the only disadvantage of having an emblem logo, one of the least scalable of all 7 types. With so much detail in the logo, the design may not be legible or clear when placed on small objects.
2. Pictorial mark logos
Pictorial mark or brand mark logos are created when images are reduced to their most symbolic meaning without having any text. This type of logo should be extremely representative and contain elements that make your audience associate it with your brand.
If you’ve just started your business and are considering this logo type, go for it! However, bear in mind that for a while, you may have to use a wordmark associated with the symbol until people get acquainted with the name of your business.
For instance, when Starbucks just started out they had two different types of logos. After the company became established on the market, the logo was changed from an emblem to a symbol.
You can easily establish brand identity through a simple image or symbol. This is a great choice when you want to convey a meaningful idea through a symbol without expressing it in words. For example, the name of Apple is also its symbol. This works perfectly because the name is literally drawn from the brand mark.
If your business is still new and you haven’t managed to form a solid base with a stable target audience yet, it’s better to start with a logo that includes your brand name as well. You can adapt a pictorial mark logo later down the line. For example, when Twitter and Target started out, their names were included on the logo. However, due to their current popularity, the pictorial aspect of the logo is sufficient to create brand recognition.
3. Logotypes or Wordmarks
This type of logo design is one of the most powerful of all the 7 types. Its definition is pretty simple because the logo is based entirely on the company’s name. You won’t find any symbols, graphic patterns, or emblems on a logotype design.
Since the main feature of this type of logo design is typography, it's best if you create a customized font unique to your logo. The font's style and color will create a whole new identity for your brand. As a result, you’ll be able to build brand recognition simply through you brand name. You’ll also help people make the connection between the logo and the brand in an instant. Isn’t that remarkable?
This simple yet effective way will get your brand’s name out there. You can mix it with other elements and create different types of logo variations once you have established the font and logo style. It also helps new businesses gain faster recognition.
This type of logo design won’t work if your brand has a long name. Additionally, with time you have to change the fonts to keep up with the latest font design trends.
4. Lettermark logos
Lettermarks are a cool way to reduce your brand’s name to an acronym. Just take the initials from each word of your brand name, and there you go! You’ve got yourself a logo! The only part left is the typography. Since the letter mark logo design uses only a few letters, you’ll have to come up with an eye-catching, unique font for your brand.
For example, Home Box Office, more commonly known as HBO boldly uses the lettermark logo with the letter “O” that resembles a camera lens. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration displays their name NASA in a futuristic font that reflects the work they do.
If your company name consists of many words, this logo type is a life saver, especially if you want to go for a professional look by avoiding visual symbols.
This may not be a great choice for new brands looking to establish brand awareness. Your audience will not know what the acronym stands for and may easily forget your brand. However, there is a solution to this. In the early stages, you can use your lettermark logo along with the full name placed underneath.
5. Abstract logos
This type of logo is the visual representation of a feeling you want your brand to evoke. These images are completely abstract and do not definitely resemble any object. When you’re new to the market, it can be a bit risky to use this logo type because not everyone will interpret an abstract image in the same way. However, with a good strategy behind it, your unique brand logo will separate you from all the competitors out there.
You’ll be able to create something unique and instantly recognizable on the market. Abstract logos are also versatile and can be used across all advertising campaigns and branded merchandise.
If your company is new to the market, you may have to put extra effort into helping your audience understand your logo. Even if the design conveys the specific feeling you’re striving for, it may be difficult for your audience to interpret it. Therefore, it is advisable to add your brand name to the logo as well, until your company's reach is satisfactory.
A popular example of this logo type is Nike’s abstract logo with the famous swoosh, which works on its own because of the brand's popularity. However, you can still see the brand name along with the logo at times. Airbnb and Pepsi, are also popular abstract logos.
6. Mascot logo
A mascot logo consists of a drawing of a person or a non-human entity. They create a positive and friendly feeling towards your target audience. Depending on the message you’re trying to convey, you can use a mascot logo and give it different expressions and representations. This type of logo is usually used for sports teams, food brands, or service companies.
If the target audience of your brand is families and children, then the mascot logo is a great way to establish a fun and friendly approach.
These logos are only suitable for certain brands that cater to families and have a fun, creative vibe. If your company is more of a serious establishment, this type of logo is extremely unsuitable.
7. Combination logo marks
This final logo type is a mixture of multiple different logo types. If you are unsure of which logo design you want to choose, why not combine some of them? You can place lettering near mascots, symbols and abstract forms, or you can create a fusion of a monogram and an abstract logo. Do whatever works for you!
Remember that it is part of your brand’s identity and just pay attention to the message you’re trying to send through your logo. If you want to include imagery in your logo but feel like words would help you convey your message better, then go for it. The best thing about this logotype is that once your brand is recognizable on the market, you can create logo variations and use them in multiple ways. Sometimes you can use just the text and at other times you can only use the imagery.
If you want your future logo to be adaptable to change, this is an excellent option.
This logo type does not work well if you are looking for a minimalist, clean look. At times it may seem like the design is too cluttered or crowded.
How to create a logo with Glorify
Now that you have all your logo options laid out, it's time to start designing your own. Glorify is the ideal tool to start your logo design journey. The process is simple and you have the freedom to choose from among thousands of templates. Here's how to do it:
Step 1: On your dashboard, click the Brand Kit on the right panel.
Step 2: Click the Logoflow icon.
Step 3: You have the option of starting from scratch or using a template.
Step 4: Use the filter to find the templates you're looking for. After selecting a template, you can customize it by changing the color, adding icons and more.
Step 5: Add a brand name and tagline.
Step 6: Download your design.
Your company's logo sets the foundation for a unique brand identity. When you start brainstorming for ideas consider your brand’s mission, vision and core values. After all, this is the one icon that people will notice and relate to your brand.
Based on the 7 types of logos listed in this article, design multiple options. Then show them to a couple of people, and see how they respond. This should help you evaluate your design and impact.
Now that you know the entire process of logo creation, it's time to get started with Glorify.
7 Types of logo designs - FAQs
1. What are some of the most famous logos?
Starbucks, McDonald’s, Apple, Mercedes, Pepsi, Nike, and Coca-Cola are some of the most popular logos today.
2. How many logo variations should you have?
A professionally designed brand should have up to four logo variations. Each of these variations should be suitable for different print and digital use cases. One of these designs acts as your primary logo while the other three are complementary logos.
3. Can a company have 2 logos?
This is not advisable. Having multiple logos give off mixed messages and can weaken your marketing and branding efforts.
4. What are the 5 characteristics of a logo?
Your brand’s logo should always be simple, relevant, memorable, timeless and versatile.
5. What are the types of logos?
The 7 types of logo are emblem logos, pictorial mark logos, logotypes or wordmarks, lettermark logos, abstract logos, mascot logos and combination logo marks.