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8 Types of Logo Design and How to Use Them

May 19, 2020

Plus Determining Which One Fits your Brand


Everyone knows what a logo is; the golden arches, the brown truck, we all associate those with brands. We recognize whole businesses, platforms, and services with one word, symbol, or combination of the two. A logo is a powerful thing because it communicates so much, and the more you grow your brand and increase awareness the more recognizable it becomes. Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, Starbucks, they all have “iconic” logos that most everyone knows (especially Coke, which is literally one of the few brands that has almost complete global recognition). But when you’re just starting out, or your business needs little TLC and you want to change things up, how do you know which type of logo design or designs are the best for you? The choice can make or break a brand image and how fast people know about your brand. 



Example: USPS, HBO, NASA

For all your font lovers or typography enthusiasts, lettermark or monogram logos are 100% words only. So whatever is used here is important because it’s the only thing representing your brand besides the abbreviation of the name, so the feel of the font will translate the feel of the brand. 

Monogram/lettermark logos are usually simple and to the point, so this is a great option for new or young businesses because they’re easy to remember and to produce. It’s also an efficient way to create a brand identity if you have a long name or a name that is more catchy if abbreviated. Whenever making a monogram or lettermark, sometimes cadence plays a role in how well people remember your brand, so keep that in mind.



Example: Google, New York Times, Coca-Cola, LBMG 

Similar to a typographic logo, wordmark logo designs can have some fun graphic or design aspect attached to the name itself. If you’re a business that wants the focus of your business on your logo to be the brand name alone, wordmark is your gal. Good for brands with one or two word unique names, like lettermark, the type of font and the design will communicate the feel of the brand since this is a typography only logo. 

You’ll find these logos amongst established and iconic brands, like New York Times or Coca-Cola. Current popular brands with wordmark type trademarks are ones that have unique and memorable names that end up being the icon of the brand itself, like Google. If you have a name that is one or two words long and catchy, a wordmark logo can be a great option for you.



Example: Twitter, Instagram, Apple 

Since there is no typography or words used in this type to identify your brand, recognition of the logo and what it stands for is key. That said, it can be a pretty risky move for new businesses to deploy this type of logo, because people might look at it, not know what it stands for, and disregard it completely. 

Apple or Twitter are big examples of this, and don’t need their brand name in their logo for people to recognize who they are. It’s very useful for more well known brands and businesses to use if they want to revamp their branding or image. 



Example: Chanel, Air BnB (logo icon + the name)

What this is, is a combination of a pictorial/image and the name of the brand. Logo designs that are combinations are great for any business who wants to start a connection off the bat with their brand and a pictorial, abstract, or mascot image.

This can look different for every business that decides to use it; brand name and graphic can be integrated into one another, they can be side by side, or stacked. The main emphasis is to start having your audience associate your logo with the colors and font to the specific graphic so at any time down the road if need be, you can simplify your branding and have it be recognized by just the image alone, becoming a brand mark. 



Example: Pillsbury, Green Giant

We’re all familiar here with what a mascot is, especially if you went to any highschool football game. An animal or fictional character that “is” the brand, they’re very universal and can be used by anyone. But, mascots have shown to be more effective in specific markets, such as food, family, and children’s products. There’s a reason for having a cute, relatable character like the Pillsbury Doughboy or Tony the Tiger on food products marketed towards children and family environments, because they convey a friendly, wholesome, and sometimes trustworthy message to a potential consumer. 

So, if your brand is one that you’re specifically targeting that audience, it might be a great type of logo for you to use, or at least begin with. 



Example: Starbucks, College Seal, Harley Davidson

With their text inside of a shape or form, emblems are useful if you’re a school, private high end industry, or trying to convey a feeling of classic timelessness. However, because of the amount of attention that has to go into the design and detail, because sometimes the emblem logo can become very intricate, it doesn’t lend itself well to being resized and produced on anything other than a flat surface. Some brands have taken the emblem idea and created their logo to have a more modern feel to it, such as Starbucks, which are slightly more lenient to being reproduced on products.



Example: Facebook “F,” McDonalds “M”

Letterforms have to give your consumer a big sense of your brand, and the design of the logo itself needs to be especially memorable. Iconic logo designs like the McDonald’s M/Golden Arch are easily recognizable, and the great thing about this one as well is that you can put it on almost anything you want. 

Note that it must be legible, and if this is the logo you’re going for off the bat, make sure to find a graphic designer that will make something iconic for your brand. This type of logo might work better for an already established brand or business, that the letter and font are synonymous with so when someone sees it, they know what it is – like the Facebook lowercase “F.”


Bonus: Dynamic 

Example: Different Disney logos

Dynamic logos are amazing because they can be changed and still, if done right, hold their meaning and brand message. This type of logo lends itself to be changed for different scenarios or products, but be careful when changing it because it could separate or confuse a consumer if it changes too drastically. The core of the logo should still be recognizable, and relate back to your business.  

A good logo design can make a brand, and a bad one can keep you from getting the recognition you want. For some, the logo is so iconic, that it’s one of the biggest factors that play into whether or not consumers purchase an item (hello, luxury designer products, anyone)? With a good logo and branding, and used strategically in your marketing, consumers can become familiar with what it means, not only as a business title, but what it means to them. We love to help businesses with branding, so if you’re a personal brand, a new business, or just want to give your brand a makeover, shoot us a DM or an email and we’d love to start dreaming up your new or improved logo.

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