Home » Logo Maker » Types of Logos
Regardless of how you design a logo, be it with a logo maker or a freelance designer, you should know which type of logo best fits your brand before you start the design process.
While a great logo combines many elements – font, images, color palette, etc.), these elements will only make a cohesive balance if you are clear about the type of logo you want to create.
There are two main logo categories: Image or icon-based logos and name-based logos. However, nine types of logos fit into these groups, and in this post, we will break them down for you.
Icon-based logos use images in order to send a message about the brand they’re representing. Let’s check out the 4 different types:
1. Brand Marks
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. We’re talking a logo icon that’s simple and straightforward, like the outline of a tree or a coffee mug. This object could tell the story of what your company does – think Youtube’s play button – or maybe play with your company name.
Advantages of a brand mark:
Brand marks are clean-cut and easy to remember. If you offer a specific service, an image representing that will send a quick, clear message to your audience.
Also, the simplicity of the design will translate well when resizing your logo across branding materials like business cards or letterheads.
When to use a brand mark:
Is there one thing your business does really, really well? The Twitter brand mark is well-suited because it’s a bird, which instantly reminds people that the company tweets. If your business already has some traction, and/or if you specialize in one product or one service that can easily be represented by an image, then a brand mark could be a great choice for you.
Or, if, like Apple, your business name represents a real-world object, then you could also use a brand mark of that same object.
What to consider before using a brand mark:
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.
Also, bear in mind that if you’re planning on expanding your product line to a few diverse objects, your logo may misrepresent what you do.
Inspiration: The Rolling Stones, Apple, Twitter, Target, Royal Dutch Shell
2. Abstract Logo Marks
Abstract logos are your conceptual, think-about-the-big-picture logos.
Like brand marks, 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.
Advantages of abstract logos:
There’s room to play with these designs, because you can create a logo that really communicates your values or something about your brand that you’d like to emphasize.
Because an abstract logo isn’t restricted to a real-world object or image, there’s a lot of wiggle room to say what you want about your company.
When to use an abstract logo:
If you’re a business that does several distinct things, a well-thought out abstract mark may be the perfect logo for you! Abstract designs are great for communicating brand values or something else that you want to distinguish about your business.
The Chase logo, for example, is able to represent forward motion, while simultaneously symbolizing the different parts of the bank itself.
You can also do well with a simple abstract logo if you’re planning on doing the bulk of your branding online, because simple designs will translate well regardless of the logo size.
What to consider before using an abstract logo:
You’ll want to make sure that you refine the logo design until you’re sure you’re conveying the intended message to the world. Attention to detail is crucial with abstract logo marks, and you don’t want your message to be misconstrued with a logo design that’s too vague or hard to understand. Notice how the Nike logo is easily recreatable from memory?
Also, a logo with excessive detail in the design may not look the way you want when printed at different resolutions; therefore, consult with a logo designer that understands how fonts, colors and shapes interact.
Inspiration: Airbnb, Pepsi, Microsoft, Nike, Chase
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Arguably the most family-friendly type of logo, mascots are images of a character or person that act as a visual representation of your business. Think of them as your brand’s “spokesperson” – much of your advertising will be centered around them.
Advantages of mascot logos:
Mascots give their audience that warm-and-fuzzy feeling, which leads to creating a distinctly memorable brand. Also, nothing appeals to kids more than a physical, tangible character that they can relate to.
And, while you may empathize with the guy standing outside a seafood restaurant waving the arms of a 6’2 lobster costume as he sweats desperately in the August heat, your kids are likely to go crazy over him and beg you to eat there.
Just some food for thought. (See what we did there?)
When to use mascot logos:
These are a great choice for brands trying to cater to children. Many food businesses or restaurants use mascots – like KFC and Kellogg’s – as do brands that want to make a complex idea seem more accessible, like Mailchimp’s marketing automation platform.
So, if you offer something a little more “dry” or difficult to understand, like a SAAS (software as a service) or plumbing services, a mascot could be a great way to humanize your brand and make it more appealing to your audience.
What to consider before using a mascot logo:
Realize that Mascots may not send the right message if your company’s focus is global innovation or disrupting the pencil industry – or, of course, marketing a product that isn’t child-friendly.
Case in point: Camel cigarettes ran a ten-year advertising campaign based on their mascot, Joe Camel (also known as Old Joe). However, they had to pull the campaign in 1997 while facing a lawsuit that accused the company of using Old Joe to target children – evidenced by a $470 million increase in cigarette sales to teenagers since the campaign started.
Moral of the story: If you’re a company selling cigarettes – don’t try to promote to kids. Just don’t.
Companies like Pillsbury, on the other hand, are perfectly represented by their wholesome, doughy – I mean, well-rounded – mascots (pictured above).
Inspiration: KFC, Pillsbury, Kellogg’s, Mailchimp, Pringles
4. Combination Marks
The name is pretty self-explanatory, but combination logos incorporate – combine – both images and words into their design.
Combination mark logos include any combination of images and words that you choose; you can pair a letterform with a mascot, a monogram with an abstract image – whichever combination speaks to you the most. (We’ll talk more about some of these other logo types below.)
Advantages of combination marks:
One word: Versatility.
With both symbols and letters at your disposal, you can use your logo to craft a clear brand message that sticks.
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.
(Nike did just that with their infamous “swoosh”; while their traditional logo is their name combined with the swoosh image, their clothing is often branded with just the swoosh – and is instantly recognized.)
When to use a combination mark:
You’ll definitely want to consider this type of logo if you’re just starting out. Combination marks will give your audience multiple visual cues when they come in contact with your business, which helps them to remember you – and what you do – over time.
They’re also a great option if you want to trademark your logo, as pairing symbols with text will help you to create a distinct image.
What to consider before using a combination mark:
Versatile shouldn’t mean excessive. Conceptualize how you want your name and symbol to work together, and keep your logo design clean and on-message.
Inspiration: Pizza Hut, Puma, Mastercard, CVS, Toblerone.
5. Emblem Logos
Even the name has that impressive, traditional feel. Emblems have stood the test of time, from family crests to the royal stamps of powerful monarchs. These logos consist of a typeface that sits within a border – usually a seal or a crest. Think universities and government organizations.
Advantages of emblem logos:
Emblems are memorable, and they lend an air of professionalism, traditionalism and importance to your brand. They also give the impression that your company has been around forever, and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
When to use an emblem logo:
This logo type is great for brands who want to seem reputable or tell their audience that they uphold traditional values. Emblems look particularly good (read: prestigious) when they’re engraved, so it may be a good option for you if you run an organization with uniforms or garments of some kind.
What to consider before using an emblem:
Once again, think about scalability as you design your emblem, since these logos tend to have more detailed designs that may not look as nice when resized.
Also, emblems don’t afford you the same flexibility as standard combination marks do, so be absolutely sure about your design before sending your logo into the world.
Inspiration: Starbucks, Stella Artois, Perrier, BMW, Harvard
6. Dynamic Marks
You could say dynamic marks are the new-age logo. Unlike other logos, this type of logo adapts itself to the context in which it’s used. This means that rather than having one standard font-color-text combination in your logo, these elements can change – whether on the internet or on different branding materials.
Advantages of dynamic marks:
You can be as creative as you want! Because there are so many mediums through which to build your brand (think responsive web pages or mobile sites, blogs, digital media, merchandise, ads – the list doesn’t end) you can modify your logo to fit any scenario or make a slew of impressions on potential customers.
Also, dynamic logos keep things interesting; your audience will be waiting on the edge of their digital seats to see what you come up with next.
When to use a dynamic mark:
This is a great option for brands in entertainment, media, or creative industries. If your business will have a number of different branches, like FedEx, then a dynamic mark with a changing color could be a great way to differentiate those parts to your customers.
What to consider before using a dynamic mark:
You don’t want to lose the associative power of your logo. Some of your followers may connect your brand with your colors, others may remember the shape of your icon; if these details are constantly changing, your logo may not cause the same effect as a stagnant logo would. Be mindful of the changes you make, and once again, make sure to keep your logo on message.
Inspiration: Nickelodeon, AOL, FedEx
The following logo types don’t use images or icons in their designs, and they primarily use a strong typeface and color palette in order to make their mark. Let’s take a look!
7. Wordmark Logos (Logotypes)
Wordmark logos consist of text only – company names, monograms or initials.
Essentially, logotypes are just a business name set in some kind of particular typeface (font).
Advantages of wordmark logos:
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.
When to use a wordmark logo:
If your business name is catchy, this is the perfect way to highlight that and use it to your branding advantage. High-end fashion brands like Tiffany and Co. use wordmarks a lot, as do food brands and tech companies that want to be seen as innovative.
The power of wordmarks are all in their fonts, which means that you can choose a font whose style is highly reflective of your brand’s personality – and your audience’s eyes will be drawn right to your logo.
What to consider before using a wordmark logo:
Does your business’s 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 without using an image.
Inspiration: Subway, Uber, Coca Cola, ToysRUs, Tiffany and Co.
8. Lettermarks (Monograms)
Think abbreviations. Lettermarks, or monogram logos, are typography-based logos that take the abbreviated initials of a company and spruce up their design a bit. Boom! You have a no-fuss, no-frills logo.
Advantages of lettermark logos:
Likely more than ever before, the world loves abbreviations (maybe we have the current technological era to thank for that?). From our interpersonal communication style – LOL, BTW, OMG – to name a few – to our luxury car companies (BMW), acronyms are throwing themselves all over the modern era.
Also, they’re to the point: Lettermarks turn your lengthy business name into an identifiable brand identity
When to use a lettermark logo:
It’s relatively easy to get this logo up and running – after all, there’s not much detail to think about – so monograms could be a great option if you’re a new/small business who needs to get their name out there.
Lettermarks are also a good choice for you if you have a long business name – like the New York Yankees – which is difficult to print on small objects or read at a small scale. Finally, because monograms are often associated with personalization and wealth, they can be a good option for brands that are trying to appeal to a high-end crowd or offer homemade/handcrafted items.
What to consider before using a lettermark logo:
Know your fonts. The simplicity of the logo should work to your advantage, but make sure you’re not stuck with a boring, forgettable logo design; the appeal lies in the details.
Also, you may want to consider embossing your business’s full name under your logo on branding materials (like business cards or a landing page) so that people can build an association between your monogram logo and your company name.
Inspiration: HP, LG, Louis Vuitton, New York Yankees, IBM
Last but not least, letterforms are the minimalist cousins of monograms; they’re just one-letter logos. Of course, these logos should be bold and beautiful (read: designed well), since it is difficult for a letter alone to convey a clear message. Think Favicons (“shortcut” or website icons).
Advantages of letterform logos:
Letterforms are easily scalable. When your logo is just one letter, you can stick it anywhere and have it look equally as good. And, a successfully-designed letterform will subconsciously invoke the full name of your brand in people’s minds.
When to use letterform logos:
If you have a long and complicated business name, then letterforms are a good way to make your logo “snackable” while still hinting at your business name. You can play with the typeface to have your letterform stand in for something you offer, like the Beats logo does to symbolize speakers.
What to consider before using a letterform:
Because these logos are just one letter, the design is crucial; if the logo isn’t memorable, it’s pointless. This could mean it has a funky font, dramatic backdrop or interesting color scheme- anything that makes the letter pop off the page and resonate.
And, make sure the font you use is legible. If your logo is just one letter, you want people to be able to read it.
Inspiration: Beats, McDonald’s, WordPress, Yahoo, E! Online
Over to You
Now that you know about the types of logos that are out there, it’s time to craft your own! Don’t worry – Tailor Brands logo designers tools have you covered.
You don’t need logo designers when you can use our logo maker. It’s powered by AI, and uses thousands of data points to select the most appropriate fonts for your industry. It also reviews current industry trends fonts to ensure the fonts you use in your logo are aligned to what’s current and fresh.
What are the different kinds of logo answer? ›
The seven different types of logos consist of abstract, combination, emblem, lettermark, mascot, pictorial, and wordmark.What are the main uses of the given logos? ›
What is a logo? A logo is a combination of text and visual imagery that serves two purposes. It tells people the name of the company and it creates a visual symbol that represents your business.What is a logo and its importance? ›
In the most simple terms, a logo is a symbol comprised of words, images, and colors that is used to identify a brand or product. Specific types of logos come in all different shapes and sizes that run the gamut from simple text logotypes to abstract logo marks (we'll go into more detail about those soon).How many logos should a brand have? ›
A brand identity designer should design you at least four non-negotiable logo variations to help your brand show up and look consistent no matter where you place it. Let's take a look at each of the different logo variations your brand needs.How do you design a logo answer? ›
- Start With Your Story. ...
- Brainstorm Words That Describe Your Brand. ...
- Sketch Ideas Based on These Words. ...
- Test Your Top Sketches With Your Buyer Persona. ...
- Refine Your Chosen Sketch. ...
- Develop Your Logo's Layout on a Free Design Platform. ...
- Pick Versatile Color Options. ...
- Choose a Font.
Descriptive logos help consumers to better understand the brand offering. Research shows it is generally easier for consumers to visually process descriptive logos and understand what product or service is being offered. Descriptive logos tend to: make brands appear more authentic in consumers' eyes.What is a logo Short answer? ›
Logos serve to represent a given organization or company through a visual image that can be easily understood and recognized. A logo generally involves symbols, stylized text or both. Logos are often created by a graphic artist in consultation with a company and marketing experts.What are examples of using logos? ›
Logos is when we use cold arguments – like data, statistics, or common sense – to convince people of something, rather than trying to appeal to an audience's emotions. Here's an example of logos in action from our man Aristotle himself: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man.What is the most important thing in a logo? ›
- Simple. Many of the most impactful and successful logos in history are surprisingly simple. ...
- Relevant. The first quality great logos share is that they're relevant to the markets their companies target. ...
- Memorable. ...
- Timeless. ...
Logos is commonly used in advertisements having to do with nutrition, money, performance, or politics, which can all be shown with numbers.
What are the 7 steps to design a logo? ›
- Develop your brand identity.
- Look for design inspiration.
- Choose colors that reflect your brand.
- Pick a font.
- Create several rough versions.
- Get feedback.
- Polish your winning design.
The resulting logo features contemporary collegiate lettering with an embedded numeral “10” in the word “BIG,” which allows fans to see “BIG” and “10” in a single word. “The new Big Ten logo provides a contemporary identifying mark unifying twelve outstanding institutions,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany.Why is logos the most effective? ›
Logos, or the appeal to logic, means to appeal to the audiences' sense of reason or logic. To use logos, the author makes clear, logical connections between ideas, and includes the use of facts and statistics. Using historical and literal analogies to make a logical argument is another strategy.How does a logo attract customers? ›
It can help pique the interest of consumers, differentiate brands from competitors, facilitate brand recognition, influence investors' decisions, and convey what a brand is all about.How do you explain your logo? ›
- Talk About The Features. When approaching a client over your logo design do not ask what do you think about it. ...
- Refer To The Goals. ...
- Get A Clear Brief. ...
- Present The Logo In Practical Situations. ...
- Use Right Mockups. ...
- Use Slides. ...
- Stay Calm.
I often get asked by my clients, why do they need more than just one logo? Simply put because a single logo just isn't gonna cut it! To create a one-of-a-kind, cohesive, and streamlined brand you need more than one logo to represent your business.
- Lay the groundwork. ...
- Value your sketchpad. ...
- Start in black and white. ...
- Keep it appropriate. ...
- Aim for easy recall. ...
- Strive for difference. ...
- Consider the broader brand identity. ...
- Don't be too literal.
- Your logo should reflect your company in a unique and honest way. ...
- Avoid too much detail. ...
- Your logo should work well in black and white (one-color printing). ...
- Make sure your logo's scalable. ...
- Your logo should be artistically balanced.
- Know Your Brand Personality. You should have a clear idea of the brand personality you want to convey before you start designing a company logo. ...
- Analyze Your Competition. ...
- Choose a Design Style. ...
- Decide on a Type of Logo. ...
- Pick Your Fonts Carefully. ...
- Choose Your Colors Wisely. ...
- Keep it Simple. ...
- Ask for Feedback.
- Open Canva. Launch Canva and search for "Logo" to start creating your own.
- Choose a professional template. Browse through Canva's massive library of logo templates to customize for your own. ...
- Customize your logo design. ...
- Get creative with more design features. ...
- Download, share and build your brand identity.
How do you make a logo? ›
- Understand why you need a logo.
- Define your brand identity.
- Find inspiration for your design.
- Check out the competition.
- Choose your design style.
- Find the right type of logo.
- Pay attention to color.
- Pick the right typography.
It's best to use a wordmark logo if you're a new business and/or have a unique business name. Wordmarks are also easy to replicate on marketing materials such as business cards, websites, podcast images, etc.How do I choose a good logo? ›
- Use. When designing a logo it is important to consider how you plan to use it. ...
- Image Style. A logo represents your company. ...
- Format. ...
- Originality. ...
A logo (abbreviation of logotype; from Ancient Greek λόγος (lógos) 'word, speech', and τύπος (túpos) 'mark, imprint') is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition.What is personal logo? ›
What is a Personal Logo? A personal logo is your own brand. The personal logo that you create will be an extension of you as an artist, graphic designer, writer, and so on. You are the one that defines your own brand, and the personal logo is what defines you as a brand.What was the first logo? ›
The first logo ever trademarked was in 1876 for Bass Brewery. It was a red triangle with the “Bass” text beneath, in a sweeping cursive text not dissimilar to Coca Cola's instantly recognizable scrawl.How is logos used in marketing? ›
Logos is a persuasive technique in advertising that uses rationality to persuade the public. Some examples in advertising include the reference of numbers, facts, data, tables, and graphs. Furthermore, it's often known as “the logical appeal.”What makes a good logo List 5 examples? ›
- Simple. Simple logos are the ones people can recognize as soon as they see them. ...
- Scalable. A great logo should be simple enough to be able to be scaled down or up and still look good.
- Memorable / Impactful. A great logo should be impactful. ...
- Versatile. ...
Reveals your identity
Imprinted on your products, your business card and your website, your logo communicates ownership. It can tell the world/potential customers who you are, what type of product or service you sell, or what benefit you offer consumers.
- Consider your overall business strategy. ...
- Identify your target clients. ...
- Research your target client group. ...
- Develop your brand positioning. ...
- Develop your messaging strategy. ...
- Develop your name, logo and tagline. ...
- Develop your content marketing strategy. ...
- Develop your website.
What are the 10 steps of the design process? ›
- Identify needs. This is the most critical and most difficult step. ...
- Gather information. This is the research phase. ...
- Stakeholder analysis. ...
- Operational research. ...
- Hazard analysis. ...
- Specification creation. ...
- Creative design. ...
- Conceptual design.
- Feasibility Study.
- Schematic Design.
- Design Development.
- Construction Documentation.
- Bidding and Negotiation.
- Construction Administration.
- Post-Occupancy Training.
- Blue: 33%
- Red 29%
- Black, Grey, Silver: 28%
- Yellow, Gold: 13%
Nike was written on the logo in Futura bold until 1995. The company name was there within the Swoosh. One of the qualities of Futura is that it is a sans serif font and has features of geometric shapes. Most of graphic designers were fond of using Futura in the last century.What is the Big 10 now called? ›
Big Ten Conference.
That group, known as the Big Ten, still exists and proclaims to hold itself to high standards in not only athletics, but in academics and school spirit as well.Why is it called B1G? ›
In 1905, the conference was officially incorporated as the "Intercollegiate Conference Athletic Association". The conference uses the "B1G" character combination in its branding, noting that it "allows fans to see 'BIG' and '10' in a single word."What are the 7 elements of logo? ›
- It's simple. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your logo needs to be complex, but the best logos are often the most simple. ...
- It's memorable. ...
- It's timeless. ...
- It's relevant. ...
- It has high-quality typography. ...
- It contains the appropriate colors. ...
- It's versatile.
What Are the 7 Types of Logos? The different kinds of logos can be placed into seven categories: emblems, pictorial marks, logotypes, lettermarks, abstract logos, mascot logos, and combination logos.
What are the six types of logos? ›
The six types are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The theory classifies people into their respective categories by evaluating how a person approaches life situations — and most people fall into more than one category.What type of logo is Apple? ›
A pictorial mark (sometimes called brand mark or logo symbol) is an icon—or graphic-based logo. It's probably the image that comes to mind when you think “logo”: the iconic Apple logo, the Twitter bird, the Target bullseye.What type of logo is Starbucks? ›
The Starbucks logo is circular. The design also features the brand name in a wordmark inside the circles with two stars on either side. The newest logo design features an enlarged Siren with no stars and a wordmark. A circle is amongst the most commonly used shapes in graphic design.What are the 8 element of design? ›
All visual designs are composed of eight elements (Point, Line, Shape, Form, Tone, Texture, Color, and/or Text). These elements are combined and arranged to create a desired visual appearance.What makes a brand logo good? ›
What Makes A Good Logo? # A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner's intended message. A concept or “meaning” is usually behind an effective logo, and it communicates the intended message.How do I create a brand name and logo? ›
- Research your target audience and your competitors.
- Pick your focus and personality.
- Choose your business name.
- Write your slogan.
- Choose the look of your brand (colors and font).
- Design your brand logo.
- Apply your branding across your business.