There is more to a logo design than a picture and some fancy fonts, a logo is a brands visual identifier and its sole purpose is to do just that. Potential customers must be able to identify your business, understand who you are and what you do just be seeing your logo. If you think of some of the biggest brands out there you will understand what I mean for instance some of my favourite brands to use as examples are Apple, Kellogg’s, Fedex, Nike, Adidas, MacDonalds etc
What makes these logo designs so unique is the fact that they do their job extremely well they visually identify us to the brand and we know exactly who they are and what they do, and this is what I strive for with every logo design I undertake as I want to make them look as big as their biggest competitor.
Design can elevate a brand and make them look better not only visually but mentally when we think about them, the logo sticks in our mind, it creates value and trust.
Logos are all around us but it’s the certain ones that do their job well that stand the test of time and become an iconic design for the brands identity. Now you understand what a logo is for and its purpose lets take a look at some well know logo designs and the type of logo design it is…
Wordmark Logo Design
These are uniquely styled text logos that spell out the company or brand name. Many times, custom fonts are created specifically for brands to use across all their marketing and branding collateral. Some examples include Facebook, Disney and Sony.
Lettermark / Monogram Logo Design
Lettermarks are exclusively typographic. They use a symbol representing the company through the use of its initials or the brands first letter. Many companies choose to use this type of logo because their initials can better graphically illustrate the company better than the full name (name is too long), the name is hard to pronounce, or it’s just not distinct enough to carry its own weight. Some companies and organizations that use lettermarks include Hewlett-Packard, Chanel and General Electric.
When to use lettermark and wordmark logos:
- Consider a lettermark logo if your business happens to have a long name. Condensing the business name into initials will help simplify your design and likewise customers will have an easier time recalling your business and your logo.
- A wordmark is a good decision if you’re a new business and need to get your name out there, just make sure that name is short enough to take advantage of the design. Anything too long can look too cluttered.
- A wordmark logo is a good idea if you have a distinct business name that will stick in customers’ minds. Having your name in a great, designed font will make your brand all the stickier.
- Both lettermark and wordmark logos are easy to replicate across marketing material and branding thus making them highly adaptable options for a new, and developing, business.
- Remember that you’ll want to be scrupulous when creating a lettermark or a wordmark. Your business name in a font alone likely won’t be distinct enough to capture the nuance of your brand. So make sure you hire a professional who’ll have an eye for detail.
Symbol / Icon or Brandmark Logo Design
This type of logo represents the company in a simple but bold manner. In most cases, the image is abstract and stylised to give visual interest. Most companies that use this type of logo will have a very simple main logo, but may choose to create additional alternative versions that appear a little more flashy. The human mind can easily remember a simple form much easier than a complex one. It’s best to use a simple symbol or icon if you plan on building a large business. You probably recognise symbol logos like Apple, Shell and Mercedes-Benz.
When to use picture and symbol logos:
- A pictorial mark alone can be tricky. It’s effective if you already have an established brand but that’s not a hard and strict rule. You can use brandmarks to your advantage to convey what your business does graphically if your name is too long, and they can also be used effectively to convey a desired idea or emotion.
- Pictorial and abstract marks also work quite well for global commerce if, for example, a business name doesn’t lend itself well to translation.
- A pictorial mark however may not be the best idea if you anticipate changes to your business model in the future. You may start off selling pizzas and use a pizza in your logo but what happens when you start to selling sandwiches or burgers, or even produce?
- Abstract marks allow you to create a completely unique image for your business, but are best left to design professionals who understand how colour, shape and structure combine to create meaning.
- Think about creating a mascot if you are trying to appeal to young children or families. One big benefit of a mascot is it can encourage customer interaction so it’s a great tool for social media marketing as well as real world marketing events. I mean, who doesn’t want to take a selfie with the Mascot?
- Remember that a mascot is only one part of a successful logo and brand, and you may not be able to use it across all your marketing material. For example, a highly detailed illustration may not print well on a business card. So put some consideration in the next type of logo design below, the combination mark.
Combination Mark Logo Design
These logos combine a wordmark and a symbol or icon to give the flexibility for the use of either or both elements across a variety of applications. A well-designed combination mark looks just as good with the elements separate as it does with them together. You might recognise some combo marks like Hawaiian Airlines, Adidas and Sprint.
Emblem Logo Design
An emblem logo encases the company name within the design. Some examples include Starbucks, the NFL and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.
When to use a combination mark or emblem logos:
A combination mark is a great choice for pretty much any business out there. It’s versatile, usually highly unique, and the most popular choice of logo among prominent companies.
An emblem’s traditional look might be favoured by lots of public agencies and schools but it can also serve any up-and-coming private business quite well, especially those in the food and beverage industry: think beer labels and coffee cups (Starbucks!). But remember to play it safe when it comes to detail. You still want a design you’ll be able to print neatly across all of your marketing material.
There it is. A breakdown of all the types of logos out there I hope this has given you a more detailed explanation in to the world of logo design and just how much goes in to creating a logo.