What are the Different
Types of Logos?
When choosing what you want your logo for your business to be, it’s important to know what your options are. There are seven broad categories that logos fall into: Lettermark, Wordmark, Pictorial, Abstract/Non-Objective, Mascot, Emblem, and Combination. Each one has unique advantages, and useful applications. For learning purposes, let’s say you own a business specializing in floor installation called “John Doe Flooring Co”. Your branding would vary depending on the logotype you select, so let’s dive in, learn the options with this pretend business, and then get your ACTUAL business branded!
This is a type of logo that is based on the initials of a company. This is often used when businesses have long and/or complicated names. Some famous examples are IBM, ESPN, and HP.
In our example, a stylized “J” and “D” make up the logo. This helps people easily identity the brand without having to recall the entire name.
This type of logo is based on typography. This type of logo is especially useful for getting your business name out there and gain brand recognition. Some famous examples are Coca-Cola, Google, and FedEx.
Your flooring company name is front and center in this example, and it would be awful difficult for customers to not learn the name. This drills the company name into customers minds to build brand recognition.
This type of logo is a representational graphic— and probably what comes to your mind when you hear “logo”. These types of logos can have many broad implications: they can explain what your business does, evoke an emotion, or they can be a play on your name. They are especially useful because they condense your brand down into a single, iconic image. Some famous examples are Apple, Target, and Twitter.
Vastly different from the previous two examples, this logomark represents WHAT your company does rather than WHO your company is. It’s very clear from this logo that it is a flooring company without having to use any words at all.
This type of logo is built upon the concept of shape, either by abstracting an object from real life or by creating something completely unique. Similar to pictorial, this type of logo is useful because it condenses your brand into a single image. Some famous examples are Nike, Adidas, and Toyota.
This example takes a similar but different approach to the pictorial logomark. Are those floorboards, or are they action lines representing how fast you install floors? These subliminal messages are useful for emphasizing details about your brand without explicitly saying them
This type of logo is similar to the pictorial logo, except that what is being depicted is a character to act as the face of your brand. This are usually useful for companies that want to come across as fun and youthful. Some famous examples are KFC, Kool Aide, and Starbucks.
This is definitely a fun approach to a logo (this is the type I use!) that people can relate to. Lumberjacks harvest the wood that is used in flooring, and gives your brand a story. You could also have a sculpture of your mascot at the entrance way, prompting people to snap selfies and post to social media, which is free marketing! The branding possibilities with a mascot are endless!
This type of logo utilities the traditional element of a shield, laurels, or a combination of the two. It is useful for portraying your brand as established with a lot of heritage. Some famous examples include Warner Brothers, Harley Davidson, and NFL.
This example casts a very sophisticated light on your brand, and makes it appear as though your company is established with a lot of years under your belt— thereby building reputation. Emblem logomarks often combine image or initials in the crest, which brings you to the final logo type—
As its name suggests, this type of logo is a combination of any of the above logo types, but always contains text. It is a versatile choice, because it gets your company name out there, while simultaneously conveying your brand in an image. Image and text can be stacked, laid out horizontally, or integrated together. Some famous examples include Burger King, Aflac, and Volvo.
These two examples show how typography and image work together to establish your brand. They emphasize the name of your business, while depicting what your company does. This is the logomark that most companies use due to its high versatility.