Can you think about a brand without a logo? There aren’t any. Even if they do exist how would you remember them? Subconsciously we only remember brands by their logos. That’s because the visual medium is much more effective than written words.

That’s why the first thing that comes to mind when you start a business is that “I need a logo”. But what type of logo design will work best for your business? For a non-designer, this can be a real head-scratcher. I’ll help you find the answer in this article.

Today, I am going to introduce you to 7 types of logos and help you decide which one will represent your brand identity.

7 Types of Logos

  1. Emblem Logo
  2. Wordmark Logo or Logotypes
  3. Monogram Logo or Lettermarks
  4. Pictorial Marks or Logo Symbols
  5. Abstract Logo
  6. Mascot Logo
  7. Combination Mark

Now let’s discuss different types of logos with examples…

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1. Emblem Logo

Picture the iconic Starbucks logo – it’s a great example of an emblem logo. It has a typeface that sits inside a pictorial element. These types of logos have a traditional appearance, mainly because their picture gives an impression of a badge, seal, and crest.

Examples of Emblem Logo

Types of Logos

Advantages of an Emblem Logo

An emblem gives a classic and vintage vibe. This can make your business appear well-established and prestigious. You can use them to convey tradition and heritage.

It’s also unlikely that you’ll find another business that uses a similar logo as yours. The intricate design and rich details of an emblem logo are inimitable.

Disadvantages of an Emblem Logo

Scalability is the biggest disadvantage of an emblem logo. The complex design can appear blurry in smaller sizes. Hence you won’t be able to use these types of logos on business cards or company’s swag. It would also be hard to use an emblem logo on a mobile app.

Who Should Use an Emblem Logo

Emblem logos are most commonly used by government organizations, schools, sports teams, and universities like Harvard, Manchester United, Yale, etc. These are quite popular in the auto industry as well.

You can consider an emblem logo for your brand if you want to:

  • Give a traditional look to your business
  • Show the company’s history or heritage
  • Tie the customers to a community
  • Represent trust, safety, and security, especially in the legal or financial niche

2. Wordmark Logo

Wordmark logos are text-only logos based on the brand’s name. They are also called logotypes. Google, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Disney are all examples of Wordmark logos. They don’t use any symbols or illustrations, the main focus lies in the typeface, colors, character features, and spacing.

Examples of Wordmark Logo

Types of Logos

Advantages of a Wordmark Logo

Wordmark logo can help you reinforce your brand name. People are more likely to remember the name of your company when they see it clearly in your logo.

Plus these types of logo designs are super versatile. You can easily increase or decrease their size for various marketing materials.

Disadvantages of a Wordmark Logo

The only disadvantage of a wordmark logo would be that it can appear plain and ordinary. Even if you are just using your company’s name, you have to design a logo that stands out from the crowd.

For example in the FedEx logo mentioned above, you can spot a white arrow between the letters E and X. It’s the company’s way of representing its brand goals of speed and accuracy. Similarly, Coco-Cola uses a unique font and its brand color to stand out.

You’ll have to play around with different elements of typography to make your wordmark logo is recognizable and memorable.

Who Should Use a Wordmark Logo

We have seen everyone from a small business to a tech giant like Google use a wordmark logo. It’s the most minimalistic yet versatile type of logo design.

We recommend using a wordmark logo if you have a short and memorable brand name or you’re a startup looking for name recognition. You can even use this type of logo if you’re afraid to play around with pictures and illustrations.

3. Monogram Logo or Lettermarks

Monogram logos also called Lettermarks are text-based logos similar to wordmark logos. But instead of using the company’s full name, a monogram logo only uses the brand name initials. For example, American television network Home Box Office uses its initials HBO in their logo.

Examples of Monogram Logo

Types of Logos

Advantages of a Monogram Logo

Monogram logos are easily scalable and they give your brand a unique minimalist look. These types of logos are especially beneficial for businesses that have a complicated or a long name. For example, nobody wants to repeat the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, but NASA has become a household name.

Disadvantages of a Monogram Logo

A monogram logo can hurt your brand recognition, especially if you’re a startup. Random Initials like SPT can easily confuse the audience. They might even completely overlook your brand.

Who Should Use a Monogram Logo

Ideally, monogram logos are recommended to brands that have a big or complicated name. But these are also quite popular for luxury brands, for example, Louis Vuitton uses an “LV” monogram and Chanel has 2 bold interlaced “C”s. They use this monogram on most of their products like shoes, watches, handbags, sunglasses, etc.

So if you’re a luxury brand you can use a monogram logo to give a sophisticated look to your brand.

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4. Pictorial Marks or Logo Symbols

Pictorial marks, also known as logo symbols or brand marks, are made up of graphic symbols or icons. Think of the half-bitten apple logo. While many would think the apple represents the brand name Apple, in reality, the idea goes back to Adam and Eve who bit the apple from the tree of knowledge.

Similar to this a pictorial mark can covey a deeper meaning, evoke an emotion, or simply play on your brand name.

Examples of Pictorial Marks Logo

Types of Logos

Advantages of Pictorial Marks

An image can express emotions and ideas more strongly than a text. A well-designed pictorial mark can help build a strong brand image and overcome language barriers. These types of logos are also easy to scale.

Disadvantages of Pictorial Marks

It isn’t always easy to find the right symbol that can represent your entire brand. Furthermore, a picture or icon can mean different things to different people. So there’s a high chance that a pictorial mark can leave your audience confused.

Who Should Use Pictorial Marks

Pictorial marks are well-suited for established brands because people aren’t able to recognize newer brands through a symbol. So you should opt for these types of logos only if you have strong brand recognition.

But if you absolutely want a pictorial mark even if you’re new to the market, I’d recommend you to choose a design that’s unique and quirky. It should be something that instantly connects with your target audience.

5. Abstract Logo

Just like the name suggests abstract logos are made up of abstract design and geometric shapes. These are conceptual logos that do not represent any existing or recognizable object. Some popular examples of abstract logos include the divided circle of Pepsi, sunflower-like sunrays of British Petroleum (BP), and four squares of Microsoft.

Examples of Abstract Logo

Types of Logos

Advantages of an Abstract Logo

An abstract logo gives you an opportunity to design something completely unique. You can play around with different shapes and colors to evoke the right emotions in your audience.

These types of logos are also quite versatile as you can use them both online and offline.

Disadvantages of an Abstract Logo

Abstract logos require a lot of creativity. Even if you hire the right graphic designer, you’ll need an explanation about what you want to create. Do you want to represent your product? Or do you want to show your brand value? And do you want to use symmetrical designs or geometric shapes? There are a lot of things in an abstract logo that can be difficult to create successfully.

Apart from that the design of an abstract logo can be a disadvantage if you end up adding too many details. It would be hard to scale a complex abstract logo.

Who Should Use an Abstract Logo

Abstract logos are meant for brands that want to create a truly unique identity. They even give you a lot of scope for experimentation. You can use them to convey unique stories about your brand.

These types of logos are especially a great choice for global brands whose names aren’t well known in different languages. You can use an abstract logo to perfectly represent your company.

6. Mascot Logo

Mascots can be a person, animal, object, or fictional character that is linked to a particular organization or event. Sports teams have mascots. Similarly, a company can use a mascot to represent its brand. Some popular example of mascot logos includes Pillsbury’s Doughboy, Kool-Aid Man, and KFC’s Colonel Sanders.

Examples of Mascot Logo

Types of Logos

Advantages of Mascot Logo

Mascots are fun and playful characters that never fail to attract attention. Brands can use them in marketing campaigns to create awareness and increase recognition. They can even help to create a positive brand image and increase customers interaction.

Disadvantages of Mascot Logo

One of the major problems with using a mascot logo is that it takes a lot of time and effort to create something that works well with the brand’s personality. Plus it’s hard to predict how users will react to a mascot. Something designed to look playful might end up looking creepy to some users.

Who Should Use Mascot Logo

Due to their fun nature, mascot logos are popular amongst brands that target families and children. Many restaurants like KFC and McDonald’s and food businesses like Kellogg’s and Pillsbury use mascot designs to attract customers.

You can also use a mascot if you’re trying to convey an important but monotonous message. A mascot can help you keep your audience engaged.

7. Combination Mark

Combination marks are made by combining any two types of logos we discussed above: a wordmark with pictorial marks, a monogram with an abstract logo, or a wordmark with a mascot.

A quite familiar example would be Burger King. They have used abstract design to create two titled half-circles, a wordmark to add their brand name, and enclosed it all in a blue circle. This combination mark makes the brand unique yet recognizable.

Examples of Combination Mark

Types of Logos

Advantages of Combination Mark

A combination mark allows brands to use their name along with a unique symbol or icon. It reinforces the brand image and offers wider flexibility for branding.

These are also highly versatile types of logos. A brand can start out by using both the text and pictorial element together but after getting some recognition they can use the pictorial element alone in marketing. For example, Lacoste uses their combination mark on their website design but they only use the crocodile on their products.

Disadvantages of Combination Mark

The only disadvantage of combination marks would be their scalability. In most cases, you cannot resize these types of logos. They even have a fixed orientation. As you can see in the example above, the Taco Bell logo occupies more space vertically and the Lacoste logo occupies more space horizontally. You cannot change the orientation of these logos to make them work on different platforms.

Who Should Use Combination Mark

Combination marks can be used by brands from every industry. For brands that are just starting out, combination marks are a great option. It’ll reinforce the brand name and help build brand recognition. And once the brands gain some recognition, they can use just the logo symbol without including the whole name.

To Sum Up: What are the Best Types of Logos for Your Business?

I tried to summarize the pros and cons of different types of logos in this article. I hope this breakdown helps you decide what kind of logo you should get for your business.

And if you need professional help in designing your logo, contact us. We have a team of in-house logo designers that can design customized logos in various niches including, restaurants, real estate, IT, consultancy firms, health, etc.

And since we don’t use any pre-made templates in our designs, your logo will be as unique as your brand. And the best part, we offer logo design services in our basic plan too. Sign up for our unlimited graphic design services today and get yourself a brand memorable identity.

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About author

Hi, I'm Pooja, Content Strategist at Digifloat, a design & development agency that helps B2B and SaaS companies grow with creative designs and better web-based applications. You can keep up with me on LinkedIn.