When it comes to logo design, many think that just a few letters slapped against a colored background make do.
After all, aren’t abstract logo designs the trend now?
If you want your marketing materials to truly stand out and represent your brand’s identity, your logo matters.
To help you create a logo that’s true to your brand values, we’ll show you different types of logos paired with real-life examples and advice on how to choose the right type for your business.
Ready to wow potential customers with the perfect logo? Read on.
8 different types of logos
The best logos sum up the entire business and make the company instantly recognizable while remaining unique in design.
But that doesn’t have to mean that you need to out of your way to commission designers to create a unique font, abstract marks, and the works to build a distinct image for your business.
In fact, the name of your business alone can constitute a great text-based logo.
Visual representation takes many forms, and with these 8 types of logos to choose from, chances are that at least one logo type will feel right for your brand.
1. Abstract logo
An abstract logo is often a logo that features and centers around an abstract geometric form.
Many popular brands, like Airbnb, Nike, and Google Drive use an abstract logo widely in their marketing campaigns with huge success.
Abstract logos are loved by many because they can be whatever you want them to be (within reason, of course). Usually, abstract logos tie in with the company’s vision, values, and the overall field of business, while certainly catching the eye of the consumers.
While it’s had to go wrong with abstract logo marks, you should pay attention to a couple of things:
- The logo design must be well thought out. Unlike many other types of logo, having a conceptual logo design requires some planning and thinking regarding what exactly you want your logo to embody. Otherwise, you risk having a logo design that makes no sense to your target audience.
- Abstract logo marks have a lot of creative freedom. There is room to create something really unique with an abstract logo mark. If you’re not creative yourself, consider hiring a designer to help you out.
- When in doubt, go for the simpler option. If at any point you think that the abstract logos you’re working on are starting to get too complex, dial things down by simplifying the logo design. If you can’t make sense of your logo, neither will your customers.
2. Wordmark logo
Maybe abstract logos aren’t your cup of tea? Consider basing your logo design around a wordmark logo instead.
Wordmark logos refer to logos where the company name is spelled out with a special font. Sometimes companies spend big on creating a truly unique font for their logo design that truly personifies the brand identity.
You’ve probably seen many wordmark logos, too: just look at Coca-Cola, Subway, Kellogg’s, and eBay. Often, these kinds of logos become synonymous with the products and services they offer and enter the wider consciousness of the market.
While wordmark logos are nice and easy for customers old and new to remember, there are a few things to remember when opting for a wordmark logo:
- This logo design works great for catchy brand names. This usually means a wordmark logo might not be for you if your entire business name consists of multiple words, as they tend to be less easy to remember.
- It’s a truly simple logo design. With these types of logos, you leave nobody guessing when it comes to your business.
- Wordmark logos work best when you have a somewhat established brand. Since consumers need to know what your brand name stands for and what products or services you offer (think about Coca-Cola, for example), it’s better to use these types of logos when you already have some brand recognition.
3. Monogram logo
Monograms aren’t a thing of the past – they work wonders for various types of logo designs, too.
Monogram logos are essentially your brand’s initials. These types of logo designs are sometimes also referred to as lettermark logos.
Brands like Louis Vuitton, NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and many other government agencies and sports teams use a lettermark logo symbol.
Monogram logos look wonderfully stylish on both a business card as well as on branding materials overall.
You, too, could use your brand initials in a lettermark logo – just pay attention to these things:
- Monogram logos are great for long business names. Monogram logos are a great alternative to wordmark-based logo designs.
- The font is the key. Lettermark logos that truly make an impact have put some thought behind the font they use in their logo design.
4. Mascot logo
Mascot logos have been popular for a long time, and no wonder: why not use illustrated characters to portray what your brand is all about?
Characters like the Michelin Man, Colonel Sanders, Cap’n Crunch, and Tony the Tiger have long embodied the brand identity of their respective brands. Mascot logos help to put the company name on the map and grab the consumer’s attention effectively.
When it comes to the right types of logo for your brand, a mascot logo might be for you, if you’re looking to:
- Humanize your brand. Especially food brands or brands for children use mascots in their logos because mascot logos help to animate and humanize your business.
- Liven up your industry and stand out. These types of logo designs are wonderful for injecting some color and liveliness into an otherwise “dry” industry.
- Appeal to a particular target market. Depending on your niche, this kind of logo design could resonate well with potential and existing customers.
5. Combination logo
Like with most things in life, when it comes to logo design, you can mix and match.
If you want to combine different qualities from different types of logos, a combination logo could be just up your street. Unlike pictorial marks or only text-based designs, combination mark logos are a mixture of different design types, usually consisting of an image and words.
Big brands like Dropbox, Lacoste, Taco Bell, and Toblerone use combination marks in their branding, and for a good reason:
- Combination marks are great for rebranding. If you need to reinvent your brand, it’s easier to use both an image element as well as the best parts of letterform logos for maximum effect.
- Combination mark logos work a treat when done well. The best combination marks have clean and clear designs, so make sure you invest enough time into the design process.
- A combination mark helps to build brand recognition. Since a combination mark consists of both text and visual elements, they help consumers visualize your product or overall field of business, aiding brand distinction in the long run.
6. Pictorial logo
Of all the different types of logo, a business could have, pictorial marks (frequently also referred to as logo symbols) are probably among the most popular logo designs.
A pictorial mark logo is a symbol or an icon that reflects the brand’s business activities. Sometimes also referred to as a brand mark, they use visual cues to signal to consumers the brand’s values, services, and overall identity.
While you might recognize the Apple logo as a world-famous pictorial mark logo, pictorial marks are widely used as app icons. Just take Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram as prime examples of a modern and popular pictorial mark.
There are a few things to pay attention to when using this type of logo:
- A pictorial mark works best with a strong, established brand. Since a brand mark relies on just a symbol or an image to do the talking, these kinds of logo symbols might not be the most effective for new companies.
- You can have creative freedom with the design. The beauty of brand marks is that your logo design doesn’t have to be demonstrative of what you do.
7. Dynamic logo
Dynamic marks are a type of logo that works wonderfully in a digital environment, from digital marketing material to landing pages and social media.
Unlike a combination mark or other brand marks, a dynamic logo takes different forms depending on the occasion, the logo’s surroundings, and user actions.
While this kind of logo design might sound far-fetched, chances are you’ve seen plenty of combination marks around the internet. For example, many brands add dynamic rainbow colors and effects to reflect their support for the LGBT community.
Google is also known for adding different animations and elements into their search engine logo to reflect various historical figures and occasions.
Dynamic marks are growing in popularity because:
- They are easy to modify. Since dynamic logos can be modified almost limitlessly, they are great for creative industries.
- They keep the audience curious. This is a type of logo that keeps audiences coming back for more and can work wonders in building brand awareness.
- They make it easy to convey brand values to consumers. Even if your dynamic logo is essentially an abstract mark, you can still use animations to take a stand or comment on topical issues that are important to your business.
8. Emblem logo
An emblem logo is a classic logo design that resembles crests. It’s a type of logo where text is situated inside a symbol, often having a traditional or even vintage feel to them.
Without a doubt, Harley Davidson’s famous crest logo is an emblem logo you’ve seen before. But companies like Starbucks, Stella Artois, and Warner Brothers also use emblem logos in their branding.
Emblem logos are usually found representing universities, catering businesses, and sports teams, but can work for other industries, too.
This type of logo works for your business if you want your logo to:
- Look traditional. Emblem logos have a certain traditional, important, and prestigious feel to them, making them suitable for organizations that value their history and status.
- Include lots of small details. While you can fit a lot of details into an emblem logo, be careful when it comes to resizing your logo.
- Look timeless. While this type of logo doesn’t have a lot of flexibility when it comes to changing the design, if you look for timeless brand marks, emblem logos are for you.
How to choose the right logo design for your business
With so many types of logos to choose from, it can be hard to understand and decide which logo design suits your brand the best.
Especially if you’re new to the world of business and branding, the options and skills required to make a logo that could rival McDonald’s can seem like a truly daunting and unachievable task.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming and complicated process.
While the decision ultimately comes down to your preference and the overall style of your brand, there are a few ways you can ease your quest for the perfect logo.
Naturally, your field of business can help you determine the best logo design for your brand.
Some color schemes and logo types can be more popular in one industry, and feel out of place in another.
If you’re unsure, start by analyzing your competitors and pay attention to what they are doing. You can also look at the big market players to get some insights into the bigger and industry-arching trends.
For example, many tech companies use cool colors like different shades of blue in their logos.
Your brand’s core values
What your brand stands for can also influence which types of logo feel natural to your business.
If you’re the guarding of generations-old craftsmanship, wordmark and monogram logos might embody the history of your brand better than a mascot.
Similarly, a consultation business might want to opt for an abstract mark and food trucks for image-based logos.
An environmentally-conscious brand, on the other hand, might want to opt for different shades of green and nature-themed symbols in their logo design.
The level of brand awareness
As we’ve mentioned earlier, some logos tend to work better when your brand has a certain level of brand awareness already, while others are wonderful at putting your business on the map.
A good rule of thumb here is to think of your business name more than just the text it contains: do people on the street know what types of products and services are sold under your business name?
Or do they feel something when they hear your business name?
Run surveys and focus groups to determine the level of your business’ brand awareness, and choose your logo design accordingly.
Your brand’s style
The overall style of your business can also help when choosing between a handful of different types of logo designs.
Is your business all about being elegant, sophisticated, and luxurious? Or is your brand’s personality more in line with being playful and fun?
For example, a brand that’s selling children’s toys might feel that an emblem logo feels too pompous, and could opt for a mascot logo instead.
Similarly, a business selling handmade tailored suits might opt for a monogram logo over a combination mark.
Sure, you can use any type of logo for any type of business, but the best logo design also reflects your brand’s style and personality overall.
Pro tip – It’s not a bad idea to create different types of logo designs and formats for different purposes. You might want to use high-resolution files for print materials and business cards, but create a dynamic design for your social media profiles.
The key here is consistency: once you have found a logo design that works for you, create different variations of it to suit different marketing and brand-building purposes.
From mascot logos to abstract logos and beyond
Whatever your logo goals might be, don’t be afraid to make them into reality yourself.
With free tools like Zyro’s AI Logo Maker, anyone can create a logo that suits their business perfectly.
Experiment with one-letter logos, combination marks, and abstract logos in order to see how different types of logos suit your branding materials and online presence.
Simply customize existing logo templates, or create your very own from scratch. When you’re ready, all you need to do is click the download button and your logo is ready to be used.
So, what’s your ideal logo going to look like?