The 10 Types of Logos And How to Use Them

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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Logos are essentially symbols that are used to identify and represent a brand. 

They can be used to represent anything; it could be a company, a product, a service, or even a person. That’s right, you can even make a logo to represent yourself; dear reader!

A good logo gives you an opportunity to shine and stand out from others and, more importantly, from your competitors. It gives other people (like your potential customers) an idea of what you are (your personality and values), what you offer (products, services), and why they should pick you from the rest (unique selling point, competitive edge).

Additionally, two companies could be offering the same services or products but still have logos that look vastly different from each other. 

They could differ from one another by basing on each of their own identities and how they want to be perceived by their potential customers; specifically their target market. 

Aside from mere aesthetic purposes as most people would like to believe, logo design is also a form of marketing strategy.

Though both Coca-cola and Pepsi sell soda beverages, their respective logos look nothing alike. Coca-cola only has its name on the logo, while Pepsi uses an abstract symbol. 

Coca-cola has also kept its classic logo design for years, while Pepsi keeps reinventing theirs to adapt to current trends. 

This does not just help them to be distinguished from each other as competitors, they also use their logo designs as strategies to capture different markets.

  

Types of logos

There are several different types of logos out there, but most logo designs revolve around type (text) and pictographs (images). 

Here are just some of them to help you distinguish each type from one another and hopefully also help you choose what style best suits your brand.
 

Typographic logos are logos that primarily use type (words or letters) in their design. These logos are meant to be straightforward. 

Though best known for their simplicity, design principles can still be applied to give each one a distinct style, like font choice, color, and spacing.


 

1. Wordmark

Wordmarks are logos that solely consist of a word, usually the brand name that it represents. These logos are primarily used to help people remember their brand name, making them perfect for businesses that are just starting out.

types of logo design

Netflix uses a wordmark logo because their brand name is already creative and distinct in itself. A simple wordmark is enough to elevate this.



 

2. Lettermark

If wordmarks use entire words, lettermark logos use just a few letters. Lettermarks are commonly used by brands with long names that are then turned into acronyms or initialisms, making them simpler and easier to remember.

types of logo design

The Cable News Network, more commonly known as CNN, uses a lettermark to make a concise and simple logo for their brand.


 

3. Letterform

Letterforms use only a single letter, making them the simplest typographic logo. These are commonly used by brands that are already known and well-established. Letterform logos are also used as an alternative to other typographic logos to make them simpler and more compact.

The Facebook app uses a simple letterform because of its long-established presence in the social media industry. This compact wordmark is also ideal for the constraining app size on smartphone devices.

In contrast to typographic logos, pictographic logos primarily use pictures to convey their brand’s identity. Brands have more creative freedom in executing pictographic logos which makes them more unique. These logos can use literal depictions of images or use abstract symbols as metaphors to convey deeper stories and personalities.

Check out how a 3D logo design can help with your marketing plan. 



 

4. Pictorial

Pictorial logos are literal and recognizable images. These logos are straightforward and easier to interpret.

types of logo design

The iconic Twitter logo, named Larry, is a picture of a mountain bluebird. A bird was chosen because “tweeting” is what the company thinks a bird would just naturally do. Makes sense, right?



 

5. Abstract

An abstract logo is a creative interpretation of a brand’s identity. As mentioned earlier, these logos can use abstract symbols as a metaphor to convey deeper stories and personalities. 

Although they are harder to interpret than pictorial logos, abstract logos make brands more unique from their competitors.

types of logo design

Toyota’s logo is made up of 3 overlapping ellipses. According to Toyota, the ellipses “symbolize the unification of the hearts of our customers and the heart of Toyota products.”

Here are 20 interesting brand logo designs with hidden meanings.  


 

6. Mascot

Mascot logos are logos that use illustrated or animated characters. Mascots are effective in giving brands a personality and an appeal to younger demographics. 

These mascots usually live beyond just their logos and are used for other promotional purposes as well. This is why it’s fairly common for children’s brands to use this type of logo design.

Pringles uses a potato-shaped male figure named “Mr. Pringles” or “Julius Pringles” as their mascot.




 

7. Combination

As the name suggests, combination logos are combinations of typographic (usually wordmarks) and pictographic (pictorial or abstract) marks. 

These are typically used to associate an image to the brand name, making them more recognizable.

Taco Bell combines an image of a bell and the Taco Bell wordmark. These two elements always go together to form one logo.



 

8. Emblem

Like combination logos, emblems combine typographic and pictographic marks to form one final logo. Emblems are commonly unified by putting all of its elements inside a single shape, giving a cohesive look. 

While combination marks are more creative and playful, emblem logos look more formal and traditional. 

BMW’s circular emblem contains the brand name and the colors blue and white, which represent the state of Bavaria in Germany where the company started. 

This cohesive style exudes simplicity and elegance, which suits BMW as a luxury vehicle brand.



 

9. Dynamic

Dynamic logos are relatively new in logo design. They transform depending on the context, changing different elements such as shape and color. 

What’s good about this style is its uniqueness and flexibility, which makes the logo look, and feel, more alive. 

types of logo design

The MTV logo changes its style, from its shape to its color, depending on its context and where it’s placed. 

This artistic and dynamic take on the logo works well because MTV features different styles of music, which also makes each variation appeal to different demographics.


 

10. Signature

Similar to the combination, a brand signature combines different logo elements with the company slogan.

types of logo design

LG combines an abstract mark (the letters LG forming a face), the LG lettermark, and their slogan “Life’s Good” for their brand signature.





 

To conclude…

Though there are lots of options for logo design, choosing the right design that will best suit your brand is crucial. 

If you don’t know where to start, try thinking about your brand’s identity, your product, and your target market. 

You can even think of a story to incorporate into your logo. 

Apple’s logo alludes to the forbidden fruit in the biblical story of Adam and Eve and the pursuit of knowledge, and Cisco pays homage to the city of San Francisco by depicting the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The options are limitless.


 

In the end, the logo design boils down to its most important role: making a brand memorable. So if you’re looking for professional designers that have the expertise to make the perfect logo for your brand, send us an email at support@graphicszoo.com.