Digital Marketing

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

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So, you have laid all the groundwork for your brand. You know exactly who you are, what you offer, and who you serve. You are now ready to proceed onto the next stage of your branding, i.e., designing your business logo. It is exciting indeed!

But, wait for a second — you are confused. You have a lot of logo ideas in your head but are not sure what will effectively represent your business. There are far too many decisions to take regarding the color palette, layout, shape, and typeface of the logo.

Sure, you want to create your logo easily but want to make the entire process worth it. Even if competent professionals in your team are on the job, you want people to recognize your brand and recall the positive experience with your products or services.

We get it. Choosing the perfect corporate logo is never an easy task, but it can be simplified once you know what type of logo is apt for you. In this article, we will discuss seven types of logos and how to use them correctly:

1. Wordmark

Have you ever wondered why certain brand logos such as Coca-Cola, Google, Kellogg's, Disney, NASA, and Facebook are easy to recognize? That is because each of these logos includes a word, i.e., the name of the company. That is what wordmark logos are.

Designing them involves the text-only typographic treatment of the brand's name. Although wordmark logos are all about keeping it simple, the fonts also play an equally important role. Take Disney's logo as an example.

It is hard to think of the entertainment company without its iconic logo featuring a well-rounded title over the "i" and the outline of Cinderella's castle above it.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

Or, let us take FedEx, for instance. At first glance, the logo resembles a straight color-blocked wordmark. But if you look at it closely, you will notice that the letter "x" is in lowercase. Even though it is slightly altered, the "x" adds so much character to the logo!

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

Wordmark logos are ideal for companies with shorter names, such as one to three syllables. They are widespread across industries, most notably, tech, fashion, food, and media. Up-and-coming businesses, significantly, can benefit from this type of logo as it helps make the company's full name visible to the world. People develop a better recall value due to that!

You might also find monogrammatic variations of the wordmark logos best suited for favicons and social media profiles. Due to the simplicity of these logos, spacing, and typography hold more importance.

Too little or too much distance between the alphabets can make or break the logo design. Therefore, try different iterations before finalizing one.

Since there is no symbol to use, a wordmark logo must use a well-chosen typeface resonating with your target audience. Be distinctive but stay on brand. You do not need to be different for the sake of it. Wordmark is the most uncomplicated logo to design. Nowadays, along with wordmarks, companies also create QR Codes with logos to build brand identity and boost engagement.

2. Monogram

Also known as "letter mark," this form of the logo is an abbreviation of a company's name and specifically includes the initials, which are pronounced separately. For instance, if you did not know this, the British Broadcasting Corporation is short for BBC.

"Hennes & Mauritz" is actually famously known as H&M. LSO stands for London Symphony Orchestra, and HP is Hewlett-Packard. But their initials are what people remember!

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

Monograms are clean and communicate a brand's identity clearly. Companies with longer names opt for this type of logo as it makes the brand more memorable and easier to talk about.

Plus, monograms can be used beautifully across different screens — big or small. In fact, they work well when they need to be replicated, especially across small-size applications such as smartphones, which is a norm these days. Businesses have a presence everywhere!

However, please do not make the mistake of simply typing out the initials in a suitable font and leaving it at that Try using a mockup generator tool and work on your prototype to enhance it. Customize the logo in such a way that it looks much more distinctive, thus standing out from the crowd and appealing to a broader audience.

If you are a new company, using your full name in small text underneath the monogram is a good idea until your initials become well known on their own.

Bonus Read: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Online Reputation

3. Symbol

If you do not want any text on your logo but still want to enhance your brand identity with a mere symbol, that is possible too! A symbolic logo includes a graphic, vector image, or icon, which becomes the focal point of the design. Such logos have no accompanying text.

Some popular companies use a graphic that literally depicts the business name, such as Apple or Target. Others like Major League Baseball have a logo featuring a batter's silhouette, illustrating what they do.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

You can draw inspiration from many places. As long as the logo is appropriate for your sector, symbolic logos will resonate with your audience. Do not choose an overly complicated symbol. After all, the whole point of a logo is to make your brand memorable.

Use a symbol that depicts what your company does or the services it provides. Such logos are also helpful in combating a long or complex brand name and breaking barriers often caused by cultural or language differences.

Symbolic logos have carved a niche for themselves in the tech industry due to the increase in app screens and sizes, and the usage of smartphones and tablets. More information can be packed into smaller spaces — a clear and straightforward symbolic logo works out beautifully!

4. Emblem

Some logos contain company names or initials. Others include images. Emblem logos use both text and imagery to make a striking impact instantly. Take crests, seals, and badges, for instance. One immediately thinks of schools, universities, and government agencies, right?

Emblems juxtapose youthfulness or a modern appeal with conventional values. They help create a connection with your company's history and tie the consumers as a community. The automotive industry is undoubtedly a massive fan of emblems.

Do Harley-Davison, Porsche, and BMW logos ring a bell? While the former has a classic style, the other two have effectively modernized the traditional emblem look n' feel and made it their own. Emblems certainly lend power and gravitas to a logo.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

They are perfect for businesses that want to send a message of trustworthiness, classic yet reliable, and established.

5. Mascot

Establishing an emotional connection with consumers might be one of the hardest things to achieve for any company. But that is what it thrives on!

Making a mascot the face of your business can help you pave your way into the market and have your customers keep coming back to you for more.

Who does not love a mascot? From Colonel Sanders of KFC and Wendy from Wendy's to Tony the Tiger by Kellog's Frosted Flakes and Michelin Man by Michelin, there are many memorable mascots we say at play in this day and age.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

You can think of a mascot as a spokesperson or brand ambassador for your company. Some businesses opt for mythical creatures, while others pick an animated version of a person (Wendy's is a good example) to reflect their brand.

Although primarily seen in sports teams, a mascot has carved a special place in online branding. It effectively bridges the gap between the company's roots and how it plans to serve in the future, thereby increasing customer engagement.

Such logos are best suited if your business is informal enough to put a cute face on its brand. If you are into a more serious line of work such as oil and energy, having a mascot will not work.

6. Basic shapes

Is it possible you might not want a text or monogram-based logo? Are you not too keen on having a symbol or mascot in your logo? That is OK! Sometimes, all you need is a basic shape to define what your business does and how it can help your target audience.

If you are looking for a fundamental, easy to remember and simple to create type of logo, then a basic shape will do the job well. You could use geometric shapes with a simple color palette, like many wedding ring brands. This type of logo also works nicely in black and white colors. For instance, diamond-shaped logos can convey elegance and sophistication.

Think of something like Mitsubishi or HSBC. Delta Air Lines, Mastercard are other few fantastic examples you might have come across.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

But that is the thing about basic shapes, you cannot simply choose a random shape and call it your logo. If it is not well-thought-of, people would not know what you are talking about. The Nike Swoosh (the tick design) may seem basic, but it has a story behind it.

Swoosh is a sound we hear when something or someone whizzes by us quickly. The word stands for speed and motion — something that the athleisure brand is all about!

Alternatively, slime logos pan out brilliantly if you do not mind setting a cartoonish context for your brand. Here, instead of having a standard symbol or typeface, the logo has slime-inspired elements. Its color spreads on the design as smoothly as slime does.

Do you remember Nickelodeon's logo? That is a classic example of slime logos. If you sell children's products or are in a similar industry, you cannot go wrong with a slime logo.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

7. Combination

Do you want a logo that is not a mascot or symbol but comprises both text and image? Then, combination logos are apt for you. The fun part is, you might not wake up one morning and think you "want" to create a combination logo. It will just happen during the design stage.

This type of logo is exceptionally adaptable to various settings because you can experiment with individual elements as needed — without compromising the memorability and integrity of your business logo. On top of that, the result is phenomenal! Combine a shape with a short text (e.g., company's name) or design a monogram and mascot logo.

At the end of the day, whatever you create should represent your company accurately and stand the test of time. BNP Paribas, Kodak, Lacoste, Chanel, and Adidas are some brilliant examples of combination logos that never fail to inspire.

7 Types of Logos and How to Use Them Correctly

Get cracking on your logo design

Now that you know what kind of logo is right for your business, get down to creating it. Use a suitable like AI logo generator or logo maker app to bring your vision to life Do not just finalize the first logo you create. Design multiple variations and get your entire team to make the call.

Take your time and make sure whatever you decide really reflects who you are as a business. That is all that matters. All the best!

About Author: Aanya Rachel is the Content Manager at The Address, a coworking space in Vadodara, Gujarat. She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge, experience, and extensive research in this field. She writes on various subjects related to coworking, remote work, employee productivity software, and tech startups.

Blog Post written by:
Digital Marketing Institute