The 7 types of logos and how to use them

Logos are a critical aspect of brand identity, serving as visual symbols that represent a company’s values, culture, and mission. But did you know that there are 7 different types of logo styles you can choose from?

To help you out, here’s a breakdown of seven different types of logos: monogram (or lettermark), wordmark, pictorial mark, abstract, mascot, combination mark, and emblem. I’ll explain each style, tell you when it’s best to use them, and provide examples of businesses that rock these logos. Let’s dive in!

1. Monogram (or Lettermark) Logos

Monogram logos consist of letters, usually the brand’s initials. These logos are typography-based and often utilize a unique font to make the initials stand out. Monogram logos are clean, simple, and easy to remember, making them a great choice for brands with lengthy names.

When to Use:

  • Your brand name is long or difficult to pronounce.
  • You want a minimalist and straightforward design.
  • You aim to create a sleek, professional image.
  • Your brand is established, and the initials are already recognizable.
  • You have a desire to focus on typographic creativity.

Examples:

2. Wordmark Logos

Wordmark logos are similar to monogram logos but use the full brand name instead of initials. They rely heavily on typography and are best suited for companies with unique, memorable names. The font choice is crucial as it conveys the brand’s personality.

When to Use:

  • Your brand name is unique and catchy.
  • You want to emphasize your brand name in your logo.
  • Your business is new, and you want to build brand name recognition.
  • You have a short, distinctive name.
  • You wish to use typography to reflect your brand’s style.

Examples:

3. Pictorial Mark Logos

Pictorial marks, also known as logo symbols, are graphic-based logos. These logos consist of a graphic icon or symbol that represents the brand in a simple yet impactful way. The symbol is typically straightforward and easily recognizable.

When to Use:

  • Your brand wants to be recognized globally (beyond language barriers).
  • You can find a unique symbol that represents your business well.
  • You aim to create a strong visual association.
  • Your brand is established, and people recognize your symbol.
  • You plan to have a highly visual brand identity.

Examples:

4. Abstract Logos

Abstract logos are graphic-based logos but instead of being a recognizable image (like an apple or bird), they use abstract forms to convey a unique aspect of the brand. These logos are highly conceptual and can be tailored to create a unique identity.

When to Use:

  • You want a unique symbol that’s not easily replicated.
  • You aim to convey a broader message or emotion.
  • Your business spans multiple industries or products.
  • You wish to stand out with a modern and creative design.
  • You want flexibility in how your logo represents your brand.

Examples:

5. Mascot Logos

Mascot logos incorporate a character or mascot as the focal point. These logos often have colorful, cartoonish elements and are great for creating a brand spokesperson or character that represents your business.

When to Use:

  • You want to create a family-friendly brand.
  • Your business targets children or families.
  • You seek to build a brand personality that’s fun and approachable.
  • Your marketing strategy includes a lot of interactive elements.
  • You want a character that can act as a brand ambassador.

Examples:

6. Combination Mark Logos

Combination marks combine a wordmark or lettermark with a pictorial mark, abstract mark, or mascot. This type of logo can provide both a text element and a visual icon, offering versatility.

When to Use:

  • You want the flexibility to use text and symbol together or separately.
  • You aim to create a strong visual identity with both name and icon.
  • Your brand benefits from having a recognizable symbol and name.
  • You seek to communicate more about your business through the logo.
  • You want to cater to different marketing needs (e.g., full logo for formal use, symbol for merchandise).

Examples:

7. Emblem Logos

Emblem logos consist of a font inside a symbol or an icon; think badges, seals, and crests. These logos have a traditional and authoritative look, often used by schools, organizations, or government agencies.

When to Use:

  • You want a classic or traditional look.
  • Your brand has a lot of history or a heritage to convey.
  • You seek to create a formal, prestigious image.
  • Your logo needs to work well on merchandise and branded materials.
  • You want to convey stability and authority.

Examples:

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