Logo Types: A Field Guide (With Examples)
On a warm spring day in our hometown of New York City (in the pre-COVID era), you might come across dozens of birdwatchers floating through Central Park. We have often been amazed at their commitment to finding and identifying the hundreds of different species living in the relatively small forested area that’s nestled into one of the world’s most urban landscapes.
Why bring up birdwatching in an article about logos? Because there are more similarities between ornithology and logo design than you might think. Just like birds, there are literally millions of logos out there. And, in the same way that we can categorize our winged friends into a few distinct groups, nearly all well-known business identities fit into a family or design style.
Being able to identify them is a core competency in our business. But it can have value for a business owner or executive who is thinking about launching or rebranding their enterprise, too. After all, if you want people to recognize your company, it makes sense to follow the approach other highly recognizable brands have used.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the seven major logo styles you’ll see out in the wild world of business…
The 6 Logo Types & How to Use Them
This type of logo is made up of simple letters or initials.They work best when you have a famous business that’s known by a short acronym or a few quick words that are easy to remember. This type of logo is all about keeping things clean and simple, which is why they are so memorable. Lettermark logos are perfect for law firms (as in this example) – because it looks professional.
This category is related to the first, and that it’s usually a simple font-based design that highlights the company’s name and nothing more – as with this example of a wordmark logo we did for a high end jewelry designer. Since the emphasis is on a single short word, it’s crucial to get font and color choices absolutely right for feeling you want to convey when using this style.
#3 Brand Marks
(AKA Symbol Logos)
Similar to the single-word logo, this type focuses brand identity on a clean image. It distills the company’s persona down to a single point that will hopefully become instantly recognizable to customers, as well as the public at large. Of course, that makes the choice of image crucially important. We designed this brandmark logo for a food delivery service.
#4 Mascot Logos
These logos use illustrated characters to identify a specific brand. While the character may be based off of a real person, they tend to be cartoons or exaggerations – similar to the mascots you would see at a sporting event. This logotype can be highly effective if your character catches on, but it’s important to choose a face and personality that will age well over time. In this case, we designed a mascot logo for a brewery – and it just made sense.
#5 Emblems (AKA Crest Logos)
Emblem logos put distinctive fonts inside symbols or icons. They often resemble badges, seals, or crests, emphasizing a traditional appearance that creates a sense of history or credibility. These sorts of intricate designs are striking, but can be difficult to implement on business cards, websites, and other marketing pieces because they might be hard to see or understand at smaller sizes. We designed this legal logo for J. Merson Law in NYC.
#6 Combination Logos
As the name suggests, these logos incorporate multiple elements we’ve already discussed, such as a wordmark with a pictoral. When done well, these logos can be very effective. However, marketers and designers have to be careful about producing business identities that seem too busy or complicated. In this combination logo design for a premier hair salon, the combination logo was clearly the right choice.
What Does Your Logo Say About Your Brand?
It’s unfortunate, but many entrepreneurs and marketers choose their brand identities without any real vision or strategic thought. Even worse, they work with designers who don’t know anything about their businesses or the types of messages they want to convey.
If you want to get a logo for your business that actually means something – and helps you establish your place in the market as a leader – then talk with the creative minds at Logo Design NYC in New York City today. We have the expertise and experience you need to build your brand’s identity from the ground up. But if you want a second opinion – or can’t quite find room in your budget for any of our affordable logo design packages – we also recommend DesignRush.Com – where you’re sure to find a designer on almost any budget!