Five standard logo types: what’s the difference?

We all know logos are important, most businesses have one. But when starting up, and tossing up ideas for what you want your logo to look like, consider first, what logo type you want. I’m not talking about what colours, or fonts you’ll use. The ‘type’ of logo you choose can be one of five. Do you know the difference?

 

1. Iconic

 

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Simple, bold and memorable, this logo type offers a fantastic way to express ideas and feelings related to your brand. While iconic logos rely on your other marketing efforts to explain who you are and what you do, they provide a stylish and effective way to simplify your brand messaging. Many businesses switch to iconic logos once they have become well known and established; the logos of Apple, Nike and Microsoft are all great examples worth following.

 

2. Wordmark

 

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The art of this logo type is all in the letters, as it features the business name without any imagery. Thick lettering is used to display strength, cursive to depict speed or movement, and handwritten styles evoke feelings of fun and friendliness. Global brands Coca-Cola, Disney and Google all utilise the wordmark logo type.

 

3. Letter mark

 

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Similar to both the iconic and wordmark types, letter mark logos use acronyms or abbreviations rather than the entire business name. This style often uses creative lettering to form a type of symbol and is ideal for businesses that have long names or those that are difficult to pronounce. Some of the most famous letter mark logos are those belonging to Hewlett Packard, General Electric and IBM.

 

4. Combination mark


 

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This powerful style incorporates both text and images, providing an effective way to get across far more than just your name. Combination mark logos establish two levels of brand recognition: the words and images, which can thereafter be used together or separately. KFC, Adidas and Jaguar all use the combination mark logo to magnificent effect.

 

5. Emblematic

 

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Popular with sports teams and security companies, this logo style is similar to the combination mark type except with a stronger connection between the words and imagery. While these logos tend to look very official, they can sometimes be difficult to read when printed on small packaging or signage. The Harley Davidson and Starbucks logos are both great examples of the emblematic type.

 

Once you decide what logo type is right for your brand, the next big decision is colour. It is also worth seeking out a few reactions and gathering some feedback on your logo before you make any final decisions.

 

Jo Sabin, marketing communications manager of DesignCrowd.com.au, a logo, web and graphic design marketplace.


Designing a logo for your startup? Here are some more tips and six websites to visit for inspiration.


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