Types of logo

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Now that we know what to keep in mind while creating our logo let’s talk about the different types of logos that are out there. Some people will say that there are 5 types of logo others will say that they are 7 or 9, but we are going to divide it in only 3 types of logos. The other “types” are just variations of the main 3.


You may recognize a logo because it’s simply the company’s name, sometimes you can recognize a logo without any words at all, sometimes with images and typography (the font used for the letters) .


The 3 types of logo we are going to talk about here are Isotype (Images), Logotype (Typography) and Iso-Logotype (both combine).


Logotype (Typographic logos)


It’s the word that we most use to define the graphic representation of a brand but it’s not always the most accurate word to describe it. Logotype is refered when you only use letters (or words) to create your logo. Changing the kerning, shaping, color, outlines and composition, thought, the text can become an image itself.


Monograms (lettermarks)


Monograms Logo Example

Are you familiar with any of those brands above? Those are monograms, they use the initals of their names. The benefits of making a monogram are that it’s easier to read when you put it in their minimum size and also (without long names to spell) is easier to remember . A perfect choice for companies that have long or complicated names.

A key point if you want to do a monogram is that it should be legible. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something out of the box, you can create a lot of impact with the color and it’s design, but don’t forget it has to be readable.


Wordmarks



Wordmark Logo Example


This is the most straightforward way to present your brand. If you have a cool name (and not that long) this can be a perfect way to stand out. Don’t forget to foucs on the typography (fonts) and the colors that represent your brand.


Isotype (logo symbol or brand mark)


The symbolic or iconic representation of your logo. They are exclusively images, without any text.

With just a quick glance you should be able to remember it and identify is it from. It’s true that it might need a little bit more time to enter to your customer’s mind, but after a minute and with repetition it’s going to make your identity really strong to be just identified by a symbol.


Pictorial mark


Pictorial Mark Isotype Example

Each of these companies logos is so emblematic, and each brand so established, that the mark alone is instantly recognizable. A true brand mark is only an image. Because of this, it can be a tricky logo type for new companies, or those without strong brand recognition, to use.

The biggest thing to consider when deciding to go with a pictorial mark is what image to choose. This is something that will stick with your company it’s entire existence, unless you want to re-do your brand at some point (it’s doable but I wouldn’t recommend it unless your brand it’s getting old). A pictorial mark usually is a literal representation of your brand. The icon should be something really easy to identify and it’s the perfect choice to be as creative as you want.


Abstract mark


Abstract Mark Isotype Example

So if usually a pictorial image is a literal representation of your brand an abstract marks are more outside the box, like an abstract geometric form that represents your business.

They don’t really represent anything at first sight but they are really conceptual. Because they are so unique, they encourage to inmediate recognition.

The benefit of having an abstract mark logo is that you can describe what your company is (or do) symbolically. With colors and/or forms you can create and cultivate emotions (and experiences) around your brand. With that been said abstract marks are the most difficult (at least for me) type of logo to design, because they can also create confussion among your audience. If you don’t know yet what your brand stands for, you are going to spend a lot of time on creating this type of logo.


Mascots


Mascot Isotype Example

Everyone loves mascots, even logos. This type of logo involves an illustrated character that is going to represent your brand. It’s a clever move if you are looking to connect with your customer’s emotions, because people tend to connect more with personalities before a logical concept.

They also can be easily customizable and this is the key to this. You can tweek it a little bit for Christmas (with a hat and a beard on), Halloween (making it like a zombie, vampire or whatever you can imagine) or events (pride, black Friday, etc) and have people engage with your new look without changing it drasticly or having to re-do your merchandising.


Iso-Logotype


And finally the combination of both, an Iso-logotype it’s the mixture of both made it inseparable, we are also going to talk about emblems logo in this category too.


Combination Mark (and imagotype)


Combination Mark Iso-Logo Example

Some say imagotype is different from the Iso-logotype just because Iso-logotype should be the combination of both using it as a whole and the imagotype they can be separate elements working individually, but we are not going to discuss that here since (at least for me) both are technically the same.

Both text and image combined into one, they are really specific to the brand they represent. The combination of both styles of logos creates a strong and memorable picture for your audience, you now have 2 elements instead of one to solidify your company’s brand. They start as one whole symbol but you can use both independly later on once you reach enough popularity so people can relate where are the elements coming from (the same company).


It’s a good choice if you want to do something creative and innovative but if you business is focus on simplicity or you want something more formal, it may be not the best choice to combine a lot of elements.


Emblems



And finally our last topic are the emblems logo, they are kind of similar from the iso-logotype but also a bit more simple. Basically it’s a font within a symbol.

The classic look for classic brands, emblems tend to be a little bit old fashioned and it’s not for every business but if you are looking for elegance and style this might be your choice.

Very easy to make patches for uniforms and also to really easy to recognize. The main obstacle for this type of logo is that it’s not really scalable and you are going to have some trouble if you want to print it on small things (post cards, little stickers, pens, etc).


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