There are a number of ideas floating around about what a logo really is. If we were to ask most people what a logo is, they would have a variety of different answers, but they would probably all be right in one way or another. The reality is, there are a number of different types of logo “marks” you could choose to utilize for yourself. In this article, we’ll briefly explain the 5 main types of logos and show some examples of each you’ll probably recognize.
Symbol or Icon
This type of logo represents the company in a simple but bold manner. In most cases, the image is abstract and stylized to give visual interest. Most companies that use this type of logo will have a very simple main logo, but may choose to create additional alternative versions that appear a little more flashy. The human mind can easily remember a simple form much easier than a complex one. It’s best to use a simple symbol or icon if you plan on building a large business. You probably recognize symbol logos like Apple, Shell and Mercedes-Benz.
These are uniquely styled text logos that spell out the company or brand name. Many times, custom fonts are created specifically for brands to use across all their marketing and branding collateral. Some examples include Facebook, Disney and Sony.
Lettermarks are exclusively typographic. They use a symbol representing the company through the use of its initials or the brands first letter. Many companies choose to use this type of logo because their initials can better graphically illustrate the company better than the full name (name is too long), the name is hard to pronounce, or it’s just not distinct enough to carry its own weight. Some companies and organizations that use lettermarks include Hewlett-Packard, Chanel and General Electric.
These logos combine a wordmark and a symbol or icon to give the flexibility for the use of either or both elements across a variety of applications. A well-designed combination mark looks just as good with the elements separate as it does with them together. You might recognize some combo marks like Hawaiian Airlines, Adidas and Sprint.
An emblem logo encases the company name within the design. Some examples include Starbucks, the NFL and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.