The 7 Most Popular Types of Brand Logos

The 7 Most Popular Types of Brand Logos:

In this episode of Building The Brand, you will learn the 7 most popular types of brand logos, and which is best for your business.
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Your logo is typically going to be one of the first visual representations of your business and brand.

Therefore, it needs to support your business and effectively describe your products or services.

Now you may be wondering, what is it that makes a great logo?

A great logo needs to be unique and distinctive to your brand. Your logo should be memorable, timeless, and support your brand identity.

While designing and evaluating your logo choices, ask your these questions:

  • Will the consumer know exactly what your business does within just a few seconds?
  • Will your customers remember your logo? Is it simple and recognizable?
  • Is it unique and differentiates your brand from the competition?
  • Does the design appeal to your target audience?
  • Is it timeless and will it support the future growth of your business?
  • Is it flexible and can be easily used and integrated into all your digital and print applications?

Remember to think about the big picture here, your logo should not be based on your personal design preferences. It needs to support and achieve the objectives of your brand.

Now, if you have been running your business for a while, you most likely already have a logo.

However, you may be realizing that your current logo does not accurately represent your brand as well as it should.

Therefore, it may be time for a logo redesign, or at least a logo refresh.

The first step in a logo redesign to review your brand strategy and refresh your memory about your brand’s purpose, vision, mission, values, and messaging.

Once you have a solid understanding of your brand’s personality, it will be much easier for you to make good design choices.

Next you’re going to want to do some serious research and look for inspiration.

Take a look at other logos within the same industry as yours, and also outside of your industry.

Look at your competitors’ logos and see how they inspire you to make your logo better.

When you are looking for logo inspiration don’t just look for GOOD logo design, but also BAD logo design.

This will help you make the best design decisions and learn what not to do when designing your logo.

A great place to start when designing your logo is to review the different logo types available.

This can really consolidate your options by not only inspiring you, but also by eliminating some logo types that just won’t work well with your brand.

So here 7 examples of the most popular types of logos:

#1: Wordmark

A wordmark is considered one of the more basic logo types.

It is literally your company name displayed in a highly stylized and distinctive typeface.

It should be easy to read and instantly understood.

When designing a wordmark be sure to choose a typeface that supports your brands personality, and pay close attention to the fonts character dimension and kerning.

Just because this type of logo is a simple representation of your brand, doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with it.

Use contrasting colors, and add subtle graphics elements with the text.

For example, whether you’ve noticed it before or not, the FedEx wordmark includes an arrow in the whitespace between the E and X, implying forward motion.

Other examples of wordmarks logos are:

Coca Cola
Nasa
Facebook
IBM
Cartier
Google

#2: Lettermark

These types of logos are even simpler and more minimalist than wordmarks.

These logos are typically the first letter or letters of the business name displayed in a highly stylized graphic format.

Examples of lettermark logos are Yahoo, H&M, UFC, IBM, HP, McDonalds, and CNN.

This type of logo can be a great way to reduce your brand’s name to something more memorable, and are easier to use for reduced purposes like app icons and social media.

However, lettermarks may lack expression and aren’t very descriptive, so you may be limiting your brand recognition and clarity.

Typically, brands will switch to a lettermark option after they have become well established in the marketplace.

#3: Pictorial Mark or Conceptual Mark

These are simple and unique graphical representations of the brand.

Oftentimes they feature an easily recognizable image, but sometimes they are a shape that may not even relate to the brands products or services.

The goal in creating a pictorial mark is to design the simplest form possible, and make effective use of whitespace.

Less is always more when designing a pictorial mark.

Effective example of pictorial marks are:

Apple
Starbucks
Target
Shell
Dominos

#4: Combination Mark

When you combine a pictorial mark with a wordmark you get a combination mark.

This is when your logo includes your business name and a symbol or unique graphic.

The name can either be placed next to the symbol or integrated within the symbol to create a complete graphic.

Examples of Combination marks are:

Burger King
Dropbox
Adobe
Dunkin Donuts
Toyota

#5: Emblem Mark

Similar to a combination mark, these logos often contain multiple elements like a wordmark and pictorial mark.

But they are then designed within a shape that becomes part of the brand identity.

If you choose to design an emblem mark, pay close attention to the text size.

Since this logo type includes multiple elements, it may become illegible when scaled down to smaller sizes.

Examples of well designed emblem marks are:

NHL
Bugatti
UPS
Harley Davidson
BMW
NFL

#6: Abstract Mark

Similar to pictorial marks, these logo types are simple and unique graphical representations of the brand.

However they are not a recognizable symbol. Instead, they are completely abstract geometric forms that don’t form an immediate connection.

Examples of brand who effectively use Abstract Marks are:

Pepsi
Adidas
Mitsubishi
Chase Bank
BP
Reebok

#7: Mascot Mark

These are exactly what they sound like. It’s when a brand uses a human figure, animal, or fictional character to portray a personality.

Sports teams and food brands often use this type of logo.

Some examples Mascot marks include:

KFC
Pringles
Michelin
Lacoste
Wendy’s
Land O Lakes

So those are the 7 different types of logos. I suggest you first begin by eliminating logo types that won’t fit with your brand. Then start searching for inspiration and begin to sketch out some preliminary ideas.

To continue your training and dive deeper into how to design your brand logo, check out my free 7 Day Brand Bootcamp by enrolling below or by visiting 7DayBrandBootcamp.com.

I’ll see you there!

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Chris
Chris McCarthy is a designer, creative director, brand strategist, consultant, business coach and the founder of Brand Identified. Contact Me.

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