Five types of logos and when they work best

Having a logo that is unique and memorable is essential for grabbing the attention of potential customers. This is why deciding which type of logo to design is an important first step. To help you make this decision, we’ve put together a guide on the five main types of logos and when they work best. 

Lettermark logos 

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Lettermark logos, also known as monogram logos, consist solely of letters. Generally, the letters used are the initials of the business name. For example, McDonald’s has a logo featuring a simple “M” and the logo for the British Broadcasting Corporation is a stylised “BBC”. 

These logos work best for businesses with long names. People are much more likely to remember a few initials rather than a string of lengthy words. By using just a few letters, the end result is a simplistic yet memorable logo. It’s also important to focus on the typography used for lettermark logos. You’ll need a font that is easy to read, distinctive and reflects your brand personality. 

Wordmark logos

Similar to lettermarks, a wordmark is another typography-based logo. This type of logo usually includes the name of the business, making it a simple but effective design. Just like with lettermarks, you’ll have to do your research and find an appropriate font that captures what your business is all about. The logos of Google and Ebay are great examples of memorable wordmarks. 

These logos work best for businesses with distinct, short names. Plus, opting for this type of logo means you won’t need to spend time searching for a symbol or graphic image! If you’re a new business, wordmark logos can be great for gaining awareness and getting your name out there. 

Pictorial logos

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Pictorial logos, also known as pictorial marks, are icon-based logos. The icons used should be immediately recognisable and unique. Research shows that people find it easier to recognise pictures over words, meaning that these logos can really help to aid recall. The chosen icon should reflect either the business name or the product/service offered. Some examples include the logos of Apple, Twitter and Snapchat. 

Pictorial logos work best for bigger, well-established brands that can be recognised without the use of additional text. No matter how good your design is, the most important factor is that people can recognise it. 

Abstract/symbolic logos

An abstract logo is a specific type of pictorial logo. These logos are made up of geometric shapes and abstract designs, rather than just one, simple image. It’s often felt that these logos are some of the most creative since they allow you to show your brand identity through the use of colours and shapes. For example, the logo for BP uses geometrical shapes to represent a sun.

These logos work best for capturing a message or symbolising what a business offers through creative designs. For this reason, abstract logos are highly popular with large companies that offer various, unrelated services. However, as with all logos, the design still needs to be simple enough to avoid confusion. 

Combination logos 

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Why not combine everything together? Essentially, a combination logo consists of a wordmark, lettermark, pictorial mark and an abstract mark. By using this type of logo, people will see your business name and a pictorial image together, therefore helping them to link the two. As your business becomes more established, you could move to an exclusively pictorial logo.

This style of logo offers clarification on what a business provides, whilst still capturing the brand identity. Again, it’s important not to make combination logos too complex. They must be engaging, eye-catching and easy to understand. Some good examples of combination logos include that of Burger King, Mastercard and Doritos.