8 Different Types of Logos and Their Characteristics

We have all seen them in print ads, online and even driving down the street. Businesses have signs and advertising that are instantly recognizable and serve to showcase their brand through visual recognition. These are their logos; every business from Mcdonald’s to Netflix and Apple to Nike has one.

A logo visually represents your brand and combines text, shapes and images to identify a business. When you see one, you instantly know what company it is, and they are a crucial asset to your bottom line. Logos are as diverse as the businesses that use them. You can use a logo maker to create many options for these brand marks.

Here are the types of logos you can use.

Type #1: Wordmark Logos

A wordmark is created by using the letters of a company name. The letters are stylized in any font you like and can even be customized by the individual letter to make your brand shine. This logo should be easy to read with a distinctive typeface that makes it stand out from competitors and is the simplest form of brand expression.

Wordmarks can also use lettering to create an idea beyond the words through different methods, but ultimately, you are reading the company name in this logo. Examples are:

  • Facebook
  • Coca-Cola
  • Fed X
  • Subway

Type #2: Letterform Logos

Letterform logos use one letter and are typically the first letter in a company’s name. They are small and easily recognizable and are typically used by established brands with an original version, like a wordmark logo. These work well online for social media profiles, and you see them constantly. They include:

  • McDonalds
  • Pinterest
  • Netflix
  • Facebook

Type #3: Combination Logos

A combination logo, a wordmark and a symbol are being used. A combination logo can lay the components beside each other, on top, below or incorporated together, and act as a powerful branding association. Sometimes the combination logo can get overly complicated and be harder to recognize, so simplicity is the key. Some combination logos include:

  • PayPal
  • Pepsi
  • Mastercard
  • TacoBell

Type #4: Lettermark Logos

Some businesses have a long name or one with multiple words, and using an abbreviated logo makes more sense. These typically are the initials and an acronym of the company name to simplify the logo, but it can be harder to identify at first. This logo is best used after a company that is well established, so there is better recognition.

Monogram logos are similar but usually connect the letters like a stitched monogram.

Some of them can sound like words themselves and be used when spoken, like NASA, while others don’t sound like words at all. You see these logos for companies like:

  • NASA
  • IBM
  • CNN
  • HP
  • P&G

Type #5: Symbol Logos

Symbols or pictorial logos use graphics to represent their brands, ranging from illustrations and icons to shapes, to produce an easily recognizable logo. Think of the Twitter bird or the Apple apple; you are looking at a symbol logo. This adds personality to the design and creates uniqueness for the business, so you know what it is instantly.

It’s important to use a symbol that transcends time instead of the current trend, and it needs to represent your business as a whole with all its offerings. You can also send a message using symbols representing your company’s values, so people can better connect with your brand. Here are some companies that use symbol logos:

  • Apple
  • Twitter
  • Shell
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram

Type #6: Abstract Logos

An abstract logo uses imagery to create its brand and messaging and is like a symbol without a recognizable object. This can represent your company’s identity and stand out from other logos by being unique and instantly recognizable. Abstract logos are sometimes in geometric forms or morphed from regular symbols. Companies that use abstract symbols include:

  • Nike
  • Pepsi
  • Starbucks
  • Airbnb
  • NBC
  • PBS

Type #7: Mascot Logos

Another way to create a logo is by developing a company mascot in your branding. It is typically a protagonist for the business and is humanized and loveable, so people easily relate to it. They become ambassadors for the business and can be based on a real person, an animal or a fictitious creature. Examples include:

  • Colonel Sanders
  • Mr. Peanut
  • Tony the Tiger
  • Cap’n Crunch
  • Green Giant
  • Michelin Man

Type #8: Emblem Logos

An emblem logo has all the design elements inside a shape and works well for logos branded on merch with limited space. Also called badge logos, they are similar to a crest and can contain a slogan for brand messaging or a more minimal approach with clean lines. You see these in companies like:

  • Harley Davidson
  • BMW
  • Perrier
  • NHL
  • Bugatti

Other types of logos include:

  • Dynamic
  • 3D
  • Animated
  • Negative Space

Logos validate your business to show customers your professionalism and help connect with people recognizably. Consider these types of logos when building your brand and making your mark on the business landscape.

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