Logos are everywhere and why wouldn’t they be. Why communicate with entire lines of text if you can be known for a symbol, mascot, or a single word. Logos exist in a broad aspect in our minds and our lives. Our recognition of things is associated with logos, of course, that’s why they exist but that’s true for some logos more than others.
The logos of Apple, Coke, and Nike are more recognizable than any one person’s face or a company name or concept. So why is this? Is it that particular company? Is it the tendency we have with perceiving imagery better and more memorably? Is it the custom logo design? Here are the types of logo designs that exist and why they are popular.
Let’s start with the different types. There are 5 types of logos you can choose from when designing your logo.
First up is the Word Mark. The word mark is simply a word, probably the name, associated with the company or brand in question. This enables recognition very well by keeping it simple and to the point. Virgin, FedEx, and Facebook are good examples of this practice. This gives the viewer something to look at and associate your brand with as well as get a word association going with a word.
Next up is the Brand Mark where the logo simply depicts the icon or mascot of the brand to appear without any typography whatsoever. For example, Apple, Nike, and Mozilla Firefox rebranded their logo over the years to have made it a simple brand mark that is sufficient for the human eye and brain to recognize which brand it is. This was much easier in their case especially after years of being giants or pioneers of their respective fields. A brand mark is simple and cheap. Any online logo designer is capable of getting you exactly what you want.
Letter Mark is the next one. This is usually used with deliberate intent especially if the company name is too long or too commonplace to spell out. This gives the logo a chance to be edgy or witty at the same time as the artwork or design layout to shine. For instance, HBO and IBM use a letter mark to punch their boring names while HP uses it to be edgy with the font designed on the logo with an almost symmetry to make it look sleek and neat.
Combo or Combination Mark
Then there is the Combo or Combination Mark. This is the concept of artwork like a brand mark displayed along with the brand name or company name. This can be very popular and has the potential to become a recognized symbol worldwide. If you work your design into something that carries forward to the typography or vice versa even better like Quaker Oatmeal or Whirlpool Appliances. Of course, this is only a preference and not a rule which logos like AT&T’s do not follow. And we all agree that that looks pretty good and is well recognized. So you could in theory pair up a brand mark with typography or a word mark with artwork or even marry a brand mark with a word mark or even a letter mark like AT&T.
The last one is the Emblem logo. The emblem logo is the amalgamation of the brand mark or letter mark, brand name, and additional artwork within each other. Simply put where the typography is contained within the logo itself although purposely to stand out from the artwork. The most famous logos stem from this type of logo design concept. Not be confused with the combo mark which is an addition of the concepts and used simultaneously. The emblem all-around fuses the two or more bits of information or concepts to produce one single image that would not make as much sense if shortened or altered or revised in any way. Brands such as Ford, StarBucks Coffee, and the NBA are prime examples of this concept and its overall impression. The look of the emblem lends itself to the look of a professional logo design with its elaborate artwork and suave typography and how it is oriented.
With all these choices in logo design, one won’t have to look too much before understanding that these are the basis of all other options and styles that carry their water on the fundamental and aesthetic level. Knowing these concepts will now allow you to make an informed decision and pick out the best option when designing your ideal logo whether it be for your brand or company. Or you may be designing it for someone else and need ideas, layout, and template. Either way, now you can determine why you like a certain logo and what you want in the one you’re designing.