3 Types of Logos Every Business Owner Should Know

All brands, especially the new ones, must have a great logo design to differentiate themselves from their biggest competitors. But, before you go out there and get one of your own, why not read this article first? This one is filled with information about the three major logo designs and how you can properly use them in your brand objectives.

Ready? Let’s begin with symbols:


Pictorial Marks or Brandmarks

Symbols are images or graphics that represent an idea, object, and even a process. Perfect examples of these are the wayfinding icons you see every day and of course, the thousands of Pictorial Marks out there.

Pictorial Marks or Brandmarks are images (usually vectors) that stand for a brand’s core values. They are best for brands that have an international market and for companies with lengthy names. They are also expected to convey core values alone which makes it a challenge for new brands. So, it only makes sense that creating them should be done with more caution.

Doodling wouldn’t be the only way to come up with the best possible brandmark. You should also do your research and let your ideas incubate. You should study your brand’s core values and brainstorm various design approaches with professional designers. And as you go on with your design process, try not to merge your brandmark with a logotype just yet because you might be going for a logo combination which needs an entirely different design approach.

Abstract Logos

Abstract Logos are like a variant of brandmarks. But, are usually composed of unique shapes and patterns rather than familiar icons. Designing them will also take a lot of research and brainstorming.


Mascots, such as KFC’s colonel, aren’t necessary for every type of brand. But, if you want to appeal to a certain market, such as families and children then a mascot might just come in handy for your company. Mascots might also come with many details which makes them hard to replicate in all branding platforms.


Wordmarks and Lettermarks

Wordmarks and Lettermarks are to a certain extent, similar. They are entirely composed of type. But, they’re also unique to each other since they serve different purposes. A wordmark is usually used by companies with unique brand names such as Google and Coca-Cola. On the other hand, lettermarks are created to emphasize a company’s initials rather than its full brand name. Examples of a lettermark include IBM, CNN, and EA.

Both logos are easy to duplicate in all marketing and branding platforms. But, there are still a few factors that you should consider before you create either one of them:

  • Wordmarks are best for brands with unique names and for startups that want to introduce their brand.
  • Lettermarks are good for those that want to visually simplify their brand name.


Iconic Logotypes

Iconic logotypes are usually a mix of a wordmark or lettermark and a symbol. These come in many unique forms–some are stacked while others are placed shoulder-to-shoulder. Examples include Adidas, Burger King, and Doritos.

The versatility of the iconic logotypes makes them the most popular logo approach by designers and by brands from all stages. These are the only logos that you can actually divide and at the same time, manage to become more recognizable by your audience. They’re a lot easier to trademark too. However, you should keep in mind that it’s equally complicated to design iconic logotypes. So, you really have to double your research and brainstorming sessions for this one.


An emblem is a variant of iconic logotypes wherein the logotypes are sealed within the graphic image. Perfect examples are Ford, Harley-Davidson and Harvard University. They usually give a classic vibe which makes them popular with educational institutions, government offices, and organizations. They also tend to have more details compared to other logo approaches which make them the least flexible of them all. For instance, an intricate emblem may not be suitable for smaller branding touchpoints such as business cards and pens. So, as much as possible, keep your emblems bold and simple like Starbucks and UPS.

Remember: Research Makes Everything Right

There’s indeed so many ways to create your logo but always keep in mind that the right one doesn’t show up out of anywhere. You should allocate some of your time researching and brainstorming to make the best possible design. Don’t rush the process, continue exploring and you might just be able to come up with the next classic logo design!