The 9 types of logos and which one will work best for your business

    The 9 types of logos and which one will work best for your business

    If you’re a monopolistic business, then it might not matter what kind of logo you use — people will still have no other choice but to buy from you.&n...

    If you’re a monopolistic business, then it might not matter what kind of logo you use — people will still have no other choice but to buy from you. 

    However, if you’re fighting a dozen other businesses for the attention of your target audience, every little detail matters. Especially your logo. 

    In fact, before your potential customer learns anything about your business and the products you offer, it’s likely that they’ve already made an initial judgment about your brand based on its name and logo. So, yes, it is important which visual you choose to represent your company. 

    Not only can it differentiate you from the competition, but also:

    • Invite your customers to get to know your brand
    • Grab your potential customers’ attention
    • Foster brand loyalty
    • Lay the foundation of your brand identity
    • Help you remain memorable in the eyes of the consumer

    But for a logo to be capable of all that, it needs to be good: trendy, relevant, visually appealing, and — most importantly — it should speak volumes about your brand and what it stands for. On top of that, you also need to create a logo that is scalable; it has to look great blown up to a billboard, and equally good in a tiny print on a business card. And it also has to work in color and black and white. 

    To create a good logo, you need to use a reliable tool and have a solid understanding of what kind of design your business needs. Lucky for you, VistaCreate can help with both.

    Give Logo Maker a try and create an eye-catching logo in a matter of seconds. We offer everything you could possibly need: a library of ready-to-use customizable logo templates, a selection of high-performing fonts, and a solid collection of custom objects. Just add your company details, and a wide selection of different stylized logos will be created for you. All you have to do is choose the one you like most!

    But before you proceed with designing a logo for your business, make sure you know exactly what type of logo your company needs. 

    9 types of logos and which style to go with for your business

    Depending on the peculiarities of your business, you might benefit more from one of the following types of logos. 

    Wordmark aka Logotype


    Wordmark logo (also known as Logotype logo) is the most common type of logos. It uses the name of the brand as the logo itself. 

    These logos work best when a company has a distinct, recognizable name. Choosing wordmark logos for brands with generic names might be confusing for the public and not contribute to raising brand awareness. 

    However, when done correctly, a wordmark logo can do your business a huge favor. First of all, it’s relatively easy to create (you don’t need to pull a week-long all-nighter to come up with a quirky creative to represent your brand). Secondly, people won’t have to guess what brand your logo represents — it’s clear from first glance. Moreover, you can expect more people to remember the name of your brand, as they’ll be seeing it a lot more. Finally, it’s relatively easy to use, as wordmarks are transferable onto any marketing materials and will need less variation and changes over time. 

    As if you didn’t have enough options on your table already, there’s another division in the classification; a differentiation between serif wordmarks, sans serif wordmarks, script wordmarks, and handwriting wordmarks. 

    Learn all there is to know about fonts in our article!

    Serif wordmarks


    Wordmark logos that use serif lettering (where the strokes of the letters have small lines or wedges at the ends) tend to appear more formal, traditional, and expensive. 

    For this very reason, serif wordmarks are particularly popular among well-established luxury brands and brands that want to come across more serious and trustworthy. 

    Sans serif wordmarks


    On the other hand, sans serif lettering wordmarks ( ones that don’t have additional strokes)  are traditionally more modern and clean. They are often used to represent progressive tech brands. 

    Script wordmarks


    Script wordmarks step away from the digital realm and echo cursive writing or calligraphy. Letters in these wordmarks are connected. 

    Depending on the style of the logo, script wordmarks can appear more elegant and refined, or edgy and retro. 

    Handwriting wordmarks 


    Finally, handwriting wordmarks are a subset of script wordmarks; they’re a less polished, more irregular version of cursive script logotypes. Traditionally, these get chosen by companies that want to appear more personal and casual. They’re particularly popular among brands that revolve around their founder, think fashion designers. 

    You should use a wordmark or logotype logo if you’re a new business that wants to get your name out there. Alternatively, you can go for a logo like this when you have already established yourself in the industry — then, people won’t even treat it as a classic logo, just your name written down (exactly what it is). 

    You can also resort to wordmarks to reflect your brand’s personality. There’s an infinite number of different fonts you can use to create a wordmark logo that captures the essence of your brand and makes it stand out. 

    Usually, wordmark logos are a great, safe option to go for when none of the other types of logos fit your brand. 

    However, you need to be wary of certain drawbacks associated with logotype logos. 

    Things to consider when choosing the wordmark logo:

    • Wordmark logos won’t work for brands that have a very long name. First of all, it can look too cluttered. Besides, there’s also a high risk of such wordmarks being difficult to remember and equally as difficult to use in marketing designs. 
    • You need to work extra hard on choosing the right look for your logo. Your name written in a generic font isn’t likely to stick, so you need to play around with different fonts to create a remarkable custom one. 
    • If your brand is named after a person rather than a concept, a wordmark logo may not be indicative of the kind of business it represents. So, it might be difficult for your target audience to understand which industry your business is in. 

    Some of the most prominent examples of brands using a wordmark logo include Braun, Animal Planet, Oscar de la Renta, Disney, Gillette, Coca Cola, Google, Cartier.

    Monogram logo aka Lettermark


    If your business can’t use a wordmark logo because your brand name is too long, but you still want to go for a text-based logo, monogram logos are the perfect solution for you. 

    Monogram logo (also known as lettermark logo) is a type of logo that shows the brand’s initials. They’re a great way to make the name of your business stick, while not making the audience remember a lengthy combination of words.

    These logos are particularly loved by the general public because of how popular abbreviations are in the modern world (think, internet slang and its numerous LOLs, WTFs, and IYKYKs). 

    Monogram logos are all about class and simplicity. 

    Some other benefits of monogram logos include the fact that they’re easier to remember than a symbol or a pictorial, they’re easy to replicate on different mediums (which is particularly good for new or developing businesses), and they fit well in different spaces and sizes. 

    When should you use a monogram or lettermark logo

    These logos are particularly good for new businesses that want to get their name out there (just like wordmark logos), but can’t fit their entire brand name on a logo. It’s relatively easy to get a monogram logo up and running — you just need to combine several letters into one coherent logo design. 

    Besides, monograms are great for businesses that cater to higher-end audiences. Especially considering the global logomania, a monogram logo can do your fashion business a huge favor. 

    Things to consider when choosing the lettermark logo:

    • Make sure you think your lettermark logo through; you don’t want to end up with a forgettable, generic logo.
    • Try to experiment with different fonts and different positioning of the letters within your logo; it’s important to ensure your lettermark logo is legible. 

    Examples of companies and brands that use a monogram or lettermark logo

    Some of the most well-known brands that have resorted to a monogram logo are Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Gucci, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, CNN, KFC, HP, IBM, HBO, BBC, H&M.


    Finally, if you want to go even shorter… Give letterform logos a try. They are the most minimalistic in the word-based family of logos, as they comprise of a single letter. 

    These logos are the most difficult to create because they require the most creative design. It needs to be well-designed, bold, and memorable to make an impact. Otherwise, it’s impossible to convey a clear message. 

    If you do choose to create a letterform logo to represent your business, the best advice we can give you is to adopt the same approach as you would when creating icons for your website or app. 

    However, no matter how difficult to create, letterform logos have several solid advantages other types of logos can’t boast. They’re easily scalable: with just one letter to represent your brand, you can stick it virtually anywhere and have it look appropriate and appealing.

    Besides, when designed well, a letterform logo does the same job as its longer text-based cousins — subconsciously invoke the full name of your brand in people’s minds. 

    When should you use a letterform logo

    Letterform logos are perfect for businesses that have extremely long and/or complicated business names, but still want to make their logo “snackable”. 

    The best way to make your letterform logo unique and recognizable, while also hinting on the type of business you are, is to play with the typeface until it stands strong for the main products you offer. For example, the Beats logo resembles speakers. 

    Things to consider when choosing the letterform logo:

    • You need to work extra hard to make your letterform logo stand out from the crowd and stick around. A non-trivial font, dramatic backdrop, or interesting color scheme — anything that makes the letter pop off the page is a must when it comes to letterform logos.
    • Make sure the letters you choose to represent your brand don’t have any hidden (or not so hidden) meanings. For example, we strongly advise against using letters V or Z — you don’t want your brand to be associated with 21st century Nazis, do you? 

    Examples of companies and brands that use a letterform logo

    Some of the most famous brands that represent themselves with a singular letter are Yahoo!, E! Online, McDonald’s, WordPress, Figma, Unilever, Beats.

    Brandmark aka Logo symbol aka Pictorial mark 


    The logo of all logos, the OG: the brandmark logo (also known as a pictorial logo or logo symbol). This is the type of logo that most likely comes to mind when you think of the very concept of a logo — a symbol, an image that represents a particular brand. The iconic Apple logo, the Domino’s Pizza two-colored domino, Puma’s big black cat silhouette, Snapchat’s ghost, and many other pictograms that made their respective brands even more recognizable and well-known. 

    Each of the aforementioned brandmarks are so emblematic, and the brands they represent are so well-established that the symbol alone — no words to accompany it — makes it instantly recognizable.

    If you don’t have the same level of brand strength, it might be tricky for you to achieve the same level of recognition. Therefore, for a lot of startup businesses choosing a brandmark that isn’t followed by at least some type of word is counterintuitive. 

    Yes, Twitter was once a startup. But Twitter also once used to have a wordmark logo. In fact, the company only changed it to the blue bird we all know and love fairly recently, in 2012, when the brand had already received international recognition and fame. 

    Anyway, if you do choose to opt for a brand logo, know that it usually consists of graphic symbols or icons that represent real-word objects (as well as your company, of course). The pictogram you go for should be relatively simple and straightforward, and either make it clear what your company is and does or be a twist on your brand name. For example, the YouTube logo taps into the nature of the business and shows a play button, while Apple’s logo is literally an apple. With a twist 🙂 

    When should you use a brandmark logo

    The one scenario in which it’s appropriate to use a brandmark logo is when your business focuses on one specific thing: either a benefit it has that makes it stand out from the competition, or a particular product. 

    Then, you can try and play around with the imagery associated with your brand to create a unique, recognizable logo.  

    Brandmark logos are also great for international businesses, as you can target different audiences and not make them read/pronounce strange names. 

    Things to consider when choosing the brandmark logo:

    • You need to ensure that your logo communicates enough about your brand to your audience. For this to be possible, the imagery used in it needs to be self-explanatory or your brand should already be relatively well-established.  
    • It needs to be original so that customers don’t confuse it with other brands that use similar imagery in their logos. 
    • The color and the style of the image needs to be in line with your tone of voice and represent your brand’s vibe well. 
    • You need to remember that if you choose overly specific imagery to represent your brand, you might have trouble diversifying your product range in the future and need a rebranding. 
    • It’s likely that you’ll use your brand logo a lot on your marketing materials, so make sure it’s ready for print. 

    Learn more about the most expensive logo designs and redesigns in the history of branding in our article

    Examples of companies and brands that use a brandmark logo

    Some of the most noteworthy examples of brandmark logos belong to Playboy, Target, Dropbox, Twitter, Rolling Stones, Shell, Apple.

    Abstract logo mark 


    If you’re longing for more originality (or if your business is in a niche where it’s difficult to create a brandmark logo that’s representative of your business, while also being unique e.g. barbershop, nail salon, etc), you might want to go for an abstract logo mark. 

    These logos, too, use symbols and images to represent a brand, but not necessarily mimic a real-life object. 

    The main advantage of abstract logos is that they are both visually appealing and eye-catching. This means that you can convey a certain message (for example, show the nature of your brand, its core values) and make people want to examine it, find deeper meaning within it, subconsciously memorize it. 

    When it comes to these logos, there’s usually a lot of room for creativity and experimentation. Most often, abstract logos are made up from geometric shapes in different compositions and combinations.

    When should you use an abstract logo mark

    Abstract logos are particularly great for tech companies and large corporations that have numerous divisions and operate in more than one industry. With a logo like that, you aren’t tied to a specific product or concept, and can expand your range without having to rebrand. 

    Moreover, you can also benefit from an abstract logo if you run a business in a creative industry — use it to express your creativity and freedom. 

    Things to consider when choosing the abstract logo mark:

    • Make sure the abstract image you create is appropriate and non-offensive. 
    • It can be difficult to come up with an abstract visual identity that is representative of your business. 

    Examples of companies and brands that use an abstract logo mark

    Nike is a classic example of a brand that uses an abstract logo. The signature swoosh of the brand is indicative of the movement it preaches, all without relying on the traditional forms and visuals that can often be misinterpreted. It’s all about evoking the right emotions and drawing associations with lines, shapes, and colors. Some other examples of abstract logos include BP, Windows, Pepsi, Huawei, Spotify, Mastercard.

    Mascot logo aka Character logo

    Mascot logos are logos that use recognizable illustrated characters to represent their respective brand. These are often the most complex, colorful, and prominent logos that create an imaginary spokesperson, an ambassador for your brand. 

    These logos work great for driving interaction with your target audience and appealing to them on a personal level, as they’re extremely effective for humanizing your brand. Because of this, mascot logos are one of the most memorable ones. 

    If you choose to include a mascot in your logo, it’s likely that all your advertising will be centered around them. In a way, a mascot logo is a cheat code to nailing down social media marketing — you instantly have a character to appear in all your communications and convey your brand messages to the public. 

    When should you use a mascot or character logo

    Mascot logos are traditionally amazing for brands whose target audience are kids and young adults. These are also very good for family-friendly brands. 

    But they also work well for brands that operate in a more serious industry such as SaaS. Mascot logos can help you instantly make your complex brand seem more accessible and approachable. 

    Things to consider when choosing the mascot or character logo:

    • With mascot logos, it can be hard to appeal to more corporate audiences.
    • You need a designer to create an illustration you will use in your logo.
    • If you portray a real person in your mascot logo, there are certain reputation risks.
    • Over time, you’ll need to tweak your logo to make it more modern.

    Examples of companies and brands that use a mascot or character logo

    The world’s most recognizable mascot logo is Mr. Clean, with Quaker, Mailchimp, KFC Colonel Sanders, Wendy’s, Kellog’s and others coming close second.

    Learn more about brand characters and whether your business needs a brand mascot in our article.

    The emblem

    Emblem logos are not that common among regular businesses, but rather almost exclusively those with a long history — family businesses, universities, sports teams, etc. 

    Because of this tendency, businesses that do go for an emblem logo instantly come across as well-established companies that are here to stay for a long time.. 

    Usually, emblem logos are very detailed and complex; they consist of a number of different elements, including various geometric shapes, words, symbols, etc. 

    When should you use an emblem logo

    Emblem logos work best for more traditional companies, universities, government agencies, and other institutions. They’re a good choice for businesses that want to emphasize their importance, class, and prestige. 

    However, they can also work great for family businesses, beer companies, and coffee companies. 

    Things to consider when choosing the emblem logo:

    • Today, people lean towards simplicity more, which can make your logo appear a bit old-fashioned.
    • It can be difficult to use an overly complicated logo in marketing materials. 

    Examples of companies and brands that use an emblem logo

    Starbucks is one of the most prominent emblem logos in the world. Some others are Harley Davidson, Warner Brothers, Porsche, Stella Artois, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania.

    See the iconic Warner Bros. logo morph over a century of movies - The Verge
    Harvard University - Wikipedia

    The combination mark 


    You don’t need to stick to just one logo type and follow its rules — you can combine a word and a pictogram, or a monogram and a symbol into one to get yourself a combination mark logo. 

    When should you use the combination mark logo

    The combination mark logo is perfect for new companies that want to establish themselves on the market. This type of logo can help you introduce both your company’s visual identity and name at the same time, increasing the chances of at least one of them sticking around. 

    It can also help you differentiate yourself from other companies that use a similar logo. For example, if you want to use a crown symbol to represent your brand, you might not stand out from the competition, but including a name will help you get rid of a large portion of confusion. 

    Things to consider when choosing the combination mark logo:

    • There are now two different design elements that need to work simultaneously.
    • Sometimes, part of your logo can seem redundant and you’ll have to get rid of it when publishing on certain media portals. 

    Examples of companies and brands that use the combination mark logo

    Lots of companies use the combination mark logo, including Doritos, Burger King, Red Bull, Pizza Hut, Lacoste, Rolex.

    Dynamic mark 

    Finally, you don’t need to limit yourself to just one logo. You can create a logo that can be altered to fit in specific situations. Dynamic marks are characterized by motion, animation, and changes in shape and form, depending on the context it’s placed in.

    The best advantage this type of logo offers is versatility — you can change it to appeal to certain audiences and fit it on certain materials. As a result, you get to influence more people! 

    When should you use a dynamic mark logo

    Consider opting for a dynamic mark logo if you’re a new-age business that exists in a number of realms, both offline and digitally. Using a logo like that will help you project agility, movement, constant change, and evolution.

    This type of logo is also perfect for large enterprises with lots of departments dealing with different audiences and processes. 

    Things to consider when choosing the dynamic mark logo:

    • It can be hard to achieve consistency through different variations.
    • It may be harder to communicate a clear, unified message as logo changes can be confusing.

    Examples of companies and brands that use a dynamic mark logo

    Some of the best examples of dynamic mark logos are the City of Melbourne logo, FedEx logo, and Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre logo.

    Now that you know what types of logos exist, it’s time for you to pick one that speaks to you, and design a logo that will lead your business to success.

    With the functionality of Logo Maker, it’s easy.

    Valerie Kakovkina

    Content marketing manager at VistaCreate. Valerie loves all things marketing, with her favourite areas being email marketing and social media. When out of the office, Valerie loves travelling, going to parties, and helping her friends with their art projects (oh to be surrounded by artists).

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