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Logo Types and Detail

1. Monogram logos (or lettermarks)

Monogram logos or lettermarks are logos that consist of letters, usually brand initials. IBM, CNN, HP, HBO… Noticing a pattern, yes? They’re the initialisms of a few famous businesses with rather lengthy names. With 2 or 3 words to remember, they’ve each turned to using their initials for brand-identification purposes. So it makes perfect sense for them to use monograms—sometimes called lettermark logos—to represent their organizations.

A lettermark is a typography-based logo that’s comprised of a few letters, usually a company’s initials. The lettermark is all about simplicity. By utilizing just a few letters lettermark logos are effective at streamlining any company brand if they have a long name. For example, how much easier is it to say—and remember—NASA versus the National Aeronautics and Space Administration?

2. Wordmarks (or logotypes)

Similar to a lettermark, a wordmark or logotype is a font-based logo that focuses on a business’ name alone. Think Visa and Coca-Cola. Wordmark logos work really well when a company has a succinct and distinct name. Google’s logo is a great example of this. The name itself is catchy and memorable so, when combined with strong typography, the logo helps create strong brand recognition.

3. Pictorial marks (or logo symbols)

A pictorial mark (sometimes called brand mark or logo symbol) is an icon—or graphic-based logo. It’s probably the image that comes to mind when you think “logo”: the iconic Apple logo, the Twitter bird, the Target bullseye. Each of these companies’ logos is so emblematic, and each brand so established, that the mark alone is instantly recognizable. A true brand mark is only an image. Because of this, it can be a tricky logo type for new companies, or those without strong brand recognition, to use.

4. Abstract logo marks

An abstract mark is a specific type of pictorial logo. Instead of being a recognizable image—like an apple or a bird—it’s an abstract geometric form that represents your business. A few famous examples include the BP starburst-y logo, the Pepsi divided circle and the strip-y Adidas flower. Like all logo symbols, abstract marks work really well because they condense your brand into a single image. However, instead of being restricted to a picture of something recognizable, abstract logos allow you to create something truly unique to represent your brand.

5. Mascots

A mascot is simply an illustrated character that represents your company. Think of them as the ambassador for your business. Famous mascots include the Kool-Aid Man, KFC’s Colonel and Planter’s Mr. Peanut. Mascots are great for companies that want to create a wholesome atmosphere by appealing to families and children. Think of all those mascots at sporting events and the great dynamic they create by getting involved with the audience!

6. The combination mark

Because a name is associated with the image, a combination mark is a versatile choice, with both the text and icon or mascot working together to reinforce your brand. With a combination mark, people will also begin to associate your name with your pictorial mark or mascot right away! In the future, you may be able to rely exclusively on a logo symbol, and not have to always include your name. Also, because the combination of a symbol and text creates a distinct image together, this type of logo is usually easier to trademark than a pictorial mark alone.

7. The emblem

An emblem logo consists of font inside a symbol or an icon; think badges, seals and crests. These logos tend to have a traditional appearance about them that can make a striking impact, thus they are often the go-to choice for many schools, organizations or government agencies. The auto industry is also very fond of emblem logos. While they have a classic style, some companies have effectively modernized the traditional emblem look with logo designs fit for the 21st century (think of Starbucks’ iconic mermaid emblem, or Harley-Davidson’s famous crest).

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