Logo design is a cornerstone of any brand’s identity. With this guide, understand the best logo types and how they work in today’s digital world.
Designing the perfect logo is essential to any successful brand identity. Understanding the different types of logos — from classic to abstract and monogram to pictorial — is key to crafting an eye-catching emblem. With this guide, learn more about choosing which type of logo is best for your business or organization in today’s digital world.
What Is a Logo?
A logo is a graphic mark, symbol, or emblem used to identify an entity such as a company, product, or service. Logos are designed with the purpose of helping people recognize and differentiate between various organizations and their products. Designers often incorporate symbolism or vivid graphics to help people recognize the logo without knowing its identity. Whether it’s a classic monogram design or a modern pictorial mark, logos should be tailored to fit your brand and designed in high-resolution formats for digital appearances.
Abstract logos are composed of icons and shapes that don’t necessarily relate to the brand name or its products. Instead, the imagery is intended to create an emotion or reaction. For example, an abstract representation of a heart may represent a company that specializes in healthcare. The goal is for viewers to make the connection between the graphic and what it symbolizes without needing any explanation or words.
A pictorial (or symbol) logo is a graphic that calls to mind the company’s name or products. These types are the most iconic. Symbols are usually simple, easily recognizable images and often combined with text to create a logo mark. This allows customers to quickly identify a brand and its products, like Nike’s infamous “swoosh” or Starbucks’ classic green mermaid.
Emblem logos are a hybrid of text and pictorial logo styles. They consist of text inside a symbol, badge, crest, or seal. This type of logo is particularly useful for referencing traditional heraldry (coat-of-arms) designs like those used for universities, government agencies, sports teams, and more. Unlike traditional heraldry designs that are highly detailed and intricate, emblem logos focus on shape and can vary in complexity depending on how much detail to include.
Wordmark or lettermark logos are all about the brand name, featuring text only. The font and styling used to create a wordmark logo should reflect the values associated with your brand. Think of these logos as shorthand for an entire brand. They often feature unique font pairings and custom typography that you wouldn’t expect to find in other industries.