Choosing the right type of logo for your business

Branding

Struggling to find the right logo for your business?

No need to sweat it. We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we tackle the question: “What type of logo fits my business?”

Of course, you could dive right in and find out what logotypes exist and which one is the right choice for you.

But…

If you’re still early in your research process, we recommend reading some of our previous guides about branding:

Ready for some branding secrets?

It’s tough to start any type of new business!

And we understand the struggles because we’ve been there ourselves.

We’ve created NewGlue so you don’t have to scratch your head about how to brand your business, or worry about astronomic prices.

This simple guide takes you through actionable steps to find a new logo you can be proud of.

Professional branding made breezy!

So…

Let’s do this!

We’ll walk you through each type of logo with visual examples from well-known companies, and share logos from NewGlue’s marketplace to inspire you on your journey of finding your own logo.

Types of Logo

  • Object Logo – Any type of logomark represented by an image.
    • Mascot Logo – Takes the shape of a mascot, often a person, animal or character.
    • Emblem Logo – Resembles an emblem, often includes wording or business name inside the emblem.
    • Abstract Logo – Uses an abstract shape or form, often geometrical shapes.
  • Lettermark Logo – First letter or an abbreviation of your business name is used in the logomark
  • Wordmark Logo – Logomark and business name are the same entity.

 

Object Logo

 

When we say object logo, we use it as a broad term for any type of logo represented by an image. This includes several sub-categories for logos such as: Mascot, Emblem and Abstract logos.

Basically…

Any type of icon that represents an object.

An object logo can become a strong symbol for a brand (which is why it’s also referred to as a logo symbol).

A good example of a simple, but impactful logo is Nike’s logomark, called “The Swoosh”.

Fun fact…

It has stuck with Nike since 1971 and is often viewed as one of the most recognizable logos in the world.

An object logomark can become so recognizable that companies opt to not display their name in their logo.

This is known as debranding.

Debranding – When a company takes away any elaborate advertising to become more generic, with the intention to relate personally on a “known” basis with the consumer. In this case it’s the removal of words from a logo to only appear as a symbol.

Nike has made their wordless logomark instantly recognizable, rarely using their brand name in promotional content. To accomplish the positive effects of debranding, however, one requires an incredible level of brand recognition.

The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) branding is a great example of using a mascot logo successfully.

The monochrome panda icon has become a hugely recognizable symbol for WWF.

Along with many others, we feel that…

The Panda has become synonymous with the battle to preserve nature and fighting to help endangered species.

An object logo is the most common type of logo used by businesses and organizations.

However.

It’s a broad term and there are many subcategories of logos, we’ll continue into the subcategories below:

 

Mascot Logo

Mascot Icons often takes the form of more playful logos, instead of using a symbol to represent your brand you have something more recognizable, often a person, character, animal or similar.

A company mascot can also be used as a business “spokesperson” to the public. This is common in the food industry, take Wendy’s and Pringles for example.

Mascot logos are also seen in other consumer-related businesses, such as sports teams (often related to merchandising) and goodwill foundations such as WWF.

 

Emblem Logo

What constitutes an emblem logo?

When we say emblem icons, we often refer to object logomarks that bear resemblance to the pre-heraldic emblems, heraldic badges, and crests.

Throughout history, emblems were used as a form of identification, or to display information.

It could display your allegiances or social status, it could be used both to represent an individual or a family or clan of people.

Emblem icons are the modern interpretation of this type of symbol.

Many older designs often utilize a complex and heavily detailed design, but modern emblems are often quite simplistic both in shape and form.

It’s not uncommon for older organizations to update their emblems to fit a more modern style.

Emblem icons are for example common in sports, the vehicle industry and with government authorities.

 

Abstract Logo

The first use of abstract logos dates back to the 1870’s and is commonly viewed as the beginning of modern logotypes.

Abstract Icons take almost any shape or form. They are often more simple geometric shapes, but abstract logos can be intricate and complex as well.

Abstract icons can be used by any type of business and your options are basically limitless.

It can be harder to communicate what your business does with an abstract logo, compared to an object logo for example.

So…

If you choose to use an abstract logo, make sure to consider that the style and color scheme represents your area of business, this makes it easier for consumers to understand your business.

 

Lettermark Logo

 

You’ve probably seen a bunch of these before!

Lettermarks can be used for as a single letter or for an abbreviation of a long business name, for example, PP is an abbreviation of PayPal.

Lettermarks can be included in the business name or kept separate.

PayPal makes use of both their Lettermark and their Wordmark, depending on the situation, they’ll use either one or both.

A Lettermark is a logical choice if you have a long or complex business name.

But…

Bear in mind that if you abbreviate your business name, you run the risk of losing the message of your brand.

A middle ground would be to do as PayPal did and sometimes use the lettermark and wordmark in different contexts.

 

Wordmark Logo

Instead of using a lettermark you can combine your business name and logomark, which is known as a wordmark.

A wordmark is often accompanied by a custom font, a unique layout and a specific colour scheme.

Two examples of very recognizable designs are Coca Cola and Supreme.

You can find more complex designs within sports for example, like the New York Mets, but in general, for wordmarks, font and colour schemes are key.

How do you go about creating your own wordmark?

Creating a unique wordmark requires a unique font, which is costly and time-consuming to produce.

But, lucky for you!

There are other options though such as using fonts under the Creative Commons (CC) license.

If you’re looking for a simple Wordmark logo, we recommend checking out Google Fonts for inspiration. Their library of font families is of high quality and under the CC license.

A wordmark may be the right choice if you want your business name to stick, just make sure that your business name is simple, unique and memorable.

If you want to find out more about how to name your business, click here.

 

Can you make use of an Ideogram in your logo?

We’ve mentioned the term debranding earlier.

Remember?

A debranded logo can easily be confused with ideograms, which is a term used for symbols that represents an idea and/or concept. Ideograms makes for powerful symbols that can help communicate what your business is all about.

An example of an unknown but commonly used ideogram is the Rod of Asclepius. An old Greek symbol used to represent healing and medicine, which it’ still used for today. The World Health Organization (WHO) uses the symbol in their flag, and it’s also shown in the “Star of Life”, an international symbol for emergency medical services.

So, how do you apply this when designing a logo? Whichever logomark you choose, we recommend you to consider if it’s related to any type of ideogram and what that symbol might stand for. It helps you ensure that you communicate the right ideas and concepts with your logo.

Why choosing the right type of logo is worth spending time on?

Congrats on getting this far. You’re a trooper!

You’ve learned a ton about what type of logo marks exist.

Now…

Let’s understand why it’s important!

There are many steps that go into creating a logo and branding a business.

Choosing the right style and colour palette for your logo and brand are just a few of them.

And you can update your logo. We see it all the time! Which is why we built your personal Edit Tool!

However…

You will notice that while businesses may update or polish their style and/or colour palette, the type, as we’ve discussed, rarely changes.

Because this is the core of the logo.

You can change the color and style, and still keep recognition, but change the type and you lose brand recognition

In most cases…

A good example is how Google Chrome’s old logo in the 3D art-style was en vogue back in 2008. With sharp a colour palette and shading.

Design trends have since slowly transitioned which is reflected in the style and colour changes made.

Google Chrome Logotype (2008 – Present)

As we can see in this example, the style has transitioned to a 2D-style and the colour palette is softer using pastel colours.

These changes were triggered by Google’s new Material Design Principles, which was basically Google’s mandate across the board on how to blend classic design concepts with cutting edge technology.

This was put in place in 2011 and 2014 respectively, with all employees basically told keep the design you see in Chrome’s updated logos consistent across all products. Even with these changes, the brand recognition wasn’t lost.

 

Summary

There you have it!

We’ve covered the most common types of logos and when to choose them.

Keep in mind, when you add styling and colour themes to the type of logo that you pick, you are sure to find a unique logo that stands out.

If you want to get started with your own logo, you can check out NewGlue’s marketplace or use our Guide to get started, here you can choose whichever type, style and colour that you see fit.

You can even specify your area of business which helps make the choice even easier!

Thank you for reading!

We really appreciate you educating yourself on what branding works for you.

Stay tuned for more guides on how to grow your business and ways to keep your branding professional!


Niklas

by Niklas

Product Manager & Number Crunching @Newglue, Favorite Branding: Coca-Cola

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