6 Types Of Logos And How To Use Them In Your Small Business

Brand Your Business

Have you ever played the game where you identify the company by just their logo? I bet you’re pretty good at it. As an entrepreneur, I will also bet you know that having a well-designed logo is important to the way customers see your business. The colors, fonts, and form you choose are what will set your brand apart from your competition. But what form should your logo take? Below I have laid out 6 types of logos and how you can use them in your business.

Which logo should your small business use? Learn about the top 6 types of logis and how to use them in your business.

Wordmark Logo

Wordmark is one the most popular logo forms. This logo form is a typography-based logo that focuses on a company’s name. Wordmarks may seem simple enough to create but it’s more than choosing a font or two and slapping them together. Most wordmark logos, also known as a logotype, are altered to make them stand out. A wordmark is a great choice if you are a new business just starting out and need to have your name seen by customers. If your business’ name is long be sure to pay attention to the design so it doesn’t look cluttered. An interesting fact: 41% of the top 100 companies use a text only logo.

Wordmark Logo Examples

gucci wordmark logo
Nars wordmark logo
Jo Malone wordmark logo

Lettermark

A lettermark, or monogram, is also font based logo form. It’s a simple design that generally consists of just a companies initials. Again the emphasis is placed on differentiating the logo from its competitors by stylizing the fonts and altering them to make them stand out. If your company name is long or difficult to pronounce you might consider a lettermark. Lettermarks are easy to use across all your branding and easy for customers to remember.

Lettermark Logo Examples

Louis Vuitton lettermark logo
Chanel lettermark logo
YSL lettermark logo

Pictorial mark

A Pictorial Mark, also known as an icon, is a graphic based logo form. Icons are simple designs and are usually used as secondary logos. They can make a big impact with customers, like the Apple logo. Because this logo form uses just a picture deciding on which image to use is the biggest thing to consider. Like Apple does with their apple icon you can play off your business’ name. You could also use an abstract image to envoke a thought or feeling around your brand. Nike and the iconic swoosh represent motion and speed two things they want you to achieve with their brand. Most businesses that use an icon have a well-established brand identity. That’s not to say you cannot incorporate an icon into your brand identity but it shouldn’t be your only logo if you’re a new business.

Pictorial Mark Logo Examples

Apple pictorial logo
Target pictorial logo
Twitter pictorial logo

Mascot

This logo form is a fun and colorful cartoon representation of your brand. A mascot can become your business’ unofficial spokesperson and encourage interaction on different types of media, especially social media. Kellogs Frosted Flakes Tony the Tiger is an example of a Mascot Logo. If you plan on using a mascot in your branding design I recommend doing a combination logo form (more on this below). Mascots have a wide appeal with younger audiences so if your business is focused on children a mascot might be a great way to gain brand recognition.

Mascot Logo Examples

Frosted Flakes Mascot logo
Kool-Aid Mascot logo
Mr. Clean Mascot logo

Emblem

An emblem is a more traditional logo form that incorporates typography inside of a symbol. These types of logos are popular in government and educational businesses. Emblems have seen a resurgence over the last decade thanks to companies like Starbucks. These logos are not as versatile as other logo forms because they generally have more details than other logos. The more detail your logo has the more difficult it is to scale for all your media. You can usually avoid this downfall by using a more simple design. If your business is more traditional this logo might be a good choice for you.

Emblem Logo Examples

BMW emblem logo
Harvard University emblem logo
Starbucks emblem logo

Combination Mark

This logo is pretty simple. It’s any combination of the logo forms mentioned above. This logo uses either a wordmark or lettermark as its foundation and then adds in other elements, such as an icon. This logo allows customers to begin to associate your symbol with your business name. Remember the old Apple logo from the 80’s? Now if you see just the Apple icon you immediately know which company it represents, but they had to build that recognition with customers first. This logo is also great because the elements that make up the logo look great together but they can also be used separately in your branding. A combination mark is a great choice for any business at any stage. Just make sure you put thought into the design. Remember what you want your customers to think and feel when they see your logo. I also recommend hiring a designer if you don’t have experience with this type of logo. They are much more difficult to create.

Combination Mark Logo Examples

Givenchy Combination mark logo
Armani Exchange Combination mark logo
Lexus Combination mark logo

When choosing your logo design it’s important to remember how you plan on using it and what message you want to send to your customers. Don’t be afraid to use several designs in your branding as long as they are cohesive and relate to your brand. If you have a logo which style did you choose and why? If you don’t have a logo which style do you think you’re going to use?

Want to know more about me and why I love helping creative businesses brand with confidence? Head yourself over to my about me page to find out.

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28 Comments

    • A lot of business owners feel limited to only choosing one type of logo. I wanted to show you can mix it up and and have different logos that all represent your brand.

      Reply
  1. Great ideas! I’m thinking of rebranding my blog, this was helpful!

    Reply
    • Remember to have fun with it and make it truly representative of your mission.

      Reply
  2. This is so interesting. I recently did a logo design and it was a mascot one. Someone designed it for me.

    Reply
    • I love mascot logos. They are always so much fun create and great for audience interaction.

      Reply
  3. Pinned! This is super informative. I didn’t even know logos had different classifications! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you, Nicole. I am so glad you found it helpful. There are so many types of logos it’s hard to choose which ones you should use. But I am glad you liked it and thank you for sharing on Pinterest.

      Reply
  4. Whoa so much good info on logos. I’m in the process of redesigning my own, so this came in perfect timing.

    Reply
    • Yay!! That was very serendipitous. I love logo design because there are so many options to choose from. And you can have more than one which makes it so much fun to design.

      Reply
  5. This is so interesting. I see these logos all the time, but I never stopped to think about how they fall into such clear categories. My blog logo is a wordmark. But I’m interested in exploring these other options, too. I had never really thought about it before. Thanks!

    Reply
    • You should consider making a really fun submark that complements your logo. Something you can use in its place but is fun and pops.

      Reply
  6. I’m loving your blog! Great information that I always need!!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Erin! I am so glad it is proving helpful to you and your biz. My goal is to help as many people as I can build purpose-filled brands.

      Reply
  7. Wow! I didn’t know there was so much to learn about logos! Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
    • There are so many ways to use logos in your branding. I always recommend having the main logo, an alternate logo, and a submark. So you can mix it up and keep your brand interesting.

      Reply
  8. Talk about logos always makes me want to change mine! Haha. I have a combination mark logo myself. I chose it because, being a small blogger, people don’t know who I am so I want them to see the name, but it’s fun to have an icon too to try and stand out.

    Thanks for this summary!

    Reply
    • You’re very welcome Sunni. I look at sooo many logos in a day and I am always amazed by the creativity I see. I have wanted to change mine so many times but really I love my simple logo.

      Reply
  9. I get so geeky over this kind of things, I find that I’m more attracted buy logos that are only picture 😀

    Reply
    • I always recommend have several logos that you can use across all your platforms. As long as they are all branded you can use them to help boost your brand recognition.

      Reply
  10. I love logo with only initials,like mine, I like that it’s minimal straight forward

    Reply
    • Same as mine! I love minimal designs that tell you what a business is about.

      Reply
  11. Great useful ideas. It is so much fun to do logos!

    Reply
    • I love designing logos. They are the main representative element of a brand and a chance to get really creative. I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

      Reply
  12. I’ve never done a logo for my blog but now I’m thinking I should! These are great tips for figuring out which type of logo to pick! Thanks for the info.!!

    Reply
    • Logos are wonderful and a great way to build recognition within your space. When you think about brands 9 times out of 10 you can recognize their logo and in some cases, you can recognize them without the company name on the logo.

      Reply
  13. My logo is definitely an emblem but I did not do that on purpose lol thanks for breaking the differences down

    Reply
    • You’re very welcome. I am glad you enjoyed the post and it helped you identify your logo style. BTW your logo is super cute and so much fun!

      Reply

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