Big brands spend thousands, or even millions of dollars perfecting their logos to portray their brands accurately. Today, we are going to cover logo trends, and choosing the right type of the 5 basic logos that is best suited to your brand. Let’s go over the 5 types of logos and their best uses.
A wordmark, or stylised text is one of the most popular forms of logos. Wordmark logos are most effective with a unique name. Look at Google, a simple, distinctive word that nobody would have known before 1998. Google is simple, memorable, and quirky; the perfect combination for representing what we now know is an innovative, diverse, and fun company. Wordmarks are also highly effective for brands that are just starting out and looking to make an impact. When word-of-mouth is everything, a simple, yet researched wordmark can tell your audience exactly what they need to know about you.
These logos may seem simple to some, but designing or finding the perfect typeface to represent your brand can be an excruciatingly long and difficult process. With wordmark logos, small changes can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of your logo. Though it may seem that many fonts look quite similar, take a closer look and notice the small details of each typeface and compare these with the characteristics of your brand. For example, if you’re going for an edgy feel, a sharp, sans serif font would likely be most effective.
Often paired with a wordmark is a simple twist or manipulation of one or some of the letters to give a more personalised and easily recognizable feel. The twist could be the simple merging of two letters (a ligature), a colour difference, a notch, negative space manipulation, or anything that gives the wordmark more personality. A twist is not vital to creating an effective wordmark, but often increases the retention of your logo and drives further identity possibilities.
Remember, with wordmarks, simplicity is key. Steer clear of extra masks and effects like heavy outlines.
A lettermark is similar to a wordmark, they are comprised of a stylised text to convey the name of a brand quickly and effectively. However, a lettermark highlights only the initials of a company’s name, rather than the full words. A lettermark is most effective with organizations that have a long or difficult to pronounce name. Take HBO for example, by emphasising only the initials of Home Box Office, they created a short, simple brand name that will act much more effectively than their long, boring title.
Just like a wordmark, a lettermark is often paired with a simple twist or manipulation to one or some of the letters to give a more personalised and easily recognizable feel. The twist could be the simple merging of two letters (a ligature), a colour difference, a notch, negative space manipulation, or anything that gives the wordmark more personality. A twist is not vital to creating an effective lettermark, but often increases the retention of your logo.
Again, simplicity is key; ensure each letter of your lettermark is consistent in major design elements and makes the same visual impact as the other letters.
A brandmark is a symbol or icon that expresses certain aspects of your brand more quickly and effectively than other forms of logos. Brandmarks are effective for companies with global communications because of their universal appeal. They have no language that needs to be translated, and their visual message remains constant and recognizable in any area.
Like with most logos, simplicity is the key to creating effective communication with your audience. Ensure your symbol clearly represents what you’re attempting to convey with little to no extra. A brandmark should be unique and make use of universal symbols or icons (like directional arrows or a target) to effectively communicate your message.
Be careful – a brandmark can be risky as no other information, other than your symbol, is presented to your audience. There is no easy access to information on your business and if your symbol is unknown, so is your business name. Your business should have a high level of awareness to consider a brandmark, and is less suited for companies that are still trying to get their word out.
A combination mark is exactly what it sounds like: the combination of a word or lettermark with a brandmark. This is the most popular form of logo as it eliminates the risk of using a standalone brandmark without added information, while incorporating the benefits of using efficient, visual expression to convey your idea or message. Combination marks are a good idea for almost any brand if executed effectively, and offer a very versatile and multiuse logo in the end.
A combination mark can take larger amounts of time, research and energy to develop, but offers a number of benefits to a brand when used effectively. These logos can often be split apart, allowing you to use a simple wordmark in some situations, a brandmark in others, and a combination mark for the rest. Furthermore, combination marks are often much easier to trademark than a standalone symbol or brandmark because they are more descriptive of your brand and less universally generic.
Symbols are similar to combination marks, but rather than placing text beside an icon, it is placed directly within a symbol, creating a logo in which the symbol and text are practically inseparable. The text is often placed within a crest or a shield, making emblems a top choice for governmental and formal organizations, however, they are still used by various private companies like the NHL.
Emblems can be limited on flexibility because of their inseparable elements. However, an emblem also offer benefits to certain brands; emblems incorporate both visual and worded elements in a minimum amount of space.
Emblems are often less simple than other types of logos, and can get crowded easily, resulting in a less effective logo. It is important to remember how the logo will be used when designing an emblem, as small elements like text may become illegible if the logo is shrunken too small or embroidered.
These are the 5 types of logos and their best uses. When developing the perfect logo for your brand it is important to consider many elements including how your logo will be used, the message you’re attempting to convey, your business’ level of awareness and many others. Take your time when working with your logo, this single mark and all of its tiny elements define your brand in a split second. Ensure you have a good sense of what your business is about before diving into final logo designs. Consider these final tips and begin creating your iconic logo.
Consider the space that you logo takes up, and the space around your logo. Play around with different spacing, weights, colours and anything else that adds a different feel to the logo. See how each of these changes affects the interpretation of the logo and make alterations based on that. Sometimes the tiniest change makes the world of difference, and it’s important to recognize these changes.
One of the most universal trends in design today is the ‘flat’ design style. This style is simple, clean, and holds its quality across any media, (importantly) including print. You may want a deep, 3D textured logo but in reality these logos are unnecessarily busy and outdated. Stay simple, most of your audience will only be exposed to your logo for extremely short periods of time. There are certain uses for realistic, hyper textured logos, but unless you are 100% certain, keep it simple.
You can never have too much information on your business, your target market, or your industry. Consider the trends that your competitors are following, you may want to follow their lead, or blaze your own trail. Just remember, with every choice you make regarding your logo (and the rest of your business), ensure you have a researched reason.
Thank you for reading this article; and remember, if you have any questions, we make logos for a living – email us here!