Six Types of Logo Designs for Your Business

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When you start a business, one of the most important choices you'll be making is how you want to represent your business with a logo. In order to help you decide what direction is best for your business, here is an explanation of the six main types of logos as well as some of the combination logo types.

Types of Logos 

  • Lettermark 

    A lettermark uses just a few letters in tandem with typography design to create a logo. The logo may be just a single letter, a monogram, or even a short word that is also an acronym (like NASA). The Louis Vuitton logo is one extremely famous example of a lettermark, but it is not only restricted to high fashion. The majority of television networks all are most closely associated with a lettermark logo.

    NASA LogoLouis Vuitton Logo
  • Wordmarks 

    Whereas lettermarks only consist of part of the words that make up the name of the company, wordmarks use the entire name of the company as the logo. Think of Coca-Cola or FedEx. There is some overlap between wordmarks and lettermarks, for example IBM is both a lettermark and a wordmark.

    Coca Cola Logo FedEx Logo
  • Pictorial 

    Sometimes called an icon or symbol, the pictorial logo uses a picture to represent a business. Think of Apple, Shell or Target. The pictorial logo depicts a symbol that can be directly traced to the company. The three examples given above of pictorial logos use symbols that depict images of the companies' names. Sometimes the reference isn't so direct, but anyone seeing that green mermaid, knows they are looking at the Starbucks logo.

    Apple LogoStarbucks Logo
  • Abstract 

    When the logo makes no literal reference to the company or services, and is not a figurative representation, it is often an abstract logo. The Nike 'swoosh' or the Pepsi red, white and blue circle.

    Nike LogoPepsi Logo
  • Emblem 

    An emblem logo incorporates the company name into the logo, which and uses visual design elements in how the words are arranged (as well as possibly having a pictorial element). This is commonly associated with a crest, as many colleges and schools have, but can also be seen in the NFL and Harley Davidson logos, as examples.

    NFL LogoHarley Davidson Logo
  • Combination 

    A combination mark combines a lettermark or wordmark with a pictorial or abstract element. Examples of this include Burger King and Sprint.

    Sprint LogoBurger King Logo
  • LogoType

    The LogoType is the most common form of logo. It typically is the business name utilizing a commercial font and on occasion a letter or two is altered to reflect something about the business. The Achilles logo is an example of this type of design.

    Achilles Interactive Logo


What Are Different Logo Types Best Suited For?

Lettermark and wordmark logos are great for the ease with which they can be replicated across design materials, as well as to be recognizable. Wordmarks are the preferred choice for businesses that want to get their name out there, and are great for businesses with a unique or interesting name. It needs to be considered that wordmarks require the business to have a short name, making lettermarks the ideal choice for businesses with long names. 

Because a pictorial logo is only an image it can be a tough one for brands that are just starting out that don't yet have recognition. Before Apple was Apple, that picture wouldn't have intuitively been likely to sell a lot of computers, but now that the company is more than well established, we can't help but think of the products when we see that Apple. For this reason it's a great choice for more well-established brands.

While the abstract logo is similar to the pictorial logo, it allows a business owner to choose compelling design elements to represent their business, while being able to do so in a way that transcends any cultural or associative baggage.

Both the combination mark and the emblem are excellent choices for those businesses that want a strong pictorial element, but don't yet have brand name recognition.