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9 Types of Logos to Use for Your Brand

Your company’s logo says a lot, which means picking the right kind is crucial. Explore these 9 types of logos to find the design that fits your brand.

A logo is a visual representation of your brand that gives people a way to recognize your brand and its products. These logos are an essential part of how to make a brand style guide, and they’re used throughout your branding efforts. Whether you’re slapping your logo on one of your products or using it as a social media profile picture, you need a logo.

A good logo is crucial because it gives people something to recognize your brand by. Think of some of the most recognizable brands—Apple, McDonald’s, Nike—you can probably picture the logos of these brands in your head. If you drive by a billboard with that logo or you see packaging with that logo, your brain goes straight to that brand. That’s the effect you want to create with your customers.

As simple as they might seem, there’s a lot that goes into making different logos. To start, there are different types of logos, plus you have to consider the colors and fonts you choose, the shape of your logo, and how it will affect your customers. Deciding when to use the different logo types and picking the perfect logo is where things can get a little complicated.

You have a lot to learn as a small business owner, from BIMI to web design to marketing and more. If you’re looking for the best logo for your small business, understanding the different types of logos and logo design styles is essential. Fortunately, we’ve got everything you need to know in this guide.

9 different types of logos

Choosing the right type of logo is crucial when it comes to visual branding and storytelling. Certain types of logos are better for certain applications, which means you might want to make a few different types of logos for use across different platforms. Here’s a complete breakdown of 9 different types of logos and when you should use each type.

Brand marks

A brand mark is a simple logo that’s typically made up of a basic icon or graphic—not necessarily a picture. Think of a simple logo like the Twitter bird or the Apple logo. The idea is that a brand mark draws attention and creates brand recognition without using a fancy logo or a bunch of words. The benefit is that these logos are simple, and they stick with people, so they’re easily recognizable.

Another benefit to using brand marks is their versatility. For example, the Apple logo we mentioned before is used in nearly every aspect of Apple’s branding, from their phones, tablets, and headphones to their website and social media accounts. This kind of recognizable branding can be a great way to help your brand stick with customers, which is why brand marks are one of the main types of logo designs.

Abstract marks

Abstract marks are similar to brand marks in a sense, but they’re a little less on the nose. An abstract mark isn’t necessarily a particular image that someone might recognize from a brand—such as the Apple logo—but a general shape and set of colors that represent your brand. The Pepsi logo is one of the most popular examples of an abstract mark logo, but the Olympics logo and the Nike logo are other good examples.

Abstract marks are similar to brand marks when it comes to the benefits, but an abstract mark logo gives you a little more freedom with how you design your logo. Rather than being constrained by a specific picture you want to use in your logo, you can use shapes and colors to make an abstract mark logo more recognizable.

Monograms

Monograms logos are designed using typography—or letters. These monograms often consist of an acronym that’s used as a brand name or that acronym along with a small abstract mark or brand mark. The NASA logo is one of the most prominent examples of a monograms logo, but other examples include IBM, RCA, CNN, and ESPN.

One of the biggest benefits of monogram logos is the fact that they allow brands with longer names to shorten their names down a bit. This can even allow you to refresh your brand with a new name. For example, ESPN is a lot catchier than Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, and it also makes for a much better logo. For small businesses with longer names, monograms can be useful.

Wordmarks

Wordmark logos are very similar to monogram logos, only they consist of entire words rather than acronyms or abbreviations. Although the logo changes with special events and holidays, the Google logo is perhaps the most popular example of a wordmark logo. This type of design is also used for Coca-Cola and other different logos.

When you’re not including graphics and other design elements in your logo, the font size and style that you choose have a big effect on the finished product. Depending on the size of your business, you may want to use a custom font for your wordmark logo to make it more recognizable.

Mascot marks

If your brand has a mascot that people immediately associate with the brand, mascot mark logos can be an effective design style. When you think of Planters peanuts, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Mr. Peanut mascot. Because this mascot is so popular, there’s no particularly recognizable Planters logo other than the Mr. Peanut mascot. The brand uses a particular combination of colors, but that’s about it.

Mascot marks are good if your brand has a recognizable mascot, but they’re not right for every business. Think about what people recognize about your brand and try to incorporate that into your logo.

Letterforms

Letterform logos are a lot like word marks and monograms, only they use a single letter to get the message across. The Netflix “N” logo is one of the best examples of a letter form logo, but several other brands use these types of logos, such as McDonald’s.

The good thing about a letterform logo is that it’s easy to design. The biggest concern is choosing the right font. When you get a letterform logo just right, however, they can be used for everything from products and product packaging to your website and email marketing.

Combination marks

Combination marks are a logo design that makes use of a blend of 2 or more different types of logos– typically a brand mark as well as a word mark design. If you can think of any logos that feature a graphic above or below text, or text within a graphic, that’s a combination mark logo.

Combination marks are one of the most commonly used logo types because they combine 2 recognizable elements of your brand into a single logo. However, these logos lack the simplicity you can get with a basic word mark or brand mark logo.

Dynamic marks

A dynamic mark logo is a logo designed around the core principles of a brand, but some of the elements of the logo can vary based on the logo’s purpose. These logos help maintain brand consistency while allowing you to give your logo a fresh look. This could be as simple as changing the colors of a logo based on the time of year, or the specific service or product that certain branches of your company offer. An example would be FedEx, which uses a different logo for the different types of shipping offered.

Emblems and shape logos

Emblem and shape logos are logos that are designed around a specific shape, with the entirety of the logo being contained within that shape. The Starbucks logo is a prime example of this because the graphic and the text are all wrapped in the circle badge logo that the company uses. As you’ve probably seen with companies like Starbucks, these logos are great for simple brandings such as products and product packaging. Harley-Davidson is another example of a prominent emblem-style logo.

Every branding decision you make has an impact on your company, from how you design your website to the logo you choose. Different types of logos excel in different areas, so it might be best to create a couple of different logo types to make sure you’re covering all your bases.

If you need help boosting your brand and reaching a wider audience, Mailchimp can help. With email marketing tools, guides, and other resources, Mailchimp helps small business owners get the most out of their businesses.

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