A look at the common types of logo and how they are used by everyday brands.

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Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand, the visual representation of your brand values and the most recognisable element.

There are six types of logo, from the wordmark (literally words used to create a ‘mark’) to the more complex combination mark, and each have their own traits to give your brand a different feel.

The Wordmark
Wordmarks are popular and simply display the name of a company as a word or series of words. This kind of logos make use of typography, and strongly tie your brand to the choice of typeface used. Therefor careful consideration of the chosen typeface is needed. Wordmarks are a good choice if your company has a short name, but may not be suitable if you have a long company name.

Monograms or Lettermarks
A monogram logo is the initials of a company. The Design Business Association use the lowercase letters dba as their monogram, and the BBC and IBM also make use of this type of logo. Monograms are a great choice if your company name is particularly long (for example the NSPCC or RSPB use them for obvious reasons)

Brand marks
Also known as the pictorial mark, this kind of logo mark is a pictorial representation of your brand. A pictorial mark doesn’t always have to be literal (for example the Starbucks logo is not a mug of coffee) but often they are (think Apple or Shell).

Abstract Logo Marks
An abstract logo mark is an abstract pictorial representation of your brand, used when you want to convey a certain a feeling or idea. An abstract logo serves to condense your brand into a single image and is great if you want something truly unique, but these kinds of logos need careful consideration in order to work well.

The Emblem
The Emblem logo usually contains text within a shape such as a shield, crest or badge, and can give a brand a classic or historical feel. These kinds of logos are great if you would like to convey a sense of history or longevity to your brand. Football clubs commonly use emblems as their logos, and can be a good choice if your historic brand has a longer name.

Combination Marks
A versatile choice of logo which can be suitable for many types of business. A combination mark comprises a work mark with a pictorial mark. The layout for these kinds of logos can be side by side, stacked, or the wordmark can sit within the pictorial mark. Combination marks are flexible enough that often a brand can use either the wordmark or the pictorial mark as stand-alone items, or together to help reinforce their brand.

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UK based design agency specialising in brand identity

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