Take a look around you and note the number of logos you see. Is there a familiar icon on your desktop computer, a board game on a nearby shelf, a brand name on your TV? In just that quick minute, you’ve observed several types of logos.
There are many ways to tackle a logo. As you’re exploring logo design options for your new venture, it’s good to understand each type of logo, its purpose, and why it may be a good fit for your business’s branding goals. Before you create your own logo, read up on the nine types of logos below.
Every logo you see out in the world falls into one of nine categories, each of which is explained below with some famous examples.
Coca-Cola: Among some of the most famous examples of wordmarks, Coca-Cola leans on the strength of its name and the uniqueness of its trademark cursive font as the logo.
FedEx: This wordmark is also one of the most famous uses of utilizing negative space as part of the branding. FedEx famously hides an arrow between the “E” and the “X” in its wordmark, playing on its package delivery service offerings. FedEx is also often used as a dynamic logo (more on that below), with color changes made to the second half of the logo.
HBO: Instead of spelling out “Home Box Office,” HBO has simplified its logo over time to just be the lettermark that’s been in use since 1975. When the brand first launched in 1972, its logo spelled out “Home Box Office” inside three dotted rings, with the depiction of a movie theater ticket inside. Talk about simplifying your logo!
RCA: Standing in for “Radio Corporation of America,” RCA has been using its lettermark for nearly 100 years. The first iteration of the company’s logo spelled out the name in its entirety, along with a globe and lightning bolts to demonstrate worldwide reach.
Yahoo!: Long identified by the capital Y and the exclamation point, the Yahoo! letterform distills these two elements into an instantly recognizable symbol used across this platform’s products. Combined with the brand’s purple shade, there’s no mistaking what this letterform stands for.
Beats by Dre: The lettermark for this eponymous headphones brand not only looks like the profile of a headphone, but uses the single “B” to mark each product as its own without spelling out “Beats.”
Nickelodeon: The wordmark of this kid-friendly brand can be found in varying orange shapes depending on the context. The wordmark and the color never change, but the shapes do. You can find the Nickelodeon wordmark in the brand’s famed orange blimp, a “splat,” a dog bone shape, and many more.
AOL: The internet provider was well known for using its word mark within different supporting images and shapes that reflected the brand’s heritage as a search engine and a way to discover new things.
Wendy’s: The fast food chain’s logo has always utilized some version of a depiction of Melinda Lou Thomas, founder Dave Thomas’ daughter who was nicknamed Wendy. While the brand has undergone revisions over the decades, Wendy’s red pigtails and sweet smile never changed.
StarKist: The tuna brand has long been represented by Charlie the Tuna, an anthropomorphic fish that has adorned the can, and endless streams of merchandise, since his introduction in the early 1960s.
Twitter: The little blue bird fits right alongside the Twitter wordmark. Currently, you’ll most likely see the Twitter bird stand alone, where it immediately links customers with the social media platform.
Target: The red and white bulls eye is synonymous with the beloved megastore. The Target, well, target is used across storefronts, flyers, digital properties like the Target app, and more to immediately identify its assets with the brand without needing the wordmark alongside it.
Pepsi: Unlike its main competitor referenced above, which embraces its name as its logo, Pepsi created its own tri-color circle that stands for the brand on cans, ads, cups, social media, and any other place it may appear. Nothing about the mark says “soda,” which is what makes it abstract
Microsoft: Unlike its fruit-inspired competitor, Microsoft has utilized a four-square pattern, loosely inspired by the name of the Windows software it manufactures and sells. This abstract logo was introduced in 2012 and has since represented the brand’s products and services without literally drawing a window, making this a great example of an abstract logo mark.
Doritos: These iconic triangular chips take center stage in the current iteration of the Doritos logo. The wordmark leaves no room for guesses as to what the logo represents, but the bold lines of the triangle design smack in the center indicate the big flavors the chips are best known for.
Toblerone: This chocolate bar is renowned for its triangular, mountainous peaks, and the logo calls back to that by incorporating mountain imagery atop the wordmark. You know right away that the logo stands for the chocolate brand, with a wink and a nod to why the chocolate bar is so beloved in the first place.
Starbucks: This brand makes it no secret that it wants to be — and in some ways is — the world’s largest purveyor of good coffee. An emblem is an excellent way to convey that kind of authority and authenticity.
Stella Artois: The famous beer brand, with a legacy that stretches back nearly 100 years, utilizes an emblem-style logo to convey its status in the brewery world.
It’s all about intent when choosing the right type of logo for your business. What do you want your business to stand for? What do you want people to know and remember about your brand? These are important questions to answer before starting to design your logo.
Just like logo colors can evoke certain moods and logo shapes can stand for certain values, the logo type can shape the direction of your entire brand. A tech company, for example, may not jive with the old-school authority invoked by an emblem. On the flipside, there are natural selections to make depending on your audience. For example, if your brand appeals to children, you may want to go the mascot route.
Before you get started creating your logo, have a strong idea of your brand identity and what you want people to feel when they see your brand. Do you want them to see you as an authority? Do you want them to connect emotionally to your brand? Do you want to simply get your point across with your name written as clear as day? With those questions answered, you can take your ideas to the Namecheap Logo Maker and begin playing with combinations of typefaces, shapes, and colors to create the logo that’s just right for your new venture.
The Namecheap free business Logo Maker takes you through a guided process that helps you choose between differing logo elements to create the perfect result that conveys precisely what you need it to. Get started today by heading to the Namecheap free Logo Maker. Within minutes, you’ll have a ready-to-use logo that will take your business to the next level.