Even though all logos, no matter the type, are a combination of images and strong typography, each type has its flavor and uniqueness. While each logo is different in its own way, there are seven main categories:

1. Emblems

2. Pictorial marks (or logo symbols)

3. Wordmarks (or logotypes)

4. Monogram logos (or letter marks)

5. Abstract logo marks

6. Mascot logos

7. Combination marks

Let's take a closer look at the various logo types and the advantages and disadvantages of using each one.

1. Emblems

Emblem logo example
Image source: Dribbble

An emblem is a logo that features text, a symbol, or imagery inside a geometric shape.

Advantages of emblem logos

Disadvantages of emblem logos

  • It may not look so good when resized to a smaller resolution
  • Hard to read when placed on a billboard

As these logos have a more traditional feel, they’re often used by organizations, universities, government agencies, etc. Think of the Harvard logo, the Yale logo, NASA, or the NFL.

All of them are emblem logo types. Some popular brands, such as Starbucks or MasterCard, also choose this type of logo.

Emblem logos are trendy in the auto industry, too. Some automobile companies like Ford and BMW use emblem logos. Lately, some companies have decided to modernize the traditional emblem look with entirely new or updated logo designs that are more appropriate for the 21st century.

KIA, for instance, used to have an emblem logo, but they decided to update it to a Wordmark logo this year. Their new logo resembles a handwritten signature.

Another reason some brands decide to update their logos is increased popularity. Once some brands become popular enough that people recognize them even with an image or symbol, they remove the brand’s name from their logo.

A perfect example is Starbucks, which, in 2011, decided to maintain the core elements of its brand but removed all the text from its logo, turning it into a symbol logo.

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2. Pictorial marks

Pictorial logo
Image source: Logos World

A logo reduced to its symbolistic meaning is called a pictorial mark or a brandmark.

Some examples of brandmark logos are Apple, Twitter, Nike, Target, and McDonald’s.

Advantages of pictorial marks

  • Conveys ideas through a symbol
  • Recognizable if the brand is popular
  • Scalable (when you design a vector logo)

Disadvantages of pictorial marks

  • Not the best option if you do not have strong brand recognition

If you want your audience to associate your brand with this type of logo design, the logo design does not have to be a literal representation of your business identity. It still needs to include distinctive symbols that you can use as visual representations of your brand.

As mentioned earlier, popular brands such as Starbucks have changed their logo from an emblem to a symbol once they were established on the market.

If you're starting, you can still use this type of logo. You'll also need to use a wordmark associated with the symbol until your broad audience becomes familiar with your brand and what you offer. Once the symbol of your logo is recognizable enough that you don't need the wordmark, you can follow Starbucks’ example and remove it.

3. Wordmarks

wordmark logo
Image source: Downgraf

Advantages of wordmark logos

  • They’re  simple
  • Easy to mix with other design elements
  • Easily recognized
  • Perfect for new businesses

Disadvantages of wordmark logos

  • It only works well with short brand names
  • You may need to update the font to keep up with new trends

Wordmark logos are a powerful type of logo design. The definition of the logotype is straightforward, as they’re made up of the company's name. You won't find symbols, graphic patterns, or emblems in a logotype. The main feature of the logotype design is its typography.

The style and color of your fonts will create your brand's whole identity. That is why it’s crucial to find typography that works well for you and represents your brand well. Then, you can select a color or several colors that represent the feel of your brand.

Some wordmark logo examples include Coca-Cola, Disney, Google, Subway, and Jeep.

This type of logo is perfect if you are just starting and unsure what symbol would best represent you. Having your brand’s name as a logo will get your brand's name out there and help people connect to your brand immediately.

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4. Monogram logos

Monogram logo GE
Image source: GE

If you want to reduce your brand's name to an acronym, lettermarks or letterform logos are great ways to do so.

You can easily create the logo by taking the initials from each word of your brand's name. There's only one part left to think about: typography. Consider how the type and letters you use for your monogram logo fit together to create a unified image.

Learn more about using typography and choosing the right fonts for effective branding and visual communication.

Advantages of monogram logos

  • Perfect if your brand has several names which you can use to create the acronym
  • Looks professional
  • Easy to recognize
  • Scalable (if you choose the right font)

Disadvantages of monogram logos

  • Hard to recognize if you are new to the market
  • You may need to place the full name beneath it until it is safe to remove it

Since the logo will consist only of an acronym, you’ll need to choose a custom typeface that is easy on the eyes and legible when scaled down.

Famous brands that use lettermark logos are HBO, CNN, H&M, IBM, and the BBC.

5. Abstract logo marks

Abstract logo
Image source: LogoFav

Instead of being a recognizable image - like an apple or a bird - as the name suggests, the abstract logo design does not include recognizable images but abstract geometric forms and elements.

Advantages of abstract logo marks

  • They’re unique
  • Instantly recognizable

Disadvantages of abstract logo marks

  • Not the best type of logo for new brands

This geometric form will help you condense your brand into a distinctive appearance. Examples of famous companies and organizations that use abstract logo types are Pepsi, BP, Adidas, and the Olympics.

This abstract logo mark should convey a particular message and represent your brand. The colors you use should also be considered, as they can help make the design even more memorable.

If your business or product is new on the market, using this type of logo to represent you can be risky because you will first need a solid base of people who recognize your brand.

6. Mascot logos

Mascot logo
Image source: 1000 Logos

Advantages of mascot logos

  • Evoke a fun and friendly vibe
  • Easy to recognize

Disadvantages of mascot logos

  • Hard to renew and change the character
  • It can’t be used for brands that aim to send a professional message

When you think of a mascot, do sports events come to your mind almost immediately? Mascots at sporting events are fun to look at. They create a warm dynamic that also involves the audience.

Mascot logos evoke a similar vibe with positive associations. They involve an illustrated character of a natural person, imaginary person, or non-human entity. 

More often than not, mascot logos are colorful and fun. They give you a warm feeling and make you feel more connected to the brand since people will be more attracted to the character representing your company.

Mascot logos are often used by sports teams, beverage companies, and food brands. KFC, Pringles, Wendy's, and Cheetos are well-known for their famous mascots.

7. Combination mark

Combination mark logo
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

As its name suggests, the combination mark logo is a combo mark of various logo designs.

The best thing about this dynamic mark is that you can mix multiple types of logo design if you cannot decide on a single image, symbol, or abstract form.

Advantages of combination mark logos

  • Perfect for new businesses
  • Easy to edit in the long term
  • It gives you the freedom to be as creative as you wish

Disadvantages of combination mark logos

  • It may look overloaded if it combines too many logo types

Want to use a symbol but are afraid that you will confuse potential customers and won't be easy to recognize? Then, you can easily combine the symbol logo with an abstract symbol, words, or acronyms.

You can use a combination of typography or a combination of wordmarks as well.  Mix and match with different types of logos until you feel strongly about a final version that will work best for your brand. Some examples of combination mark logos are Domino’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Puma, and Adobe.

Now that you know the different logo types, it's time to create your own.

There's no better vector tool for logo-making than Linearity Curve. Our software saves you the cost of an external agency's logo design. You can even sketch your logo design on pen and paper first, then use Linearity Curve's Document Scanner feature to import it and turn it into a vector logo.

But there’s so much more you can do with your logo using Linearity software. With Linearity Move, our innovative marketing animation platform, animating your logo is as easy as a few clicks.

Linearity Move offers robust features that are easy for animation beginners to use and advanced enough for professional designers. Linearity Curve and Move are seamlessly integrated, forming a powerful combination of vector and motion design tools.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the 7 types of logos?

  1. Lettermarks (or Monogram logos): These are logos consisting of letters, usually a company's initials or acronyms.
  2. Wordmarks (or Logotypes): Logos comprised solely of text, often the company's name designed in a distinctive font or style.
  3. Pictorial marks (or Logo symbols): Logos that are icon or graphic-based, representing the brand without using text.
  4. Abstract logos: These logos use abstract shapes and forms to convey the brand's message or identity.
  5. Emblem logos: These logos have text inside a symbol or an icon, often enclosed within a shape, like a badge or a crest.
  6. Mascot logos: Logos that feature a character or mascot representing the brand.
  7. Combination marks: Logos incorporating text and a symbol or icon to represent the brand together.

Which type of logo is most popular?

The popularity of logo types can vary depending on the industry, trends, and individual brand preferences. 

Combination marks are quite popular as they offer flexibility in brand representation, incorporating both text and a visual element.

Can I design a logo on iPad?

Yes, you can design a logo on an iPad. There are several design apps available for iPad that offer powerful tools for logo design, such as Adobe Illustrator Draw, Procreate, Affinity Designer, and Canva.

How can I animate my logo?

To animate a logo, you can use various software tools depending on your skill level and the complexity of the animation you're aiming for. Some popular options include:

  • Linearity Move and Linearity Curve: The integrated Linearity platform can be used for logo creation and animation. The sophisticated Auto Animate feature empowers you to animate your static logo in a few clicks.
  • Online animation tools: There are also online platforms like Animaker, Renderforest, and Biteable that offer templates and easy-to-use interfaces for creating logo animations without the need for extensive animation knowledge.
7 types of logos and which ones to use for your brand | Linearity
7 types of logos and which ones to use for your brand | Linearity