What are the different types of logos? What are the hallmarks of a good logo?
Logo is a small but significant part of branding. It serves as an identification mark to recognize the product (or products) of an organization or the organization itself. As pictures could always convey more than what words do, a logo should reflect the complete culture, characteristics and spirit of an organization. Accordingly organizations design different types of logos. Let us go through some of them:
· Word mark logo:
A logo that is only centered on a business’ name and is based on the font used to design it is called a word mark logo. ‘VISA’ and ‘Coca-Cola’ are excellent examples for word mark logos. For companies with different or abbreviated names, choosing word mark logos would be a good option. The logo of ‘Google’ is another apt example for it.
Identification of a strong brand is generated with the help of a logo when a brand name itself being different and attractive is combined with the art of strong typography. Furthermore, at this point of time, the selection of a desired typography is a crucial decision to be taken. Since a word mark logo is centered upon a brand’s name, the font used to outline it should be appropriate enough to capture the very essence of the brand. This point of view could be explained stating two examples: one, thin and medium sized fonts are used for fashion brands; two, at the same time traditional and large sized thick fonts are used for authorized or government agencies and organizations.
If your business is a new one and your business’ name is different and attractive, then adopting a word mark logo will be a good choice. Also it has to be noted that word mark logos are best suited for short brand names.
· Pictorial mark logo:
A pictorial mark (sometimes called brand mark or logo symbol) is an icon or a graphic based logo. The moment one thinks about what a logo is, some pictorial mark will be the image that appears in his mind. Logos of ‘Apple’ and that of ‘Twitter’ portraying a bird are two examples. Not only that those logos are very symbolic but also that those companies are recognized based on their logos are equally important factors.
A realistic brand symbol is nothing less than a picture. For this reason, this would be a strategic type of logo that new companies or companies lacking a strong brand identity could use. When a company decides to move ahead with a pictorial mark logo, the biggest factor to be considered is nothing other than the picture selected for the purpose. The picture selected should align with the value of the company’s products or services.
· Abstract mark logo:
An abstract mark is a special type of pictorial mark logo. It is actually a geometric form that represents a business rather than a known image. The logos of ‘Pepsi’, ‘Adidas’ and ‘Nike’ are some popular examples. Like any other type of logo, abstract mark logos also help the process of branding since it condenses the entire brand into a single picture. Instead of limiting your brand logo with some familiar picture, using an abstract mark logo will help in branding with some peculiar shape or structure.
Through varied colors and structures used, abstract mark logos can create a meaning, cultivate and spread an emotion all around a brand. This can be illustrated with the logo of ‘Nike’, known as ‘Swoosh’. It can be associated with the freedom and flexibility necessary for one’s body movements as its origin traces to the wing of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike which is symbolic of speed, movement, victory etc.
· Logo system:
A logo system could be explained by going back to the logo of ‘MTV’. Their logo evolved several times through varied color schemes. But they kept their identity with a constant basic design. Similarly, even though icons of various products of ‘Google’ like ‘Google Meet’, ‘Google Assistant’ etc are different from each other, they stick to an identity. This is logo system. Here a logo is made different according to the diversity in products or changes in situations, without changing its identical character. Logo system can be used by companies only if they produce very distinct and different types of products.
· Monogram logos:
Logos consisting of alphabets are known as monogram logos or letter marks. ‘IBM’, ‘HP’, ‘HBO’ are some brand name initials formed using the first letters of the words of long names. They use two or three letters of their brand initials to remember their brand identity. Since letter marks are based on alphabetical series, it is a practicable method of approach to companies with long brand names. For example, one could remember the organization, ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration’ easily when it is abbreviated to ‘NASA’.
· Mascot logo:
In Mascot logos, cartoon drawings of individuals or some other cartoon figures are used. The logo of ‘KFC’ is the best example for this. This type of logo attracts children and families to a greater degree. Companies like ‘Starbucks’ use emblem as their logo.
What are the qualities necessary for an admirable logo?
· Simple: a logo should be designed in a simple way that even children could draw it with ease and recollect it effortlessly.
· Flexibility: a logo should be one without much detailing or minute designs such that it is adaptable both to a 100 m long banner and even to the edge of a visiting card. Regardless of the color chosen for the logo, it must be outlined in a way it is distinguishable.
· Identifiable: logo must be in an identifiable form. It needn’t convey a message always. A logo must be created in a manner that it gets recognized by people.
‘Beauty is only skin deep’. This is also applicable when it comes to logos. What a logo needs is not beauty. We may not like a logo at a glance. Just as the famous proverb quotes ‘Rome was not built in a day’, it takes time for a logo to become strong. This is what history proves.