5 Basic Logo Types

basic logo

Before you design your brand logo, it’s important to think about which type of logo is right for your company.

There are five types of basic logo, which can include text, a symbol or a combination of the two.

Not sure which type of logo your brand needs? Read our guide to the five types of basic logos to find out.

The 5 Different Types of Basic Logo

The right logo depends on your brand. Here are the five basic logo types for you to choose from:

1. Wordmark

One of the simplest forms of a logo, a wordmark is usually the name of the company in a unique combination of typeface and color. Famous examples of wordmark logos include eBay, Coca-Cola, and Disney.

And, if done well, a seemingly simple wordmark can even include a hidden symbolism, as seen in the FedEx logo.

While a wordmark logo conveys history and stability for established brands, this type of logo is also a great choice for a new brand. A wordmark logo gives a visual reference to the full name of the brand and encourages familiarity.

2. Lettermark

A lettermark logo is also solely comprised of text, but it includes the company’s initials rather than its full name.

This type of basic logo is perfect for brands whose full names are difficult to pronounce or very long. Famous examples of lettermark logos include the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA).

Shortening your brand name to initials also makes it easier for audiences to recognize and remember your logo and name, especially within international markets.

3. Brandmark

Unlike wordmarks and lettermarks, a brandmark does not rely on text to represent the brand. Instead, a symbol, sign or icon is all that is needed. Famous examples of brandmarks include the Nike swoosh and the Twitter bird.

Like traffic signs and symbols, a brandmark is processed more easily and instinctively by the brain, encouraging audiences to develop a deeper connection to your brand.

Brandmarks also work well for international companies as they can be understood across the world.

But it’s important to consider that a successful brandmark relies on the audience knowing what the symbol stands for. So, if you’re a new business trying to get your name known, a brandmark could be a risky choice.

4. Combination Mark

A combination mark, consisting of text and a symbol, is by far the most popular basic logo choice, with 61% of the top 100 companies opting for this type of logo.

Famous examples include Adidas, McDonald’s, and Chanel. The advantage of a combination mark is that the symbol conveys a visual representation of the brand while the text makes it clear what the brand is called.

The complexity of a combination mark means it is easier to trademark and less likely to be confused with other brand logos. But, since this complexity can mean that the logo is difficult to reduce down to smaller sizes, it is important that the two entities of the logo can stand alone in the representation of the brand.

5. Emblem

Whereas combination marks place the text and symbol side by side, emblems include the text within a symbol, making both almost inseparable.

Emblems often resemble an official badge or seal, making them popular with sports teams and government organizations, but are also used by some brands, such as Starbucks Coffee and Harley Davidson.

Emblems are less flexible than combination marks as it’s usually not possible to separate the image from the text. And, although emblems can be more compact than combination marks, the need for small text means that the logo can become illegible on small screens.

Which type of basic logo do you think works best? Which famous brand logos are your favorites?