Your logo is just one part of your branding. And there are plenty of choices available for any new business when it comes to logo design. This quick guide will help you find the best logo type for yours!
When you hire someone to work on your logo and brand identity there are a few things that your designer needs to know, like:
- Are you a product or service based business?
- Do you have a brick-and-mortar store or do you sell only online?
- Are you a start-up or a well established business?
- Are you a solo business, a small business or a big enterprise?
- What is your design budget?
- Have you calculated not only the costs of hiring a designer for your logo, but also the ongoing printing costs of branded brochures, bill boards, product packages? Maybe even apparel?
- Or do you solely intend to advertise and market online?
These are a few sample questions that all could influence the creative project.
That said let’s look at the various logo type options from the business point of view.
A wordmark logo is a font-based logo that relies on text only. A wordmark logo focuses on the name of a business. So it’s a good decision if you’re a new business and need to get your name out there.
This logo works best if your business name is short enough and easy to remember. This way you can take full advantage of the wordmark design. Anything too long as a business name for the logo can look cluttered.
Since the focus will be on your business name, you or your designer will want to pick a font that captures the essence of what your business does.
While working on the branding of my own small business – ARRA design studio – I’ve used a wordmark logo design as the main logo.
Lettermarks are great if your initials look better in graphics than your full company name.
If you’re not an established business already, you may want to add your full business name below the lettermark logo. So people can begin to learn who you are right away. Then after time you can use your logo initials on your own.
As an example take a look at the below monogram logo concept depicting JR.
Without further explanation, you wouldn’t know by looking at it, what they are about. Who is JR and what business do they run? At the early stage of their business and brand, they could be anything and anyone.
A true brand mark is only an image or graphic. That’s why it can be a tricky logo type for new companies, or for those without strong brand recognition yet.
The biggest thing to consider is what image to choose.
This unique symbol is something that probably and hopefully will stick with your company for a long time so you need to think about the broader implications:
- Do you want to play on your name?
- Does it sound like something that can be turned into a meaningful or playful image suiting the brand?
- Are you looking to create deeper meaning and not just stay at the word play? Then the graphic symbol could tell right away what your business or product does.
- Do you want to evoke an emotion or quality? Security – shield, speed – dynamic lines, natural – organic shapes etc.
The benefit of selecting an abstract mark for a brand mark is that you’re able to convey what your company does symbolically. Without relying on cultural implications of an image.
Through colour and form you can attribute meaning and cultivate emotion around your brand.
- The curved and organic lines and shape,
- the soft, pink colour,
- the elliptic form of the overall image would make this below abstract mark well suited for businesses with a female target audience.
Think florists, wedding organizers, maybe even for a clothing line.
Mascots are great for companies that want to appeal to families and children. Or also for sport and leisure clubs. Think of all those mascots at sporting events and the great dynamic they create by getting involved with the audience!
A combination mark is a great choice for pretty much any business out there. It’s
- unique, and
- the most popular logo type choice among prominent companies.
During the rebranding project of Minett, a Hungarian e-commerce webshop, not only the business name got updated and rebranded. The old name was Útipogyássz featuring as logo a turquoise travel suitcase illustration. For the new Minett brand I designed an abstract brand icon. And I combined it for the main logo with sans serif and script fonts to arrive to a more modern, clean and elegant look.
An emblem’s traditional look might suit lots of public agencies and schools. But it can also serve any up-and-coming private business quite well. Especially those in the food and beverage industry. Like artisan beer labels and coffee cups.
You, the logo and your clients
Whichever type of logo you and your designer will decide on for your creative project, there is one main factor that you need to consider:
Your logo should appeal to your ideal clients and reflect your business values:
- who you are as a private person,
- what your personal likes and dislikes are, may not be the same as your primary audience’s.
Your logo and business branding should result in something that you are happy and satisfied with. But your business logo, even if it’s for a ‘personal’ business and ‘personal’ brand, should not be a 100% reflection of you.
You always have to put your ideal customers first.
- What do they like?
- What speaks to them?
That will make or break your business.
About personal brands
Are you indeed comfortable to share and disclose yourself fully? And by that I mean you as the real life person as your business?
I’d rather keep a good part of me hidden, and only available for family and close friends. My own personality and that of my business’ is not the exact same. Though there are plenty of overlaps of course. You can’t avoid that. You are the one who runs it, so a healthy amount of the real, authentic you will always shimmer through.
Also if you run your business under your own name, that may be counterproductive if you ever want to sell it. It would be weird and you may even get uncomfortable someone else owning your name and making business under your name. It’s worth thinking it over before you start and officially register your business.
It may not be applicable to you. But everyone has a reason and a personal motivation when starting their business. So if it’s your ultimate goal to
- launch a start-up,
- make it successful and
- sell it for big money, than best if you come up with an original name.
A logo is only one piece of the branding puzzle
How your customers and clients perceive your business depends on how your business and brand comes across in everything it does.
Printed and online marketing materials should have a consistent and easily identifiable common ground. It’s usually achieved by a carefully selected
- brand colour scheme,
- typographic and layout design,
- supporting brand elements.
If you’re a product based business than also packaging design and materials play a big role.
And while I usually talk about design related elements, but branding is also as much about words. The tone of voice, and the choice of words a business and brand uses as their main distinguishing character.
Think of it as a special business vocabulary that sets you apart from everyone else. These can be certain phrases that you often use. Or a list of expressions and words that you in no circumstances would use and do not want to be associated with your business.
Having such a powerful business lexicon at hand makes working on your
- website content,
- marketing materials or
- social media posts easy-peasy!