5 Basic Types of Logos

5 Basic Types of Logos
June 28, 2013 nodinx

5 Basic Types of Logos

When you’re looking to build a strong business or organization, a solid logo and branding design is a must.

A well-designed logo can can create loyal followers through simplicity and memorability. Be aware that a logo is the visual representation of a company or brand’s values, beliefs and functions. When designing one, you need to make sure it will represent the business the right way. There are many considerations to keep in mind such as:

  • How the logo will look on products
  • How it will appear on advertising and marketing materials
  • How it will tie your other branding collateral together
  • The thoughts and emotions someone feels when they see your logo (This is weird to think about, but certain colors, shapes, styles and words all trigger emotional responses which will translate into an emotional response to your business.)

It’s an entire package, not just a small mark. In most cases, it will be the first thing your customers or clients see when they come across your business.  No pressure, right?

There are a number of ideas floating around about what a logo really is. If we were to ask most people what a logo is, they would have a variety of different answers, but they would probably all be right in one way or another. The reality is, there are a number of different types of logo “marks” you could choose to utilize for yourself. In this article, we’ll briefly explain the 5 main types of logos and show some examples of each you’ll probably recognize.

Symbol or Icon

This type of logo represents the company in a simple but bold manner. In most cases, the image is abstract and stylized to give visual interest. Most companies that use this type of logo will have a very simple main logo, but may choose to create additional alternative versions that appear a little more flashy. The human mind can easily remember a simple form much easier than a complex one. It’s best to use a simple symbol or icon if you plan on building a large business. You probably recognize symbol logos like Apple, Shell and Mercedes-Benz.

Examples of logos considered to be symbols

Word Mark

These are uniquely styled text logos that spell out the company or brand name. Many times, custom fonts are created specifically for brands to use across all their marketing and branding collateral. Some examples include Facebook, Disney and Sony.

Examples of Word Mark Logos

Letter Mark

Lettermarks are exclusively typographic. They use a symbol representing the company through the use of its initials or the brands first letter. Many companies choose to use this type of logo because their initials can better graphically illustrate the company better than the full name (name is too long), the name is hard to pronounce, or it’s just not distinct enough to carry its own weight. Some companies and organizations that use lettermarks include Hewlett-Packard, Chanel and General Electric.

Letter Mark logo design examples

Combination Mark

These logos combine a wordmark and a symbol or icon to give the flexibility for the use of either or both elements across a variety of applications. A well-designed combination mark looks just as good with the elements separate as it does with them together. You might recognize some combo marks like Hawaiian Airlines, Adidas and Sprint.

Combination mark logo type examples


An emblem logo encases the company name within the design. Some examples include Starbucks, the NFL and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.

Emblem-type logo examples

What kind of logo do you have? Are you looking to get a new logo designed for your company? Do you know of any other good examples? Let us know in the comment section below!


  1. Crystal Waters 9 years ago

    This was very helpful to me as it gave me a lot of information I needed. I am doing research on logos so I can make my own logo, without logo-creating sites. I am 12, and doing a project which requires a creative logo. I had lots of success, and I recommend this site to anyone who wants to know about logos.

    • Hafiz Muzammil Bhatti 9 years ago

      Thanks for this kind information i think it will be the very helpful article for the beginners who joined the graphic field!

  2. Good Information regarding logos. It will be really helpful to all those who want to create good and eye catchy logos. Excellent information shared.

  3. shiong 9 years ago

    muchas gracias mi amigo this is very helpfull

  4. Karina 9 years ago

    Thank you! This was very helpful, short and sweet! I am creating a lesson plan for 4th grade students to understand types of logos. It is easily understood and explained. I hope to cite this page so that anyone interested in trying the lesson can use this.

  5. Dinle 9 years ago

    Thanks for this kind information i think it will be the very helpful article for the beginners who joined the graphic field!

  6. tea 9 years ago

    I find this really helpful in my job as a freelance designer. Kudos for putting up a short but informative summary of the different types of logos. Thanks mate.

  7. swinderman 9 years ago

    Heya we’re for the first time listed here. I found this particular board i in locating It genuinely beneficial & them helped me away a great deal. I am hoping to offer another thing back again along with support people such as you made it simpler for us.

  8. Dolores 8 years ago


    Thank you for the information.

    I just have a question… If a logo is made a s a combination mark, when we give the final product to the client, do we have to save the icon & word-mark separated and explain what it stands for?

    • Alex 8 years ago

      It depends on the situation, but we always like to design a combo mark in a way that it works together and separately. So in that case, yes it’s always good to distinguish (preferably in a logo or brand guide) which logo gets applied where so there isn’t any confusion. Hope that helps!

  9. joseph 8 years ago

    Thanks for this gReat opportunities I will like to get a logo for my project. I’ve been. Trying to get one but can’t do it mY self

    • Alex 8 years ago

      Glad we could help! If you’d like some help designing a logo, feel free to head over to our Logo Design Questionnaire and we’ll get the process started!

  10. Kurban Ali 8 years ago

    Thanks Alex for describing the 5 types of logo. I was looking for types of logo that people asked to design to an expert. I thought lets learn about the types of logo people uses on their regular life. You mentioned the top brands with their logos. It makes me very clear. Thanks again.

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