An Explanation Of Logo Types & Styles, Explained With Deanna Murray

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Hello, my name is Deanna Murray and I am a marketing and branding specialist who helps businesses realize their true potential by making their brands come to life.

Selecting a logo for your company or product is one of the most important business decisions you will make.
It doesn’t matter how fantastic your product or business is, if your logo doesn’t accurately describe it and entice customers, you won’t be able to get customers to care.

There are five standard types of logos to choose from when you’re looking at creating imagery for your business. When I mention them and explain what they are, I am sure you’ll immediately think of brands you know and trust that utilize each type.

Let’s get started.

The first one and probably the most obscure at first is the Brandmark, Symbol or icon.
This logo type uses a basic symbol without words to describe their product. Can you think of any?

Today, probably one of the most popular brandmark logos is the black Apple with a bite missing. This icon not only defines a company that has changed technology, but also arguably defines a generation. It’s proof of the power of an icon.

Another form of an icon mark is Shell gas stations or the Mercedes logo – all highly identifiable by once obscure shapes that have been made into company icons.

Second on our list of logo types is the Word Mark.
Just as the word states, this type of logo doesn’t utilize graphic elements but relies on font style, color and words themselves to define their brand. An excellent example of this would be the lowercased, fat font and blue of the Facebook brand or the whimsicle, dreamy playful Disney brand. Sony is another great example.
Their font and namesake define their identifiability and when those fonts are used outside of the brand we still say ‘oh, that’s the Disney font.’

A Letter Mark is a symbol or icon created out of the use of letters within the brand’s name of initials. There is no graphic element, but strong fonts, color and shapes are often used in letter marks.
Think about the identifiable GE symbol or HP – also the fashion icon, Chanel. Simplicity and class meld together to create a brand impression that’s will be identifiable for years to come.

The Combination Mark is probably the most common. Combination marks utilize color, graphics and words in order to create a complete brand identity.

While the mark is usually used with all elements intact, it can be broken apart to utilize just the words or just the graphic.

Combination marks are popular because they can’t necessarily be mistaken for something else when all the elements are in place. Some popular designs of combo marks are adidas or sprint.
Here’s a tip though: If you use a combination mark, make sure to trademark it with all the elements together as well as all of them apart. You want to make sure your business identity is protected.

Lastly, the emblem design is a mark that encompasses all elements in the combination mark but also takes on a badge type of flare. Emblem brands include Starbucks, Harley Davidson and the NFL.

Emblem designs are probably one of the hardest to create as there is a tendency to cram too much into it. But if you remember how important it is to make all elements discernable, the emblem might be for you.

Now that you know the types of logos out there, one thing to remember when creating your logo is how important it is to take your time and think about every aspect of your brand. Your logo needs to bring life to your company and it will be with you for awhile. So make sure you love it.

I sure hope this information helps – leave a comment or a question – I’d love to hear from you! And if you get a chance, check out my weekly blog on

This is Deanna Murray saying see ya — and we’ll talk again soon.

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