There are many different types of logos in the world of brandmarks. Likewise, there are plenty of styles and approaches to create a logo. Each kind of logo has its own strengths and weaknesses. The best approach to designing a logo, or choosing the most appropriate type of logo, will vary from one project and one business to the next.
In a wordmark or word mark, the brand name is set in a stylised font. A wordmark creates a clear and highly comprehensible identity which requires minimal sign reading. A wordmark by itself, has the ability to communicate its brand name.
In a lettermark or letter mark, the letters or initials from the brand name are used to create the logo. A lettermark is usually used when brand names are too long to be represented by a wordmark. Lettermarks do not concisely communicate their brand names.
An iconic symbol is used to represent the brand. The logo does not explicitly communicate its brand name, but it has the highest memorability compared to the different logo types. A long-term branding plan can associate the symbol to the brand name.
An illustrative symbol is used to represent the brand. It has the same strengths and weaknesses as an iconic symbol logo. An illustrative symbol is visually more attractive and entertaining, but it is not as memorable, compared with an iconic symbol.
A character/mascot is used to represent the brand. The mascot could be a person, an animal or even a robot. A mascot logo is usually used when a brand wishes to associate certain qualities or connotations of the character/mascot to itself.
A combination mark has the best of both worlds. The brand name and symbol/mascot are used to create the logo. This makes it a good graphic device to communicate the brand name and draw association between the symbol/mascot and the brand name.
The brand name and symbol/mascot are enveloped by a graphical element or shape. Being laden with an extra graphical element or shape, it is usually less memorable. On the other hand, this approach makes an emblem logo more prominent.
A web 2.0 logo inherits trends (e.g. gradients and rounded corners) from the internet. Web 2.0 represents World Wide Web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier Web sites. A logo that follows trends will not withstand the test of time.
A dynamic logo changes appearance (e.g. colour, shape or wording) based on the context it is to be used in. Though dynamic logos appear different in separate settings, they always maintain a concrete part of the brand’s DNA while populating the fluid nature of the identity.