You probably already know that logos are a pretty big deal. Selecting one for your company or product is arguably one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. Acting as the face of your business, these small, graphical representations say a lot about the identity of your company and are arguably the most valuable visual asset of any modern business.
But did you know there are several different types of logo?
Here, we explain the differences between the four styles most widely-used today – the word-mark, pictorial, abstract and the logo system.
#1 The Word-Mark
Let’s start with the word-mark, the most simple of the four. The word-mark logo is an exclusively typographic image that illustrates a brand’s name. The simplicity of the word-mark is by no means ineffective, in fact it embodies many advantages, such as its ability to convey a clear message of who the brand is, as well as often being easy to remember. An effective word-mark logo can often be recognised by its font and colour, for example you very likely to still recognise Disney’s font when it is used to type alternative words.
Other big brands that utilise the word-mark include:
Next is the pictorial logo. This type of logo is often an iconic representation and is usually an illustration that forms a brand’s identity. Many pictorial logos are accompanied by text, however large and well-established brands often drop the typography from their pictorial logos and yet are still instantly recognisable, such as Starbucks and Apple. Advantages of using a pictorial logo is they are likely to promote brand culture effectively.
Abstract logos are creative, conceptual designs that represent their brand through abstract imagery or symbols that generally do not obviously portray what the brand sells. They use non-representational illustrations to communicate the brand’s message. The interpretive designs are often best used to symbolise intangible products, such as Chase.
Did you know?
One of the most successful brands to utilise the abstract logo is Nike. When first configured by designer Carolyn Davidson in 1973, the famous swoosh had almost no relevance and Carolyn was paid only $35 for her services! The Nike brand and its swoosh, which represents athletic movement, are now estimated at a worth of $2
6 billion. (Carolyn was later thanked by Nike’s founder Phil Knight with a diamond ring engraved with the swoosh, and an envelope filled with an undisclosed amount of Nike stock!)
#4 The Logo System
Last but not least, is the logo system. The most creative of them all, this type of logo is a complex combination of the word-mark, pictorial and abstract logo. The logo system creates a graphical framework that can be tweaked with new colours and designs, yet remain recognisable. Great examples of the logo system are MTV, Google Doodles and Hillary Clinton’s recent campaign logo.