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Symbol or Icon (Brand Mark):
Gives a clear representation of your company’s identity without the use of words. Often used for companies with a global presence to help the brand cross language barriers or when the company name itself is too long to be used as an abbreviated lettermark. Often the symbol/icon is abstracted or stylized to help it be memorable and recognizable to the prospective audience.
Typographic logos consist solely of text, often stylized or designed using a unique font. This tends to work best with company names that are very distinctive, or for companies that are just getting started. These are more direct and to the point, and can evoke almost any feeling that’s desired simply through type choices and customization. According to a recent study, 37% of the top 100 brands in the world use a typographic logo style.
Lettermark logos are often very simple, and when creating a logo, simplicity is everything. They are comprised of text (like typographic logos), but they highlight the company’s initials or first letter instead of the full name. This is helpful for company names that have a difficult pronunciation, spelling, or are long-winded (think “IBM” over “International Business Machines”).
Emblems simply encase the company or organization’s name within the graphic portion of the logo so that the two are inseparable. These often tend to look like official badges or seals, making them attractive options for political and government organizations. Occasionally they are used by other companies (think Starbucks) with great success.
Logos with both text and a symbol/icon are combination marks. These generally provide flexibility for the use of either or both elements, and look as good with the elements separate as they do together. This is a very popular logo style, since it spells out a company’s name while associating it with a visual icon at the same time. Because of the added complexity, these tend to require a little more time to create.