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Guide to Logos

Logo DesignsA Logo comes in all shapes and sizes and knowing about them will help you choose the one that will best suit your needs.

What is the purpose of a logo?

A Logo is an illustration that is used to help promote a person, business, society or product. It informs people of who you are and what you stand for. The importance of a logo is often under estimated; however, it is considered to be the feature which provides your potential customers, clients or members etc, with their first impression of the organisation or item it represents. In fact, a good logo design can be the difference between a successful thriving business and a failing one.

The purpose of a logo is to act as a memory aid and identifier that communicates a specific thought or feeling, and generates a desired emotional response. A thought-stimulating logo design can strengthen your brand image and corporate identity, helping you to stay you one step ahead of your competitors. Your logo is the heart of your corporate identity that defines and characterises your company or organization.

A logo helps to:

  • Build a strong corporate image
  • Strengthen credibility with customers and clients
  • Establish customer awareness
  • Reinforce customer sense of security
  • Create a brand identity
  • Evoke instantaneous recognition

What are the different types of logo?

There are typically 5 different types:

Wordmark - Probably the most popular type of logo design that has very little or no imagery incorporated.  It communicates a message upon its intended audience using a uniquely styled font.  Thick fonts have the effect of portraying strength and power, whereas slanted type fonts convey a sense of motion or movement. The purpose of this style of logo is to intrigue the eye and capture the interest.  This style of logo is useful if you have a relatively small advertising budget or you have a name that effectively describes the nature of your business.

Coca-Cola Logo

Lettermark – Similar to the Wordmark, this type of logo design uses the abbreviated term or initials of the name of a company or organisation to convey its message.  With well-known established companies, we immediately recognise the brand; however, if you are a relatively new and unfamiliar company, you may find yourself spending lots on marketing, educating others on the meaning of the letters.  If Acronyms, initialisms, or alphabetisms graphically describe your business or organisation better than its actual name, this could be the style of logo for you.

IBM Logo

Brandmark – Consist of simple icons, symbols and shapes that are emblematic of a particular company or product. They use imagery that conveys a literal or abstract representation of your organization. Because symbols are less direct than text, they can have a broad or even cryptic meaning of what the organization represents. Consequently, this type of logo tends to be used only by well-known and established organisations, for example the Apple icon (see below) or if the name is too long, too common, doesn't interpret well globally or lacks appeal.

Apple Logo

Iconic - Also referred to as combination marks tend to combine a brandmark symbol with wordmark text. This logo type occurs when the message cannot be conveyed with a symbol alone or you need an emblem for a product; but want more than just a graphic representation.  Because less marketing is required explain its significance, this logo is popular with new or relatively small organisations.

McDonald's Logo

Illustrative - These logo types are usually more complex than the others due to their graphic complexity.  They use a pictorial representation of some aspect of a company and the name can be incorporated so that it too becomes part of the illustration.  The design can be a graphical representation of the corporate name, the business concept or the company’s personality.

Logo using an image of a Bandit

What makes a good logo?

People should get the idea about the nature, quality and basic principles of your company by your logo design.  The most important functionality of a logo is not only to create a positive, powerful impression, but a long-lasting one too.  For a logo to be effective it must exhibit certain fundamental design characteristics which are found in all visual devices that are created to evoke a human response.  Like a work of art or an advertising banner, presence, weight and contrast should be considered to enhance a logos aesthetic value and guide the viewer’s attention.  

Other more practical considerations include:

  • Size - A logo should be scalable and display well whether larger or small.
  • Meaning – A logo should accurately depict the organization or business.
  • Permanence – A logo should not look old fashioned with the passing of time.
  • Colour – A logo should work well in black and white.
  • Shape – A logo needs to be simple, easy to read and comprehend
  • Structure – A logo must work well in all mediums.
  • Audience – A logo must be designed for the right person.  Who is it for?
  • Cost - The greater the number of colours, the higher the printing fees.
  • Aspect ratio – Thought must be given to the width and height of the logo.

Your business has a distinctive culture and market presence and so your logo design must depict these values. Your company is unique and professional and therefore your logo should be too. 

Where to go from here

If you require a logo that conveys the the right message about who you are and what you do; a design which correctly captures the essence of your company and its core values: then why don't you check out the Clean-Cut Web Design logo design service.