Types of Logos

Selecting the correct type can be critical

While there are an infinite number of variables that are possible with any corporate identity design project, and many company logos ‘straddle’ the various types, our designers have found that most design ‘treatments’ will fall into four distinct categories; Text, Iconic, Graphic and Illustrative. While these categories are certainly not to be viewed as absolutes, and many logos have the features of several types, this is a fairly basic, yet accurate, overview for those new to the logo design process. Each logo type has it’s merits, while others have disadvantages. Some types are more appropriate for certain market segments than others. By being familiar with the different versions, and their strengths and weaknesses, you can make an educated decision on which logo type is more suited to your requirements. Let’s take a closer look at the various logo types, using designs pulled from our graphic design portfolios as examples…

Main logo types:

Text logo example

Text logo example from our galleries.

Text logos.

Text logos are visually the simplest logos (and often favored by Fortune 500 corporations). Paradoxically, their simplicity can be misleading as these logos can be enormously difficult to design. Your designer is limited in the ‘tricks of the trade’ that are available, so the typographic design requires someone with a ‘mature’ level of design experience . In terms of marketing your new company, text logos also have the bonus feature of promoting your company name extensively without being cluttered with heavy visuals and graphics..

Text logo example

Text logos can also utilize visual accents. From our logo galleries.

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Iconic logo example

Iconic logo example from our galleries.

Iconic logos.

Iconic logos generally feature highly simplified graphics (symbols) that reflect an aspect of the company and/or product portrayed. They can be used solo, or with text. This form of logo is perhaps the most common (a slim margin over graphical), yet often the most difficult to design and requires the services of an experienced designer. These logos are most effective when your design is to be featured at a small size, or in low-resolution reproduction..

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Graphic logo example

Graphic logo example from our galleries.

Graphic (linear) logos.

Graphic logos are, in the practical sense, somewhere between an iconic and illustrative logotype. These logotypes are very visually appealing – detailed enough to be recognizable, yet linear and technically simple enough to translate into most media usages. It’s a ‘toss up’ between graphical and iconic logos as to which is the most popular and/or common..

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Illustrative logo example

Illustrative logo example from our galleries.

Illustrative logos.

Illustrative logos are usually more detailed and complex than graphical, and are a pictorial (illustration) representation of some aspect of the company or product portrayed. This can be the name, the business concept or a character/mascot. While sometimes frowned upon by graphic design purists, if handled correctly an illustrative logotype can become a unique advertising and promotional tool and works well on many types of marketing materials including wearables..

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Keep in mind..

Our logo design gallery can be filtered to view the categories of logos discussed here. The categories presented are meant as an overview and generalization of the infinite possibilities. As in all manners of creative design, there are no absolutes and this area is meant for reference only. Should you require assistance in selecting the right type of logo for your business, company or service, contact our client support.

Examples of Text, Iconic, Graphic & Illustrative Logos

Can you spot which is which? Pulled from our Design Galleries. Click on images for project details.

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