Types of Logos & their Uses


Broadly there are 3 types of logos. Before getting into that, let us take you through the fundamentals first.

Importance of Logo in your brand identity

A Logo is the most important element of a Brand's Visual Identity. It defines who you are and builds image of your Brand. Believe it or not, Human Brains can sub-consciously determine whether to trust a company or not, just by looking at its Logo. This happens in the Limbic System of our Brain. A finely crafted & confident Logo can help create intended Brand Image and also create affinity.

A Logo is the simplest and most powerful tool of recall. And that's how we recognise Brands too. It has direct impact on a Brand's Recognition and its Recall. Brand Recognition & Brand Recall are important components of Brand Equity. A strong Logo and Brand Identity can actually increase the monetary value of your Brand.

Key pointers to bear in mind while you get your Logo designed

A. Keep it Simple: Keep the Logo simple and effective. Let it communicate everything in least possible strokes, lines and highlights. Get rid of the bevels, shadows, 3D effect, gradients and vignettes if they don't add any visual meaning to the Logo. Avoid stylish fonts that may hamper legibility of the Brand Name. The simpler the Logo, the more effective will be the Brand Identity. It is easier to recall Nike's Logo compared to Alfa Romeo's.

B. Make it Timeless: A Logo shouldn't be created following any trend or popular rendition style. Logos should be relevant for at least 5 years. It must reflect your business values. A Logo created on whims and fancies is merely an art. The Colour Palette and choice of Fonts should be defined by the values of the Brand.

C. Make it Scalable: All Logos should be designed with scalability in mind. Do consider future JVs and sub-brands - how will those be placed should they appear in future. You will also need to consider various applications of the Logo. It will appear as a favicon of 16 pixels and on large surfaces like billboards. It should look good on all applications.

D. Make it Meaningful: There is no merit in creating a Graphic Element that doesn't mean anything. Your Logo should mean something to you and to your Customers. Use Colours that evoke right feelings. Use fonts that project right Brand Image.

Okay, so now that we have covered the importance of logo and the DOs of creating an effective one, let's dive into the types of logos.

1. Typographic logo


Such logos are made up of simple typography without any significant graphics. It is preferred that you customise an existing font to create such Logos. Disclaimer: Never use an existing font as is. Give unique character to it. Examples: Facebook, Disney, Absolut, FedEx, Google & Visa.



2. Combination logo


Majority of Logos in the world fall under this category. These logos have graphical element beside the Symbol or within the Symbol. Examples: Taco Bell, Puma, Harley Davidson, NBA, WWF & MasterCard.



3. Symbolic logo


Such Logos have a symbol with no text. They start out as a Combination Logo. When the Brand becomes popular and known enough, they can drop the text and keep only the Symbol representing the Logo. Popular car brands are known for doing this, like Volkswagen. Twitter, Apple and Starbucks are the most popular examples here. Even Yellow Fishes' logo falls in this category.

Disclaimer: Your Brand will be able to sustain this Logo type only when

i) Your offerings are very different from the competition, and

ii) You've stayed with Combination Logo for long enough for your Customers to identify you with the Symbol only



We appreciate you for reading this and we have 2 bonus points for you.

1. Ambigram: A logo that can be seen/read in exact same way from opposite directions. Yellow Fishes' logo is an ambigram- i.e. it will be read as same YF from two opposite directions. An ambigram logo can be made in Typographic, Symbolic or Combination Logos.

2. You can't please everyone with your Logo. Ask people for their opinions but keep the Brand Values as the lynchpin.