Want to get noticed in your business? Want to be at the forefront of your consumers' minds and create a lasting impression? Then you need a logo. In today's world, especially in the USA, a business cannot get very far without one. Logos represent the brand, and different types of logos are used to convey the feel of a company, or maybe even symbolize what a company does.
What Is a Logo?
A logo is a picture, words, or a combination of these used by companies to sell products. Their typography and image combine to create a feeling or convey a message. It is their brand and often the first thing customers identify with when they are looking to buy products. When a consumer identifies with a logo they are identifying and aligning with the message and feeling of the brand. If you are wondering whether a logo is necessary you need to remember that there are thousands of businesses competing for commerce.
Is There a Need for Logos?
What is the best way to for your customer to know you, your company, your message, and your brand on sight? Do you want them to remember your name? Is it a long one? Does it sound like the name of another company? Do you wish to attract international clients? Is your company's name easy to pronounce? If you are not sure about the answers to these questions, then you have just identified why we need logos. Logos are important for any business trying to create a brand. Logos help get your name out there and become recognizable among your competitors. What might be even more important to consider here is how effective branding and logos can be on creating loyalty. Once a brand is established, mostly through the use of logos, certain clients will no longer even look at other brands and will forevermore buy whatever product their preferred label is creating. This is the height to which all companies strive.
Fashion companies can differentiate themselves with the font, color, and images which suit their line. Are they a flirty company or a down to earth get outside and go camping kind of company? A logo can help them sell this image. Law firms or accounting firms don't necessarily want to appear fun and easy-going. These types of companies would benefit more from logos which convey a sense of stability and authority. Businesses with long names don't want to be a mouthful for their clientele. Logos with shortened names or images, or a combination of the two, would be better suited for remaining at the forefront of consumers' minds. It is easy to see how logos help companies to stand out in the mind of the consumer. A company which stands out has a much better chance of attracting, and keeping, their customers.
The Various Types of Logos
One might think there are numerous logo types which exist and they wouldn't be wrong. There are as many logos as there are companies in the world. However, there are only seven basic logo types: words and letters, wordmarks, pictures and symbols, abstract, mascots, combinations, and the emblem. The following section will summarize each type.
Words and Letters
To begin our introduction into logos, we'll start with the basics. Think NASA or HBO. These logos use letters as shortened versions of their much longer names in order to be quickly remembered by their target audience. The logos are often referred to as letter marks or monogram logos. These logos use letters and their style is that of pure simplicity. It is a very effective tactic to streamline a company's much longer name. HBO is much easier than saying or even thinking about Home Box Office. These highly adaptable logos are great for businesses that want the customer to remember their long name and want the logo transferred across all marketing materials.
Logotypes or Wordmarks are logos that use the company's name. Companies use this when they have a distinctive name for their company and want to draw attention to it. Think of Google. Using these logos with success depends largely on the font used. Considering the focus for conveying the feel of the business rests solely on the name and perhaps the color that is chosen. Google is another good example here. By using multiple colors, the customer is not only attracted to the strange word but also the variety of colors. Coca-Cola is memorable not only for its name but also for the swirly lettering and the bold red color.
Pictures and Symbols
These logos are often referred to as brand marks or pictorial marks. They use icons which are easily recognized. Target, Twitter and Apple are among the first to come to mind as they are instantly recognizable. Logos such as these are better adapted by companies who are already top of mind with the consumer as their brand recognition game is strong. Choosing the right image will have lasting implications for the company as it will be with the company for its existence. Using a brand mark is also a great option if your name is too long, or you are looking to convey a desired emotion or idea.
Abstract Logo Marks
An abstract mark is a type of pictorial logo. However, these logos use a geometric shape or some other abstract form to represent the business. Adidas uses a flower but with stripes through it or sometimes three bars leaning to the left. Shell Sas is another example of these logos. Abstract logos allow the company to use color and shapes to convey a feeling or symbolic message about the brand or what the company does. This lends them the ability to create something truly unique. Another great use for these logos is how effective they are in the international market. A business name is not always able to translate but the right image can be universally recognized.
Mascots are logos which convey a sense of playfulness and fun. The Kool-Aid man is always ready to burst through into your day and bring a bit of fun and refreshment into the day for the kids. These logos are family-oriented and are especially effective when attempting to appeal to young kids. The Colonel from KFC is another example. His big open smile is like a favorite uncle or grandpa wanting to serve something delicious. Yet another example is Mr. Peanut who stands ready to dance implying a party in every container just waiting to opened. Mascots at sporting events are another example of this type of logo. We see these logos as very effective as they interact with the crowd and get everyone involved, which is just what a company wants from its consumers - get involved and buy something. Something to consider with a mascot, however, is how transferable it will be across all marketing material. The size and detail will make all the difference.
The Combination Mark
McDonald's, Burger King, and Doritos are all excellent examples of these logo types. Picture and text work together to create a lasting impression in the mind of the consumer and reinforce the brand. Used most effectively, the association of an image with the name of the company could even allow for a time when the company could remove the name and the consumer would still recognize the company. The combination mark is one of the most effective of the logo types available. There is a lot of room for creativity and they provide you with a chance to be unique. This is why these logos have become a very popular choice.
An emblem logo is when text appears inside an image or a symbol. Harley Davidson and Starbucks coffee are two companies which come to mind that use these logos effectively. Schools, government agencies and other organizations like the appeal to the traditional and classic style of these logos. Food and beverage companies are fond of incorporating this style of logo. While these logos have certain advantages, one disadvantage is the difficulty with replicating this brand image easily across all marketing. It may not show up as well on a t-shirt or be easily made into something smaller. This is a good point to consider when deciding which logo would suit your company the best.
This has been a rundown of the various logo types available to companies these days. Regardless of the type of logo you decide to use in your business, one thing is certain - logos are a necessary part of doing business, especially in the USA. Before moving ahead, take some time to plan out the message, feel, and image you would like the company to convey. What types of clients will align with your message? What type of image or words could be used to help your ideal client connect with your company and stay loyal to your brand? The answer to these questions will help solidify the logo you need as you move forward and make your mark on the world.