Now, in this third part I’m going to deep into the system options for you to understand which one fits better your company’s brand. Letters, images, emblems, name, there are so many options when it comes to logo systems that you might be lost. But this article will brighten up your mind to the possibilities when designing your logo. Always focusing on being true to your brand.
There are many types of logos and classifications around the Design world. But I’m going to stick with Alina Wheeler’s book Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team that is very well written and composed. She divides logos in 5 categories: wordmark, letterform, emblems, pictorial marks and abstract/symbolic marks. They all include typography and/or image, but each type of logo gives your brand a different feel. So let’s see what Alina says about them.
A wordmark is a strong word (or words) that should be easy to read at the same time presents a very distinctive typeface. Work really well when the name itself is catchy and memorable. And when combined with strong typography, the logo gets a strong brand recognition.
The lettermark feature few letters to represent a brand. IBM, CNN, HP, HBO, for example. Successful letterforms are the ones that you remember the full name just by looking at. The advantages include their scalability for purposes of app icons and social media.
The iconic Apple logo, the Twitter bird, the Target bullseye are all pictorial marks. Each of these companies’ logos is so emblematic, and each brand so established, that the mark alone is instantly recognizable. A true brand mark is only an image. Because of this, it can be a tricky logo type for new companies to use.
An abstract mark instead of being a recognizable image—like an apple or a bird—is an abstract geometric form that represents your business. A few famous examples include the Pepsi divided circle and the strip-y Adidas flower. The benefit is that you’re able to convey what your company does symbolically, without relying on the cultural implications of a specific image. Through color and form, you can attribute meaning and cultivate emotion around your brand.
The last major type of logo is the emblem which consists of font inside a symbol or an icon: think badges, seals and crests. These logos tend to have a traditional appearance, but some companies have effectively modernized the emblem like Starbucks or Harley-Davidson. The problem is that a busy emblem won’t be easy to replicate across business cards and hats because when it shrinks becomes too difficult to read. So you may take all of this tips and knowledge into consideration when choosing the right system for you. Or, create a Responsive Logo Design system.
After you match your name and objective with the system, you are ready to shape it. Just if you are not going for wordmark or lettermark, of course. For that, I’ll share with you a table I made some years ago, that I still use for this matter and works pretty well.
|Vibrant||Directed/open out, curves, round shapes that show movement, expansive, 3D, waves, dynamic, imperfect, uneven|
|Catchy||Round shapes, unity, pointless, open, ascendant, arch (smile), interlaced, organic|
|Engaged||Interlaced, grouped, organic, strong, solid, points|
|Multi||Diverse, no sharp point, endless, irregular, long, branched, many elements, organic|
|Amazing||Dynamic, diverse, mutants, ascendant, expansively|
TIn addition, circle represents modernity, infinitude and protection; the square means balance and honesty; the triangle brings action, conflict and spirituality to your logo.
So what is the right system for you? Do you have other techniques to share? Let me know on the comments below!
Next stop… Typography.