The #1 Writing Tool

We encounter brand logos every day, and they are so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget just how much work goes into creating them. There are many different types of logos, and each one makes a different kind of impression on your target audience, existing customers, and business partners.

Getting your logo right is essential to any online business, as this unique emblem gives your brand personality. Not only should the graphic neatly encapsulate starbucks logo your brand’s unique offer and ethos, but it should also be instantly recognizable among other logo styles. After all, as your business grows, your logo will be used in various ways, from adorning your email marketing to advertising posters.

Designing a logo is one of the first processes any new business should undertake, even before building a new website. Your logo will set your content’s tone, color scheme, and style, so it makes sense to get your logo in place first. But how and where do you start? Stay tuned because you are about to learn everything you need to get started with a logo maker in no time!

Logos can be roughly divided into seven key types. Each uses a different combination of words and images, making a distinct impression on your audience. In this article, we’ll run through all seven types and give examples of which brand uses them. It would be best if you came away from this article with a better understanding of a business’ logo impression. Then, you should be able to apply these logo design tips when designing your logo using our tools.

Constant Contact managed by Spearhead Multimedia


The emblem is arguably the oldest form of logo. Modern emblems—like that of Harley Davidson—still resemble the crests and seals that aristocratic families used in the Middle Ages. They are typically round and include both text and images. Harley Davidson logo

Because of this historical association, emblems convey a sense of heritage and history. That’s why many beer brands use them—in this market, customers respond to the heritage of the brands they buy. Emblems are also great for conveying a sense of responsibility and tradition, which is why government departments and schools often use them.

This logo design often contains very detailed imagery with small accents. Emblems can be great if you want to convey the craftsmanship with which your products are made, but they can make them a problematic type of logo to use online because they don’t scale well. A typical emblem logo will not look good scaled down to a favicon, for instance, and nor will it look that good scaled up on a billboard.

Which brands should use an emblem?

  • If you are proud of your brand’s heritage and want to stress this, an emblem is an excellent opportunity to portray your brand identity.
  • Equally, if stability and responsibility are important in your sector, an emblem can convey a sense of gravitas.

Which brands should avoid an emblem?

  • On the other hand, if your branding emphasizes the novelty of your products, don’t use an emblem, as there are plenty of other applicable design trends to choose from.


Logotypes are a type of logo where your company name is used as your logo. Though this type of logo takes your company’s name as the main design element, you can also creatively use fonts and colors to convey extra information about your brand. That’s what the most famous company that uses a logotype – Google – has done: their logo conveys the simplicity of using their products with bright colors that are attractive to non-techy customers.

The significant advantage of logotypes is that they closely tie your visual identity to your brand image. This is hugely important if your brand name is not a common word or if your customers will need to use it frequently (while searching for your products online, for example). This is the approach that has been taken by FreshBooks, a company that produces software for invoice templates. Since most of their business is online, it makes sense to incorporate their company name into their logo to improve website traffic and brand recognition simultaneously.

Though the basic principle behind a logotype is easy to understand, you should be aware that fonts quickly go in and out of fashion. So, you must update your logotype frequently to keep up with the newest design trends.

Which brands should use a logotype?

  • Logotypes are great for new companies because they can quickly get their name spoken about.
  • They are also suitable for companies with short names or those who have spent time thinking of clever names.
  • Equally, logotypes are almost unavoidable for some companies. Freelance photographers, for instance, typically use logotypes to increase the association between their names and the images they produce.

Which brands should avoid a logotype?

  • It goes without saying that brands with long company names should not use logotypes. Unless your company name is short enough to be plastered everywhere, you should look for a different type of logo that still fits your brand personality.


Monogram logos are a type of graphic in which you take the acronym for your company and use these letters as the basis for your logo. This type of logo is prevalent, but they are easy to overlook because (if they are done well) a brand can replace your name.

Just think of Home Box Office. Wondering who that is? This type of logo is commonly used by long-established companies that have inherited a name that no longer makes for good branding. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, for instance, is now more widely known as 3M.

Typography is essential when designing this kind of logo. With just a few letters to work with, you have to be spot-on with the small details of your logo. Just be aware that—as with the logotypes above—you may need to revisit your design every few years as font fashions change.

Which brands should use a monogram?

  • For some brands, the decision to use a monogram is a no-brainer. In many sectors – think of law firms – referring to companies by their initials is standard practice.
  • Monograms are also helpful if you want to retain a link between your name and brand but have a name that is too long to use as a logotype.

Which brands should avoid a monogram?

  • Conversely, new brands looking to make a name should avoid monograms. In this case, you should include your full name in your logo until your target audience recognizes who you are.

Brand marks

Brand marks take a different approach from the logo examples we’ve mentioned. Here, the idea is to avoid using text altogether and rely purely on an image for brand recognition.

Brand marks can be challenging to design because most people have a more direct relationship with text than an abstract image. On the other hand, huge brands can use a brand mark as an elegant and straightforward way of being recognized. Starbucks, for instance, removed its brand name from its image altogether in 2011.

The catch is that your brand has to be recognizable – like Starbucks – before you can rely on an image entirely. For that reason, brand marks often evolve from other types of logo designs as a brand becomes more successful.

That said, brand marks are one of the most popular types of logos, particularly among tech companies. Small tech startups often design a logo with a brand mark included, perhaps hoping they can drop their company name one day while still maintaining brand identity. Among the many, a logo is essential to portraying and preserving your identity.

This is seen across the board, from the smallest tech companies to the largest. It is the approach taken by Weave, a maker of appointment reminder software, and—of course—Apple, which hasn’t written any name on any of its products for decades.

Which brands should use a brand mark?

  • If your company name lends itself to a simple image – like Weave and Apple above – then a brand mark can be an elegant way of branding your company. Typography may no longer be necessary.
  • Similarly, if you make consumer goods but want to avoid plastering your company’s name alcompany’sem, a small brand mark can be a great way to get your logo out there.

Which brands should avoid a brand mark?

  • On the other hand, if you are still unsure how to brand your company, don’t jump in with the brand mark immediately. For instance, brand marks are more complicated to change than the font of your logotype, so don’t tie your brand mark too early.
  • Secondly, many people find designing a suitable brand mark more complex than using a logotype or another text-based logo.


Mascots are a more unusual logo form and can be challenging to use. In some cases, in some types of online businesses, a mascot can give a brand a human face and increase the emotional tie that your customers have to your brand. For this reason, mascots are used by many sports teams and food companies who want to create a human connection to what would otherwise be a reasonably abstract organization.

On the other hand, there are two big problems with the mascots.

The first is that they can make your brand look a little dated. Mascots were very popular before the 1970s – think of Mr. Peanut – and they can evoke the feeling that your branding is from this era. The second issue is that making a cute, smiley mascot can sometimes mean your logo is too pretty and too smiley: this makes your brand look like it is designed for children.

Of course, for some brands—and particularly those that want to appeal to families or children—these are not problems but benefits.

Which brands should use a mascot?

  • Brands that want to appeal to families and children should seriously consider designing a mascot.
  • Equally, a mascot comes with some huge advantages for brands that want to enter multi-channel marketing. Your mascot need not stay on your print media but can also appear as an icon in your TV ads and (perhaps) in real life.

Which brands should avoid a mascot?

  • The biggest problem with mascots is that they can seem unserious. Suppose you are a cybersecurity company, for instance, or are in any other sector where professionalism is a virtue. In that case, you want to avoid this mascot to protect your corporate identity.

Combination marks

Though the types of logos we’ve discussed are pretty different, you don’t have to choose between them. The successful branding of a company often relies on you developing several different types of a logo – an image, emblem, text style, and mascot – and then swapping and changing these depending on the circumstances.

The most obvious example of a “combination” log” is Dove, a “soap brand. They have been using two design elements—a logotype and an image of a dove—for almost a century now. This means they can use their products or ads and still be recognized.

Which brands should use a combination mark?

  • Combination marks are great if you are a new company still finding your feet. With several different design elements to choose from, you can be flexible with how you present your company.
  • Established companies can also benefit from this approach by adding another design element to their logo. If your logo or symbol looks a little outdated, you can slowly introduce a new, more contemporary element into your branding.

Which brands should avoid a combination mark?

  • In truth, combination marks work well for most companies, albeit with one word of warning: don’t design too many elements. Though it’s possible to have a logotype, image, and mascot, if you have all three, they should all be as simple as possible. Otherwise, you risk confusing both your customers and your staff.
13053 135800213053

Designing a logo

Once you’ve decided on your desired logo, it’s time to design one. This can be an intimidating job, especially for those not used to working with visual imagery. But fear not: that’s why we’ve developed an advanced logo maker to help you.

When designing your logo, there are a few key considerations to consider. The first is where and when you will use your new logo. Is it primarily for your website, or will you also use it in your outreach? Will it be printed on your products or only seen in print? Some hosting providers, like Spearhead Multimedia, provide you with software to coordinate your branding across your website and social media channels, making them a popular web host worldwide. However, it’s worth knowing where your logo will appear before designing it.

The next step is to find logos that you like and copy them—or not exactly copy them, but “take inspiration” from them! There might be a particular color or font that draws you to a logo, for instance. Listening to your gut in this way is great, but just be sure that you are drawing on logos that are right for your brand and not just those that you like.

Finally, test your logo. You should spend as long as necessary to produce a logo that you are truly happy with—after all, you only have to do this once—but the problem with spending hours looking at it is that you can get caught up in the details and miss the big picture. Show your logo to your staff, but it’s equally important to ask the opinion of people not directly involved in your company.

A final word

Finally, have fun.

Spearhead Multimedia logo

Spearhead Multimedia logo

After all the information and considerations you’ve been bombarded with in this article, that might sound a little difficult, but remember that designing a logo is one of the most creative tasks in starting a business. And if you are a new company, getting your logo right will pay dividends.

Ultimately, it would be best to remember that you are responsible for your logo. Though there has been much talk about how data science is changing web design and many predictions that AI will eliminate human designers, this is not going to happen anytime soon. When producing great logos, the human eye is still vital.

That’s not to say you can’t get a little help, though. Our logo design tools are built around an AI engine that takes some of the hard work out of how to create a business logo – of whichever type you choose – without removing your freedom to get creative.

Not sure where to start with marketing? That’s why we created The Download.

We know you’re busy trying to grow your big idea. Because we work closely with small businesses like yours every day. Drawing on decades of experience, we’re now sharing our online marketing knowledge in a free guide that’s packed with tips, examples of what works and what doesn’t, and a whole lot more, like:
*How people find you online*
*How to set yourself up for success*
*How it all comes together*
*How online marketing can work for you*

Get a free trial of Constant Contact and our latest promotional rate from this link.

Related: Transform Your Small Business with Generative AI

pa 4

Article by Dan Fries

Dan Fries is a freelance writer and full-stack Rust developer. He looks for convergence in technology trends, with specific interests in cyber security, micromobility, and smart cities (🛴💨). Dan enjoys snowboarding and is based in Hong Kong with his pet beagle, Teddy.