5 Popular Logo Types: Which is Right for You?

Are you just launching your business and starting to think about the logo for your company? Or perhaps you’re just ready to give your brand a makeover.

Either way, it’s important to understand the style options, how they’re best used, and which is right for your business. Check out these five popular logo types:

Combination Mark

Combination marks are definitely one of—if not the—most popular options out there. In fact, 61 of the top 100 companies use this style. A Combination mark is a graphic that includes both text and a symbol. Examples include Adidas and Microsoft. The symbol and text can be integrated, as is the case with Adidas, side-by-side or one on top of the other.

Should you use a Combination Mark? In most cases, yes. Combination marks offer the best of both worlds, with an eye-catching image and a name that makes it easy for people to identify your business. Especially if your business is a start-up, small business or relatively unknown, it’s the best logo to build brand recognition.

The key is to choose a simple symbol that represents your brand and blends seamlessly with your font choice.

Symbol Marks

Symbol marks are either Pictorial—an immediately recognizable image that has been simplified—or Abstract—an image that isn’t concrete but conveys a larger idea. Apple and Target both have Pictorial logos, where as Apple and Nike use an Abstract logo.

Both offer a striking image that is memorable.

Should you use a Symbol logo? Unless your brand is already well-established and highly recognizable, probably not. One caveat: If you plan to go global and the name of your business doesn’t translate well.

If you do decide to go with a Symbol logo, give the image some serious thought. You don’t want to use anything that could be misconstrued, and you want it to be timeless, so don’t choose anything too trendy or that could become dated in a few years.

Emblem Marks

An Emblem mark is when the company’s name is connected to a pictorial element. For example, the UPS and Starbucks logos are in the Emblem style.

They are ideal for showing the history of a brand or evoking a vintage or whimsical feeling.

Should you use an Emblem logo? If your company has been around for a long time—or you just want it to look like it has—an emblem logo can be the way to go. They do tend to be a bit more detailed, so you will want to work with a professional designer who can embody the spirit, values and history of your brand in a single, bold visual.


Lettermarks are combination of letters, typically the initials of a company with a longer name (e.g., CNN, HBO or NASA) with some design elements. Letter marks tend to be relatively simple, with the font being the most important component of the logo.

Should you use a Lettermark logo? If your business has a long name, a lettermark style can help simplify the design of your logo and make you more memorable. However, if you aren’t an established business with some brand recognition, you will want to incorporate your full business name beneath the logo, so that people learn to recognize it, at least initially.


A Wordmark logo is all about the business name, with some strong design elements. Google, Visa and Coca-Cola, for example, are iconic Wordmark logos.

Should you use a Wordmark logo? If your business name is short and punchy—and is easy to remember—go for it. It’s a smart choice for new business that want to build name recognition. Just remember, typography is important because it is what will tell the world what kind of business you are, what you do, and the overall vibe of your organization.

How Can We Help?

Now that you know what logo types are out there, start thinking about the image you want to convey for your business. Then choose a style that fits both now and will stand the test of time. If you need help putting a new design together, give us a call.