What qualities of a logo will make it qualified to be a top logo design?
After polling numerous logo creators, digital marketing agencies, and design firms, one thing that they can agree on is that all of the best logos share these three characteristics:
Simple logos are easily recognizable. As soon as people see a logo, they should be able to know exactly what it is and be able to associate it with a specific brand or company.
Graphic designer, David Airey, from Logo Design Love states, logos need “just one thing to remember about the design. All strong logos have one single feature to help them stand out. Not two, three, or four. One.”
When branding your company, you want to remain consistent in your logo, image, and color scheme.
Logo design company, LogoBee, describes logo versatility perfectly by saying, “You want to portray a consistent image across all of your marketing materials, including signs, letterhead, business cards, products lines, and web sites. Often times, a complicated logo design will work fine on a website or billboard, but when you shrink it down to fit on a pen or coffee cup, the illustration or lettering will become illegible. Your logo should also work well in black and white.”
Great logos need to capture your intended audience’s attention and leave a lasting positive impression. Memorable logos are very easy to describe and recall from memory because they are embedded into your subconsciousness.
Henna Ray from Design Hill thinks that, “Many studies have found that most memorable logos are a simple design. In fact, the simplicity of the design was the number one factor behind the memorable logos in the surveys and studies… [because] it helps draw consumers’ attention more than other factors.”
To help you get a clearer image of what some top logo designs look like, we scoured all of our top design firms’ databases and pulled all of their best logos, which you can see below.
By Lounge Lizard By Ruckus Marketing
By Logo Design NYC
By Soda Web Media By The Turn Group
By Thrive Marketing By Capitol Tech Solutions
By Logo Design NYC
As you can see from the above images, logos come in different types. Some types of logo designs are:
- Pictorial logos
- Abstract marks
- Combination marks
These logos can also be called a logo symbol or a brand mark. It is basically an icon or graphic-based logo.
Think of what comes to mind when you think of the logo with the Apple Store or any Apple products like the iPhone or MacBook. That image of an apple with a bite missing is an example of a pictorial logo.
Another example would be Target store’s red and white bullseye logo or Instagram’s camera icon or even Snapchat’s ghost image.
The image that you choose is very important with a pictorial logo because it will stay with your company for as long as the company is in business.
Usually when I think of a mascot, I think of a sporting event at a school. The mascots in schools are typically animals. However, mascot logos consist of an illustrated character that becomes the face (or brand) of the company.
Some examples are the Wendy’s girl with the red hair or Planters Nuts peanut mascot with the top hat and cane or even the Pillsbury dough boy with the chef hat on. All of these brands used Mascots for logos that are now associated with their brands.
An abstract mark is similar to a pictorial logo, except it uses an abstract image or geometric shapes and forms instead of an actual image or icon. Remember how we discussed the Apple Store has a pictorial logo of an apple with a bite mark.
An abstract logo example is like the Pepsi logo—- a circle with the colors red, white, and blue inside—- or think of the black and white Adidas logo or the green BP logo. They are both comprised of abstract shapes put together and now we recognize and associate those images with their brands.
Wordmarks, also known as logotypes, is a font-based type of logo. They focus solely on the business’ name. The font and color scheme used is what makes these logos unique.
These logo types work the best when a company has a very distinct name.
For instance, when you think of Coca-Cola, you can see exactly how those cursive white letters look on the red can. Google also has a wordmark main logo. They have changed it around on their search page in the past to match specific things going on in that month of the year (which is pretty cool) but main logo always remains the same.
Lettermarks are a typography based logo and can also be known as monogram logos. They are very similar to word marks and are typically company’s initials which are used in order to simplify a lengthy company name.
For example, think about the company, International Business Machines. It is way easier to say and have a logo that says IBM.
Another example would be HBO. Without shortening the name and using only its lettermark, we would all have to say Home Box Office when referring to it.
Or think of NASA. Who knew that it stood for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration? Also, imagine having to have that 42 character name written down on all marketing materials—- it probably wouldn’t be able to fit on smaller items so shortening it down to NASA makes the logo a lot more versatile.
A combination mark logo is one that includes multiple types of logos in one. They usually have a wordmark or lettermark in the logo as well as an abstract mark, mascot, or pictorial mark. In laymen’s terms, they include the company’s name and an image together in the logo.
When I think of combination mark companies, I think of Puma with the puma figure jumping over the Puma words or the Doritos logo. They have an abstract Dorito shape with the words “Doritos” going across it. Another example is Domino’s Pizza’s logo. They have an actual Domino at the top in red and white with their name, “Domino’s Pizza” in a blue box underneath the domino.
Emblems are like badges. They are comprised of a lettermark or wordmark logo inside of an icon, abstract shape, or symbol.
A company who does this is Starbucks. They have the woman in the middle of the logo with the words “Starbucks Coffee” around her.
Another company is Harley- Davidson Motor Cycles. They have an abstract image and inside the abstract image are the Harley-Davidson wordmarks.
The NFL also does this using stars, a football, and their lettermarks all inside of an abstract shape.
Although there are different types of logos like pictorial, mascots, abstract marks, emblems, wordmarks and lettermarks, logos are so important because they grab the attention of potential customers and make a strong first impression about your brand.
Logos are simple, memorable, and versatile.
They are the foundation of your brand and is the first thing that separates you from the competition.