Let's Talk Logos


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Logos seem simple. They're just the representation of your business, right? I think we should read that again: the representation of your business. No pressure or anything! Logos not only need to attract new clients/customers and visually tell them what your business is about, but they need to be something that will help your clients/customers return to you as well.

"What was that lawn service called? I think it was something gross...didn't it have flies around it? Oh yeah, Stinky Pete's Lawn Service and Cologne Testing!"

If the shoe fits, stink it up! But seriously, making a good logo is a balancing act and a lot goes into it: what you were picturing, what your designer suggests, what your clients want to see, and what works for your branding.


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WORD MARK:

This type of logo is characterized by being the full version of the business name. It leaves nothing to the imagination, but that doesn't mean it can't be imaginative! According to a study done by Tasty Placements, 37% of the world's top 100 brands use a word mark.


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PROs:

1. Because it is the full name of your business, it usually tells people everything they need to know.

2. The amount of characters that a full name contains gives you a lot of room to brand your business.

CONs:

1. This is the age of social media and they usually don't fit well in a profile picture square or circular space.


LETTER MARK:

This type of logo is characterized by being mostly initials or a monogram. It's commonly seen in the logos of professional businesses like law firms and hospitals or when the company name is hard to pronounce or remember.

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PROs:

1. There are a lot of size options when you don't have to design a logo around consecutive long words.

2. Initials could be a lot easier for your clients to remember. If your name is Maria Petrokovina, you might consider shortening it to MP Photography.

CONs:

1. If your lettermark spells out a well-known acronym (like MVP) or something dirty (like...I leave it to your imagination), you might want to avoid this one.


COMBINATION MARK:

This type of logo is characterized by being a combination (imagine that!) of a symbol/icon and letters or words. A combination mark is the gray area between the two and that definitely has benefits. According to the same study as before, 56% of the world's top 100 brands use a combination mark.

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PROs:

1. It's all the benefits of associating your business with not only its name, but also a symbol.

2. They're a lot easier to trademark than other types of logos because they are more unique.

CONs:

1. Balancing words with an icon can make designing a combination mark more tricky.


EMBLEM:

This type of logo is characterized by having text contained within a symbol, icon, or shield. All those hipster-type microbrewery logos that are super popular right now? This is the one! It is self-contained and usually requires some pretty nifty typography tricks.


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PROs:

1. Because they are a specific shape and that shape is usually a 1:1 ratio, they fit perfectly for profile pictures.

2. They're very trendy, which leads me to to...

CONs:

1. They are very trendy. It could go one of two ways. Either your brand looks established and retro or in a couple years, it looks dated.


BRAND MARK:

This type of logo is characterized by being composed solely of a symbol of icon. According to that same study by Tasty Placement, only 6% of the world's top 100 brands use a brand mark. They're the super iconic companies like Apple and Nike. You can find lots of examples, so I'm not going to put one here. I don't make these or if I do, it's a brand mark in association with other logo types.


PROs:

1. If you've got it, you've got it, baby. The brands that use these are famous the world over and have the most recognized and remembered logos in the world.

CONs:

1. Most companies starting out won't have the renown to pull one of these off.


SO WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?


I'm so glad you asked! I like to set my clients up for success, especially online; that usually requires a long form logo and a short form logo. Think of the long form as what would go on your business card and the short form as what would be your social media profile picture. The long form version is usually either a word mark or a combination mark and the short form is most commonly a letter mark or emblem. You could use a brand mark if you have one, but since they don't include text, brand marks don't tell viewers what your business is about. That can be tricky if you're involved in social media conversations or industry blogging.


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+ PRO-TIP:

You can always follow Pickles & Oliver on Pinterest for up-to-date tips for social media, blogging, design, branding, and small business success. I hunt down all the best advice from the pros and curate it for you in one place.

#logodesign

  I'm Sydney: a branding enthusiast, web design maven, and social media mad scientist. This blog is a design and marketing resource for creative entrepreneurs as well as a space for exploring the "behind the scenes" of my own design process and portfolio. Read more...

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