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How Different Logo Design Styles Can Affect Your Small Business Or Home Business

I've talked to you about not getting too personally attached to your logo design process, and how strong of an impact a good logo can have. I believe that in most cases a clean, simple, unique logo is the way to go for longevity and success in marketing your image. That being said, there are multiple other types of logos that can, and have, helped many business reach the next level of success. Choosing which style of logo would best fit your company is an extremely important decision, and one that you and your designer should decide.

I came across the following article when I was researching for material to put into this column, and realized that everything I was reading was exactly what I had hoped to put into this. So without further adieu, I give you some excerpts from an article written by Kelly Dailey that I think explain very well the different types of logos you may want to use for your organization:

Wordmark or Logotype Logos and Your Small Business

The most widely used of all logo types, the workmark focuses on text and typeface but can incorporate other elements as well. A wordmark may be best suited for companies whose name effectively describes what they do (Office Max, Home Depot) without graphical elements to convey that message, a literal interpretation of the words is often necessary. (For example, we know that Gilmore and Rey are accountants because the logo literally tells us so.) A wordmark is often text only with unique typographical treatments ( Microsoft, Sears, Yahoo, Google ). Most often however, the company name is incorporated together with simple graphic elements to create a clean, simple identity. The representation of the word essentially becomes a symbol of the companies' name.

Here are some instances for choosing a Wordmark or Logotype;

- Communication funds are limited and should be focused on name recognition.

- Your name is reasonably distinctive but not (yet) a household word.

- You want to associate products or subsidiaries with the parent company more clearly and directly than a symbol permits.

Lettermark Logo

Similar to a wordmark, a lettermark is a wholly typographic mark, usually involving initials or abbreviations. Monograms and anamgrams are lettermarks. The representation of the letter(s) essentially become a symbol of the companies name.

Here are some instances for choosing a Lettermark;

- Your initials translate graphically better than your actual name.

- You need to link subsidiaries to the patent and can't easily use the name.

- You can afford to teach the public what the lettermark means.

Brandmark Symbol

- A simple but strong graphic symbol, often abstract, that complements an aspect of a business or service and represents a company by association. (NIKE or Apple Computers)

Here are some instances for choosing a symbol;

- You need an emblem on a product.

- Your name is too long, too generic, doesn't translate well globally and/or has no personality.

- You need to link subsidiaries to the patent and can't easily use the name.

- You can't afford to teach the public what the symbol means.

Iconic Logotype

Iconic logotypes are also referred to as combination marks, An iconic logotype generally combines a brandmark symbol with the wordmark. The combination can be loose or integrated with a loose combination, the elements can be used together or separately. A well designed iconic logotype can effectively communicate what a company does as well as reflect what the companies personality is.

- Here are some instances for choosing an Iconic Logotype;

- You are a startup enterprise or small business with limited funds.

- Your name is reasonably distinctive but not (yet) a household word.

- You need an emblem on a product, but want more than just a symbol.

Since Iconic Logotypes communicate more readily than other logotypes, less marketing is required for the logo to be effective. Therefore, iconic logotypes are the most cost effective type of logo design available and are ideal for startups or small businesses with limited marketing budgets."

I would like to add one more category that Kelly didn't address.

Illustrative Logos

Illustrative logos usually include a graphically represented scene or image. Since these type of logos are derived from an actual image or scene, and the intent is to portray that in a graphical manner, this type of logo is more involved to produce, and likewise more costly to create, and later more costly to reproduce and market. This seems to be the type of logo that most startup businesses think they want. The problem is, this is the last one they should choose. The logo may have the most color, and imagery, but it is definitely not the most recognizable or memorable.

Remember, an effective large or small business or home business logo should portray to the viewer, who you are, and what you do, in less than 5 seconds. ( The average time a viewer will actually look at it.) If it is used wisely, a successful logo will be able to do just that.
About Author Max Pain :

David Dresen, Director of Design, Logoworks. Visit to learn more at services

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Article Added on Thursday, May 10, 2007
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