What is your logo type? The 7 logo types and how to place them on PRT’s rank tracker

The logo is a lot more important than people give it credit for, sometimes. It’s the emblem of your brand. It’s the first thing that people see, and their very first psychological reactions will be based on it, which is why learning all you can about logos will help you to choose, replace or improve your current logo. If you hire a professional, learning the principles behind the logo will help you guide them in the design process, and most importantly, it can help you make a more educated decision from the selections offered instead of trusting the designer blindly, potentially ending up with a logo that doesn’t quite suit the essence of your business.

In our last logo article, we broke down the psychology behind the logo in regard to shape and color. You can catch up on that here:

The secret benefits of a well-designed logo and how to feature yours with white label solutions

Today, in part two, we will break down the logo into 7 types. These are all very common, and you will recognize at least some of them. If you are not familiar with the 7 types, it’ll be a lot more fun going about the world and understanding logos better, even just as a general upgrade to your knowledge. You’ll suddenly start seeing companies in a different light and understand which logos work, which don’t, and why!

Best of all, at the end of the article we will show you (with pics and examples) how you can basically replace PRT’s logo with yours and have it adorn any of our features, from our SEO ranking reports to our entire rank tracker platform!

So, let’s begin:

Type 1 – The Lettermark

Also known as a monogram logo, it is being used by some very powerful brands: HBO, IBM, NASA, CIA and others. The lettermark usually consists of two to four capital letters that represent the initials of a longer name.

When we see a lettermark logo, other than being very simple and visually recognizable, we also tend to spell it out in our heads creating an additional anchor of memory, solidifying the brand in our minds. While Hewlett-Packard rolls nicely off the tongue, HP is much simpler to remember. If you have a long company name and decide to go for the lettermark approach, the font type and color will play a major role because the lettermark is not very flexible and these are the two elements you can actually play with. If you went over our previous article, you should have some grasp on colors and shapes. The font should be readable and the color should match what you are trying to represent. If you are a young and less-established business, you might want to take the most solid approach and see if you can also add the full name behind the initials in small print – that way people will get the company’s full name right away.

Type 2 – The Wordmark

While the lettermark logo usually focuses on initials, the wordmark uses actual words as the main design focal point. Some notable wordmark champions include Google, FedEx, eBay, and Amazon

Wordmarks are great for companies that have a unique and catchy name that can be featured as the main anchor point in the logo. This type can also help newcomers spread their name right from the get go. The powers here are twofold: the full name of the company is literally always spelled out, and it creates a solid brand identity based on visual and verbal memory. The pitfall of this type of logo is that it can also fall flat if the design is not appealing enough and easily forgotten. That’s another good reason to invest in a professional logo design.

Our full, unabbreviated logo is a wordmark. While it would be considered long by most design standards for wordmarks, it also spells out exactly what we excel at – Pro Rank Tracking! It’s also a very SEO-friendly approach.

The same points we made in regard to the lettermark apply here as well: font type and colors are important. In this case the font will carry a much more prominent role since the word needs to be readable, and preferably with a quick glance. We would actually recommend you read some professional font design resources to understand this logo type better (we might even make this our next article in this series, if the demand is there), since font types also communicate a lot to the consumer. Clean, minimalist, sans-serif fonts give an elegant feel, which might suit an interior design firm, while wavy and swirly fonts with serifs can give an old-fashioned fantasy/fairytale feel that might suit a magic store or book store, for example.

We also belong to this family:

Type 3 – Mascots

We are leaving the font realm and entering the picture realm. A mascot is an illustrated character that serves as the main logo or as a secondary logo that represents the brand. Some heavy-hitting mascot logos include Pillsbury, Kool Aid, Planters, and Reddit.

Mascots are great for branding aimed at kids and families or for light-hearted branding that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Having a mascot opens the door for many marketing possibilities and commercials. Think of it as a potential presenter of your company. A successful mascot can become a sort of cartoon character in its own right and be featured in pop culture – like this, for example:

Mascot logos are special because they can also serve as a secondary logo to an existing logo and be conceived at a later stage as part of a rebranding strategy. They can also represent your company by proxy, such as Mario being synonymous with Nintendo and Hello Kitty with Sanrio.

Mascots are some of the most fun and adorable logo types out there, and as a result they can evoke a lot of emotion without even knowing the brand or without having brand recognition. A likable mascot can win people over from the moment they lay eyes on it. The downside here is that creating a likable mascot is no easy task, and an unlikable mascot can be disastrous for branding. Also, the niches where mascots can be used are a bit on the narrow side. For a mascot, you would need a professional who is also a talented cartoonist.

Type 4 – Emblems

Emblems have existed for hundreds of years, and this logo family bloodline dates back at least to the ancient Romans. They were the number-one choice of the monarchy for a good chunk of human history.

The emblem logo traditionally consists of a font inside a symbol or an icon. The final result can get quite elaborate, and emblems are also expected to be somewhat like that, so generally they are not quite suited for any minimalist approach in design. Coats of arms, badges, seals and crests are all types emblems. Some current emblem leaders are Starbucks, Harley-Davidson, Porsche and universities like Harvard.

Emblems are great logos for non-profit establishments, for social clubs, schools, political movements and any entity that wants to present a more classic, conservative image. Because of their historical roles, emblems can emit a sense of luxury, tradition, historical roots (such as that of long-established company), exclusivity and regality, but also cordiality and a sense of belonging. However, one caveat is because of all their small details, they are limited in how much you can shrink an emblem. They might look great on a sign but unreadable on a business card.

This might be a slightly controversial example, but if you recall the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, there’s one scene where Jordan Belfort famously uses an emblem as the logo for one of his companies to give the impression that it was a very established company with old roots.

Type 5 – The Brand Mark

A brand mark is also known as a pictorial mark or a logo symbol will depict some sort of recognizable shape, either from nature or culture. This is the most ancient logo family bloodline that dates back to cave paintings and preceded any known letters:

Bushmen (san) rock painting depicting a rhinoceros, Drakensberg mountains, South Africa

Some of the most iconic and recognizable companies use the brand mark, such as Apple, Twitter, and Domino’s. In fact, these logos tend to be so effective, we don’t even need to place a pic of their logo because of their inherited ability to get ingrained into our brains. Chances are, you probably pictured the logos just from reading the names of those three companies.

To choose a proper logo symbol or improve an existing one, you have to read the previous article we linked to at the beginning of this article, since shape and color will play a huge role in this case. A logo that doesn’t feel quite right and doesn’t suit the company might actually damage your brand or limit its full potential. There are many paths to go from here: do you want to chose a natural, easily recognizable shape (such as a flower or fruit), or a culturally influenced design (such as a car or building)? What sort of emotion do you want to evoke – a tree, for example, will evoke softer feelings that are relatable to nature, and a truck will evoke more rigid feelings of practical, heavy-duty jobs. If you can draw your company’s name literally, a pictorial logo can be an excellent choice (akin to Apple). Another advantage is that some symbols are internationally recognizable and can easily cross language barriers, opening the door for global branding.

Be careful, though, of having a very direct meaning to the nature of your business. If you manufacture shoes, for example, choosing a shoe as the logo could look awesome and very descriptive of the business, but what if you decide to evolve into selling all kinds of apparel? You would probably need to change the logo.

Type 6 – The Abstract Logo Mark

This might be considered a sub-type of the pictorial mark by some. Unlike the pictorial mark, which relies on recognizable shapes and forms, the abstract logo can be just anything. There is a lot of room to play with colors and shape, since when it comes to the post-modern nature of abstract logos, almost no rules apply! You can really go wild and be creative here. It can be a simple squiggly line or a complex geometrical shape with Fibonacci sequences.

Some masters of the abstract logo include Adidas, Nike and Mitsubishi.

Again, shape and color play a major role here (read the previous article!), especially in such a raw type of logo that has no comparison in the natural world. It will take a true professional designer to convey the meaning you want by using an abstract, yet memorable shape.

Pictorial and abstract logos have strong sense of brand identity but are arguably not beginner friendly, and they’re considered to be a more challenging road to branding. Usually logos like that belong to established brands that have evolved from more versatile logo types. If you are a young business and still use or want a pictorial logo, it might be advisable to start with a Combination Mark, which is our 7th and final logo type:

Type 7 – The Combination Mark

This is the logo that’s the jack-of-all-trades of the logo universe. It’s MMA that took the form of a logo. This logo is basically a combination of two or more of the 6 types we mentioned above. Its strength is its versatility and being able to utilize some of the strengths of the types it combines. It is the hybrid power child of two logo bloodlines (or more). If this was an RPG, this would be the equivalent of a badass dual-class Mage-Rogue combo. Some notable examples include Doritos, Lacoste and Red Bull.

The combination mark is a logo that can be an excellent entry-level logo. It can grow with your company and slowly solidify itself beautifully in your company’s identity. Another great feature of this logo type is that you can evolve it and branch out to the types of logos that it initially used in its conception. It could evolve into more of a pictograph, or possibly more of a wordmark, or gain more details and transform into an emblem. For example, the full version logo of Puma is a combination mark, but it has become a popular enough brand that they can use just one of the elements from their logo and still be recognized:

If you are not satisfied with your current logo, you can take your existing logo and add another type to it, effectively evolving it to a combination mark which might better suit your brand and be more effective.

You can also split it to its components and use them as separate logos to fit the medium, and ideally both will be recognizable! For example, you can use the full logo on an ad, just the writing on business cards, and just the symbol on merchandise. Adidas are experts at doing exactly that, sometimes using just the abstract pictorial part of their logo, sometimes just the name, and sometimes both – and it’s effective in all three scenarios.

Versatility is the combination mark’s greatest asset.

One of the tricks of categorizing combination mark logos is this: if you are not sure which family it belongs to, it’s probably a hybrid.

Logos evolve and change with time!

Logo evolution is not just a theory! It’s real, and it doesn’t need a Darwin mascot logo to discover it. We have evidence right here:

Many logo evolution deniers can’t handle the truth!

Changing a logo is a huge decision that can have a noticeable impact. It can have the potential to backfire or it can grow your brand. Either way, you should know that changing a logo is a part of natural logo evolution as the brand grows and becomes more recognizable. It also adapts to trends, the times, and the changing of marketing zeitgeists. So, even if your logo isn’t the best that it can be, it’s absolutely ok for it to change over time and evolve. Even if you love your logo, you might want to tweak it at some point, so it’s good to know it is 100% doable.

Placing your logo on PRT’s rank tarcker

Now to some crisp samples of how you can feature your logo with PRT:

  1. The Ranking Report – Each and every one of our 12 types of SEO ranking reports can have your logo featured on them. In fact, go ahead and download this sample report.
    Unlimited Templates – You can create as many designed report templates as you like. Go wild and feel free to experiment. Our templates are as easy as styling a Word document:
  1. Shared Reports – this special feature hosts live ranking reports with your logo on top on a special generated link that can be encrypted with a password and set with an expiration date. It’s best that you simply see how it looks for yourself. The password is “shared”.
  2. Sub-accounts – How would you like to replace PRT’s logo on our rank tracker entirely? Because with sub-accounts, you can. This is how it looks:

    Set a unique user name and password for the sub-accounts and set any permissions and data limitations you like. The beauty here is that it can keep PRT backstage and showcase one of the best rank trackers on the market as your own.You don’t even need to be a high-paying customer to have this feature. It’s just the opposite. We want you to use it to impress clients and grow. It starts at $17 a month!
  1. MyRanks – The highest level of white label solutions and a PRT exclusive: not only can our system be branded with your logo, but we have a special app which your clients can download and see their ranking data live! You set their usernames and passwords. The app looks like it is entirely your tech and can make you appear very established and impressive (even without using an emblem logo):
    Screenshot_2016-06-06-20-10-49 Screenshot_2016-06-06-20-11-24 Screenshot_2016-06-06-20-11-43 Screenshot_2016-06-06-20-17-57Available starting with our awesome $35 Bronze+ monthly plan.

Since the logo carries a lot of weight in branding, it can be a worthy investment in designing a really good logo – even if it means redoing a current one or putting it through polls of customer opinions. So with that, we wish you a great journey for your logo, and whichever type you currently use or plan to use, we hope it embellishes our system proudly!

Which type of logo do you have? Share in the comments below. Also send us pics of your logo instead of PRT, and we might feature it in one of our next articles!

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Want to play around with the white-label features we mentioned here, and while you’re at it, experience real, 100% fresh and accurate ranks? No problem! you can – FOR FREE. Our 7-day free trial will unlock all of our white-label features (and every other feature) and let you see in action how your logo will look instead of PRT’s.

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