How do I choose the right logo?

So, what exactly IS a logo and why do you need one? What do all of the different types mean and how do you choose the right logo for your brand? Read on my friends…

Logotypes, logos, alternate logos, sub-logos, logomarks (I could actually go on here). It is all pretty confusing, right?! Since when did it get so complicated? 

Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start (thanks Maria – I knew The Sound of Music would come in handy at some point in my life!). As we all know, a brand is not a logo (more on this here). The word ‘logo’ has become an affectionate term for the word ‘logotype’. A logotype is basically customised lettering used to represent a brand name (‘Logos’ is Greek for ‘word’). So when people refer to a logo, they’re actually talking about a visual device used to identify a brand. It can be a symbol, icon, illustration, character, crest, or other visual marker. All that we really need to establish is that a logo is NOT a brand, but a succinct symbol for it. 

So HOW on earth do you choose the right logo? Let’s look at the different types:

Logotype

A logo developed with only words. There is no visual symbol or icon, just words. Some well known examples are:

Logomark

A logo developed with only a symbol. This can be restricting, as unless you’re a well known brand that has an established look, how will anybody know what your business name is? Think about these:

Combination logo

The best of both worlds! It gives you the opportunity for a strong visual cue, with the clarity of the brand name accompanying it. It can be split and used separately when needed, therefore offering the flexibility to use the visual symbol component of the logo as a sub-mark (a sub-mark is like a logomark, but usually derived from the visual component of a combination logo and used as support to the main logo).

Sub-logo

A simplified version of the primary logo. It often includes one key visual element and a simplified version of the brand name. It can be used as a watermark, a stamp, profile picture on social media, or in situations where the main logo will be illegible at a smaller size.

Alternate logo

Pretty similar to a sub-logo. An alternate logo is created by using the elements of the logo to create a slightly different logo. For example, if the main logo is horizontal, you might create an alternate logo that is vertical, but still uses the same components, colours and fonts so that it is part of the same family.

Let’s recap

A logo cannot be relied upon to represent your entire visual brand, nor even the foundation of your brand. However, it is an imperative tool to IDENTIFY your brand. It’s a marker; a reference; a unique sign that differentiates you from the rest of the crowd. Therefore, to choose the right logo is without a doubt a fundamental part of building a visual brand that distinguishes you from your competitors and attracts your ideal clients like a deer in headlights.

Keep an eye out for my next blog about how to find a trustworthy logo designer who will create an original logo that will help you to choose the right logo for your brand in order to make it SHINE. Subscribe below to get notified when it is released!

Wondering how to build a visual brand that shoots cupid’s arrow straight through your ideal client’s heart? Get your mitts on a welcome kit here, or let’s hook up for a free 15 minute virtual coffee (my shout!).

Yours in caffeination,

Rachel

Brand stylist / graphic designer / illustrator

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