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The Anatomy of a Logo

Updated: Jan 14


Grids and brainstorming of words and letters.
A logo speaks with thoughtful typography.

Image from Shutterstock


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which are free to you and may provide Viafique LLC with a small commission. Read the full disclaimer for more information.


A company’s logo is essential to its branding objectives. It is used in marketing and is the visual representation of your brand. However, are you getting full use of your company’s mark? By understanding what makes up a logo, you can gain versatility in its use. The following discusses the common elements which make up a company logo.


Logomark


When we think of a symbol in relation to a company, this is considered the logomark. A logomark is the abstract or pictorial representation of your business. Ideally, a customer should associate the logomark with your business without the presence of a company name.


The TikTok logomark and information on what makes it successful.

A logomark communicates the personality of a company and translates the general branding aesthetic. Yet, given that a customer must also learn what a symbol represents, it is often difficult to use a standalone logomark early in marketing endeavors.


A logomark will assist with brand consistency during all business stages. Yet, in the initial stages, attention should be given towards establishing brand familiarity. Therefore, although it may seem ideal to have a stand-a-lone logomark for your logo, it may take time for a customer to associate your mark with your business’ goods, services, or company name.


The 1977 logo for Apple computers.  This is an example of how company logos gain recognition over time.

Image source: Loodibee Logos


In the beginning stages of development, think about how you can use your logo as a communication tool as well as for branding. Lastly, consider its use and how it will translate within various situations. Although a complex logomark may seem ideal at first, consider how it will translate across all media.


Logotype


A logotype is the stylized version of your company’s name. However, a successful logotype is much more than a series of letters or words typed in a fancy font. Companies with strong logotypes spend a great deal of time finding the right visual representation of the text used.



Text is at the heart of graphic design, and a strong logotype will be able to use elements of typography to communicate your message through its aesthetic. In addition to your business’ name, the way the letters are spaced, formed, positioned, and stylized all communicate your brand’s message.


Similarly, to the logomark, it is important to consider how you plan to represent your company’s logotype across print and digital media platforms. When doing this, reflect on whether it will be recognizable and legible within various contexts. If you are planning to use it along with your logomark, make sure you are being stylistically consistent as well.


The spacing used in Tesla's logomark and logotype creates a unified and harmonious logo. The result is the ability to use the logo elements together or alone while still being able to maintain brand consistency.

If you are wanting to start your branding with consistency, this may be a suitable time to consult a professional regarding a brand development guide. A good designer should also know how to work with typefaces to create a professional result which is exclusive to your company.


Combination Logo


Logomarks and logotypes can both be used exclusively as a company’s logo. However, combination logos allow for a tremendous amount of versatility. Remember that the purpose of your logo is communication. Therefore, some situations may be more ideal than others. For example, a logotype is best in terms of developing brand name recognition, but a logomark may be best when using your logo for a favicon.

An example of a favicon.

Favicon for viafique.com


A combination logo allows for a connection between the two to develop. Eventually, a customer should be able to associate your company name with the logomark and vice versa.

When developing a combination logo, it is ideal to consider the elements on their own and in relation to one another. A strong logo will be able to translate your message whether the elements are used together or separately.


GitHub uses a combination logo. By representing its brand's logomark along with the logotype, company recognition is established.

When you do use them together, think about how the placement of the two elements communicate with one another. Think about the font size in relation to the image size and consider how the use of your brand’s color palette will be used to accentuate the mood of your company. Explore horizontal and vertical versions and make sure both maintain aesthetic consistency if you choose to have more than one option.


Conclusion


Logos are as diverse as the businesses they represent. They can be horizontal or vertical, a simple mark or word, or a combination of the two. When developing your brand keep in mind the different uses of your logo to determine the variations you will need to fulfill those goals. Utilize color, typeface, and placement as ways to further communicate your message. Finally, take the time to understand the personality of your brand and how that may be reflected with these tools. Have fun and submit a message if you need any assistance.


 

Author

Rebecca A. Crecelius, MFA

CEO | Founder | Managing Member | Designer



Rebecca A. Crecelius, MFA is an artist, designer, and business owner. Her creative background is in fine art, and she has a Specialization in Graphic Design from CalArts. In addition, she has post-secondary education in business and certificates in HTML and CSS coding languages. After discovering a passion for logo design and brand development, she founded Viafique LLC. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge with aspiring business owners and enthusiastic entrepreneurs.



 

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