Logos are the graphic extension of the internal realities of a company.  SAul Bass
The technical name for a logo is a brandmark. By definition, “logo” is the abbreviation for “logotype,” a single piece of type bearing two or more uncombined letters, a syllable or a word. In common usage, logo is today synonymous with brandmark.
Designed with an almost infinite variety of shapes and personalities, logos can be assigned to a number of general categories. From literal through symbolic, from word-driven to image-driven, the world of logos expands every day with the boundaries among these categories remaining fluid. Many logos combine elements of more than one category, such as combining a custom wordmark with a pictorial or abstract mark; NIKE, for instance.
Although there are no hard and fast rules to determine the best type of logo for a particular organization, it is the role of the designer to determine the graphic approach that best serves the needs of the client.
A wordmark is a freestanding word or words. It may be a company name or an acronym. The best word marks imbue a legible word or words with distinctive font characteristics.
Letterform Marks
A single letter is frequently used as a distinctive graphic focal point for a trait for a logo. The letter is always a unique and proprietorial design that is infused with significant personality and meaning.
Pictorial Marks
A pictorial mark uses a literal and recognizable image. The image may allude to the name of the company or its mission, or it may be symbolic of a brand attribute.
Abstract Marks
An abstract mark uses visual form to convey a broad concept or brand attribute. These marks, by their nature, can provide strategic ambiguity and work effectively for organizations with large and unrelated divisions.
Emblems are logos featuring a shape inextricably connected to the name of the organization. The elements are never isolated from each other.
Side Trip
The visual identity of a logo can make or break a brand in the eyes of a discerning consumer. Learn the stories behind 50 iconic logos.
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