A logo is a mandatory, main or single element of a corporate identity. Let’s consider one of the classifications of logo types with examples.
Font logos work perfectly. The font can convey the character and values of the company well. A minimalistic font logo can work perfectly together with the rest of the corporate identity elements without arguing with them and without drawing too much attention to itself.
Neither Canon nor Netflix has a separate brand name, but the brand does not suffer from this.They do not need it. Logos are perfectly recognizable without it. People are used to such spellings, and it does not cause any questions. Logos can be similar, like Nokia and Casio. They can be different, like a very calm Panasonic and a superaccident Ecco, but structurally, they all are font logos.
The introduction of color makes it possible to differentiate more strongly from competitors, but there is a certain playfulness, especially with Google and Ebay.
Calligraphy allows to reveal the character of the brand even more, it is more emotional, more expressive. Compare the medieval Carlsberg, which tells us about ancient traditions and strict adherence to the recipe, and Cadbury, which was clearly written with milk chocolate. Or Ray-Ban reflecting freedom and the absence of conventions, Esquire expressing exclusivity. The name Johnson & Johnson was obviously derived by a kind family doctor, neat, punctual, with a rich life experience.
Logo and minimum graphics
If you add a little graphics to the font logo, it becomes more complex, which increases its uniqueness. This does not necessarily make it more expressive, but more recognizable for sure. And there is also an opportunity to play a little: sew up an umbrella in Citibank (protection, reliability) or show the scale of the company in Amazon (from A to Z).
This is when the name, and usually a very short or an abbreviation, is written in such an unusual and expressive way that it is essentially a sign.
CNN and LSO signs have simple solution by one smooth line. Vaio: the “v-a” rhyme was so strengthened that the word almost ceased to be legible. HBO: the circle in the letter O is not highlighted in any way, and the word is very short.
Logo and text box
Here is a minimal graphic of a certain type: a text box under the text. The text box can be of some expressive form, like Levi’s, Maggi or Camper, maybe quite simple, like Marvel and UCOB, but the principle is the same.
The text box can also reveal the character, for example IKEA and Metro: clarity and simplicity; Pfizer, Samsung and Oral-B: future.
Sign and logo
In the minds of 99% of people, a logo is something like this: an emblem plus a word. As you can see, this is just one of many design options.
This design has a number of advantages. For example, the sign can be used separately from the logo. It makes excellent avatars, application icons, panel brackets on signage, and so on. There are also disadvantages: the whole structure as a whole turns out to be very heavy.
The branded block, due to the same bulkiness, works worse for reduction, in general, the compositions look very static.
As a rule, these are old brands with a long history: signs are redrawn, simplified, refreshed, but they are in no hurry to get rid of them. Over the decades, people get used to these symbols, and they are strongly associated with the brand.
Such branded blocks have two layouts: horizontal and vertical (Barclays, Columbia, Lacoste), but there are exceptions: Electrolux, HSBC do not use a vertical layout sign.
The sign can be above the logo, below it, to the right or to the left of it. The design is the same: both elements are used together and are approximately equal in importance.
The most interesting thing is the brand name as the main element of the corporate identity. Textual spelling may exist in this case, but this is a secondary element.
The most illustrative example here is Apple: the name is simply not used. All product names (iTunes, iPhone, and so on), and the company name itself, if necessary, are simply typed in the company font.
Nike has a couple of logo designs, but they mostly do without it. As a rule, it is present only in classic retro lines.
“bp” is formally a sign and logo design, but in fact the logo is so small and insignificant that people immediately understand who is in charge here.
Pepsi and McDonald’s: there is a logo, it is used (Pepsi even has quite expressive ones), but the main one is still a sign.
Starbucks just removed the inscription from the logo in 2011 and nothing terrible happened. It remains on the signs, but it does not carry any important significance.
Mastercard continues to use the logo sometimes, but in 2016 the inscription was taken out under the brand name and radically reduced, and in 2018 it was abandoned altogether.
Airbnb has not officially refused to use the logo, but only the sign is used on all major carriers (and there are only two of them: the website and the application).
Let`s pay attention to Rolling Stones. Their symbol has not changed since the founding of the group, and the name is always written differently, so it’s difficult to call it a logo.
This is an inextricable link between the sign and the logo: it is impossible to separate them. It is unclear where the sign ends and the logo begins. At the same time, it is impossible to explain everything with a text box, as in the case of Lipton: both the text box and the color fill under it matter.
Converse has a simplified version of the logo with a star, but the main version is still the one used on sneakers.
There are also two separate, very common directions that have clear characteristics, but do not quite fit into the described scheme: “Food- stuff logos” and “Car logos”.
Formally, it is something like a composite logo or a logo with a minimum of graphics, but since the scope of application is the same (or the market is the same).
Product logos are very complex: volumetric highlights and shadows, strokes, dies, perspective distortions and gradients, small signatures, and so on. The meaning is clear: food-stuffs refer to impulse purchases. The logo looks at you from the shelf and waits for you to eat the food-stuff.
In addition, all these logos are product names. They are written in large font on the pack and can afford all these graphic excesses.
And the last category is car logos. Again, as in the case of food-stuff logos, they could be categorized as “The Sign dominates” (and it’s understandable why). Still, this is a separate market.
There are fewer exceptions in this category: it is either a monochrome metal nameplate, or an enameled one. Sometimes the name fits into the nameplate, but more often it is placed on the trunk.