Logo. Symbol. Emblem. Mark.

Whatever you call it, the logo has given visual life to aristocracy, trade systems, businesses and more for quite a long time. If you look back many moons ago, you’ll find remnants of these well-thought-out “brand” identifiers—think family crest. And oh, how they’ve evolved. The creation of logos, even here at Designsensory, can’t really be nailed down to just one method, but I’ve listed a few “types” of logos below that we may consider when building out visual identities for the modern age.

The Badge

Somewhat of a trend today, the badge is being seen in brands like Starbucks, BMW, Lamborghini, UPS, Harley-Davidson and many others. For good reason. Badges have a bit of a history. They worked for wealthy families in the middle ages, and they certainly work for distinguishing today’s programs for the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. So, what you need to know is that the badge is a great storyteller. It is flexible. It is nimble. Badges work quite well when companies or brands have sub-interests that call for a flex logo system. Even better, badges can, and usually do, have themes: vintage, floral, art-inspired, modern, educational, ornamental, flat, dynamic, etc. Need I say more?

Beyond drawing inspiration from the past, there are also classic and experimental ways to dream up a visual identity for your brand.

The Logotype

In some cases, a brand’s visual identity solves itself in the form of a wordmark. I refrain from the word “only.” It’s not “only” or “just” a wordmark. What most people don’t realize is the intricate font play that designers go through when creating wordmarks—we’re talking customization. The special experimentation with stroke, kerning, weight and size that is required to differentiate a brand through textual support is enormous. This approach is still very much visual and is an art form in and of itself. Think about brands like Coca-Cola, FedEx or Chanel. Disney, Porsche, Ray Ban, Lexus, Pottery Barn—oh, and our new Maker City logo. Check it out here. They’re all classic, memorable and iconic. All the right words that you want associated with your brand.

The Icon

Creativity meets common sense. When I say common sense, I don’t mean obvious. Graphic designers have a way of creating things that should have been obvious from the things that, in actuality, aren’t. That is what I call gaslighting—kidding! The brain of a graphic designer sees abstract pieces in practical applications. But they also see things as they are. Great designers take strategy and tactic to deploy something beautiful. In logo world, sometimes designers take a person, place or thing, whatever is relevant to the desired brand, and turn it into beautiful iconography. Get ready for examples: Apple, Twitter, Penguin Books, John Deer, etc.

What’s special about a logo, or a “brand” in general—I won’t delve into that implication for the sake of my word count—is that it is part of your past, present and (hopefully) future story. For many people, your brand identity will be the only thing they remember about you. Hence, you should never underestimate the power of integrated marketing. Don’t stop at your logo. Get your entire brand built around the novella you’ve written.

Now, go get branded. You know what they say, if you can’t make a good brand yourself, go to Designsensory ... okay, fine. I just made that up.