What are sub-logos and what types of logos are there in general? And what do you use it for? Let’s start with the different logo types, since that is the first question you’ll be asking yourself. What kind of logo do you want? You can choose between the following 4 types.
This logo ONLY uses typography and is exclusively made up of the company’s initials. Which is why you also call it monogram. These logos can use a simple design or the initials can form a symbol or are shaped in a certain way. There is room for play. The idea behind this type of logo is that the companies name is simply too long to display in the logo and by using only the initials it is easy to recognize and comprehend. Examples are BBC, Chanel and Warner Brothers.
This one is also typograhpy based and focuses solely on the name of the company. The text is usually uniquely styled and spells out the name. Sometimes fonts are even customly created for a brand and used throughout their whole branding collateral. Examples are Google, Coca-Cola and Disney.
Also known as pictoral mark, this logo type contains no text at all but represents the company with a stylised icon. The focus is on that icon so the font for the main logo which includes the name is rather simplistic. Examples are Nike, Apple and Mercedes-Benz.
Last but not least,
The combination mark.
This logo type, as the name gives away, is a combination of word- and lettermark. Ideally both parts of the logo work just as good separetely as they do together. Examples are Adidas, Puma and paypal.
As guideline I can give my two cents about what to consider:
- If you have a very long business name or multiple names (for example a lawyer’s office) you might want to go with a lettermark. Obviously also with a short name or if you use your own name you have the option of creating a monogram.
- A wordmark is probably more suitable for a short and catchy name, that allows to play around with fonts and play around with the letters.
- As a start-up it might not be ideal to go with a brandmark right away, since it doesn’t include the name. It then makes more sense to start off with a combination mark and over time when your company is established emphasize the use of the mark rather than the whole logo.
- So that leaves us with the combination mark as a all-round-talent. Unless your company is all about simplicity and you want to keep it as minimalistic as possible I don’t think there is much of a contra about the combination mark. It gives you the option to use it in all the different variation without limiting you to only one.
And this is our clue to move on to the different variations, also called sub-logos.
Except for the brandmark, submarks are possible for all other types. In case of the wordmark think of Google and how they utilized the „G“ as their submark.
Okay, so, but what’s the deal now with secondary logo and submark?
To understand we need to take a step back and start with the primary logo. This is your original logo design that you primarily use. It includes your full business name and claim/slogan, founding date, location and whatever else you might want to include.
So far so good, let’s move on to the more confusing part, we got this.
It usually gets tricky as soon as we want to use our logo for social media for example. Yes, some logos are naturally round or you can easily just use them as is or just the icon, but some logos are more complex or a wordmark, which is usually doesn’t fit well into a circle for instance.
So that’s where you start breaking down your logo into a secondary logo and a submark or sub-logo. Both are basically just more simplified variations of your primary logo. The benefit of having 2-3 variations of your logo is, that you have suitable options for different applications without sacrificing the readability of it. While keeping the brand recognition on the same level.
So, the secondary logo:
This is a less detailed or rearranged version of your primary logo. Which means it may eliminate some of the additional info besides your businessname, like slogan, location, founding date and so on. And it can also entail rearranging your logo’s elements to increase the readability in reduced sizes. It still includes your full business name.
Unlike the sub-logo. This variation is really stripped down to one visual graphic, letter or icon. No name or text, because it will be used on extremely small formats. As mentioned above, think of social media profile images.
I hope this helped to shed some light on what sub-logos are and what types of logos there are and their possibilities of usage.
If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me!