3 powerful components of a logo and how to use them

Logotype, Symbol and Tagline

3 powerful components of a logo and how to use them:

Logotype, Symbol and Tagline

As we covered in the first part of this guide for the best logo, Logo, Branding and Visual Identity, a logo is an emblem representing a company. But this emblem itself has several components that can be used separately or as a combination to create a powerful logo. When you start the process of creating a logo for your company, understanding these different elements will help you in briefing the logo designer and assessing the final logo design.

Logotype, wordmark or lettermark

The logotype is the text element of the logo. The wordmark consists of the brand name written in a specific font, and the lettermark of its initials. This is the most traditional type of logo and has been used by famous brands such as Coca-Cola, Google, Sony or Hewlett-Packard.

The font used for a logotype can be very distinctive, like the one used by Disney, or very classical like the one used by Chanel. It can be a ready-made font, a unique font or an altered one.

The advantage of a wordmark or lettermark logo is to put forward your brand name instantly. It can also be a way of reducing costs. Check our coming post “Get the best logo at the cheapest price” to see how a classical and powerful wordmark logo can be a perfect solution for budget-sensitive project.
However, it won’t give much information about your sector and business model, except if you integrate it in the name. It will work best if that brand name is distinctive and catchy and has the potential to be transformed into an eye-pleasing logo.

Symbol or icon

The symbol or icon is the purely graphic element of the logo. Some brands such as Apple or Nike can use that icon alone as a logo. It creates a direct and strong emotional impact for the customer and can be recognized across languages and alphabets.

The symbol can be inspired by the company’s product or services, its values, its name or its identity.
A symbol-only logo (or iconic logo) can be a beautiful and powerful way to present your company but will require a strong investment in marketing to be associated with your brand. Symbols are most often used in combination with a wordmark so brand recognition is easier, at least in a first phase. The wordmark can sometimes be dropped once the brand is famous enough to rely on its logo symbol only.


A tagline can also be added to reinforce that message and become an integral part of your brand’s visual identity. It can be a very powerful tool to establish your brand but finding the right tagline is a challenge in itself.
If you have a very good tagline you feel strongly positive about, create a logo with tagline and one without so you can use them in different settings. Otherwise, it is probably better to leave the logo as is and try out your tagline through advertisement and customer feedback before integrating it.

Combination mark

Most logos will be a combination of a symbol and a logotype. Colours, shapes, fonts and spacings will all be worked upon in great detail by your logo designer to create a coherent logo with a clear and powerful message.
Combination logos can have distinct elements like Audi, HSBC or Walmart or integrate the logotype to the symbol like Starbucks, Mastercard or Burger King.

Separating the symbol, the tagline and the wordmark is a great option for a flexible branding, allowing you to use more or less detailed versions of the logo depending on the context, and even have one vertical and one horizontal option for convenience.

Integrated logos can also be very enticing and tend to be more stable across support, which can also be a strength for brand recognition.
Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of logo and how a typical logo is built, it’s time to focus on the qualities that make a logo truly great and ensure it will bring your brand the best visibility in our next post 5 keys to an amazing logo.

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