• January 13, 2017

Designing Classic and Memorable Logos

  • Written by Printing Professional

Trends for logos come and go so when it comes to designing a logo it’s important to create a classic look that’s simple, memorable and can represent the business for many years. And when working with a graphic designer make sure to consider how the logo will represent what the company stands for, and how it will look on various products and marketing materials from labels to pop up banners.

There are five basic categories for logo designs:

Letter Mark


Using a business’s initials helps make long – or hard to pronounce – company names easier to remember. Designed by by the famous  graphic designer Paul Rand, the iconic IBM logo has been around for over 50 years and is the epitome  of classic design. Proctor and Gamble – P&G, General Electric – GE, Home Box Office – HBO and Volkswagen – VW are other good examples of letter mark logos.

Brand Mark (Symbol or Icon)

Domino's Pizza unveils new logo. Will be seen on all new stores and those undergoing major renovations. (PRNewsFoto/Domino's Pizza)

Brand mark logos are very simple and bold, but commercial printing companies and graphic designers steer smaller and newer businesses away from using these. Symbols are best used by large international companies that already have established, recognizable brands. Shell, Target and the “Golden Arches” of McDonald’s are samples of  this. A statistic found at the Company Folders blog by Vladimir Gendelman that out of the 100 top international brands, “only 6% of them consisted solely of a symbol.”

Word Mark

accent logo

This logo is text only and spells out the company’s name. An excellent choice for newer businesses to develop brand recognition and it’s easily used on small products like business cards or large format printing. Selecting the right font is very important when creating these logos. Disney, FedEx and Coca-Cola are other examples of companies that use word marks.

Combination Mark


These logos are a combination of words and symbols. They’re the most versatile logos because they can be used separately – think of the Nike “swoosh”. The combination logo works for a new company that’s building brand recognition because these logos are visually the strongest of all the logo combinations. Adidas, Duncan Donuts and the Pizza Hut logos are other examples of combination marks.


starbucks logo

This is basically text within a symbol. It’s a very traditional design that’s often used by the government since it looks like a seal. It’s a less flexible logo since the art and words are joined together and can’t be used separately, but it’s perfect for smaller product placement such as marketing products, custom sized labels and business cards. Others who use this are the NHL, Harley Davidson and Ford.