Wordmark vs. Logomark - Which Is Better For Your Business
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Understanding the key differences between a wordmark vs logomark is vital for when making the right choice for your brand. Both are prominent types in the branding process, and each holds strategic consideration in forming your business’s identity, especially when identifying your business from another in the market.
Logos overall have gotten PRIORITIZED in brand development because they’re the first thing consumers see in a brand’s identity. Since there are billions of them, logos have become categorized into 9 main types AND each reflect how different it wants to look in representing itself in the market.
Because it’s the first thing people see of your brand, they’ll file that logo image away in their mind, MAYBE recalling it later when they see it again OR better yet, when they NEED your services or offers.
FACT: It only takes people an average of 7 seconds to form an impression of your brand, but it takes 5-7 impressions for consumers to recognize your company logo. Use designs and colors that align with your brand’s values.
Because your logo plays a crucial role in memorability and recognition, these two types (wordmark vs logomark) are juxtaposed on purpose.
As we mentioned, there are actually 9 types, but only one of these two (wordmark vs logomark) taps into the other types. Could you guess which one?
- Logomark (which is really, “Brand Mark”, “Symbol, or “Abstract”)
- Combination Mark
- Dynamic Avatar
Regardless, learning about each of these two types certainly does matter, because each one forms AN IMPRESSION in the minds of your audience.
What is a Wordmark?
A wordmark, at its core, is a type of logo design that is made exclusively from text. It typically involves the name of your company, organization, services or product, crafted using a unique and distinctive font / typeface.
Unlike other logo types, wordmarks don’t include any graphic symbols or icons, because they rely solely on the power of typography to convey the brand’s identity.
Think of Google, Coca-Cola, or FedEx – their logos are simple, text-only representations of their brand name, yet they are instantly recognizable around the world.
As you picture Google, Coca-Cola, or FedEx’s wordmarks, their logos are straightforward, powerfully communicating their brand’s personality and values. Their choices of font, color, and layout plays a crucial role in setting the tone and feel of their brands.
The design process of a wordmark requires careful consideration of the fonts / typography because it makes sure that the style aligns with the brand’s character and is versatile enough for various applications.
Advantages of Using a Wordmark
- They’re simple. Wordmarks are often simple and straightforward, making them easy to read and recognize.
- They focus on their name. For new or lesser-known brands, a wordmark helps to reinforce the brand name, aiding in brand recall.
- They can scale well. When designed well, wordmarks can scale in size and be readable across various sizes and mediums.
- They’re versatile. They can be easily adapted to different contexts, from business cards to billboards.
Disadvantages of Using a Wordmark
- They’re common. Wordmarks have become common and thus, challenging to make the brand stand out unique and memorable.
- There’s a potential for similarity. Because they’re so common, there’s a risk of having your logo look similar to others in the market, especially if your brand name is generic.
- They lack imagery. Unlike logomarks, wordmarks don’t have a graphical element, which might make it harder to convey complex brand ideas or emotions.
- They sometimes don’t scale well when your business name is long (with multiple words).
What is a Logomark?
When a brand chooses to represent itself through imagery alone, it takes the form of a “mark” or “symbol”. This type of logo is purely graphic, consisting of symbols, icons, or illustrations without any accompanying text. It is seen as “abstract”.
A logomark aims to convey a brand’s identity, values, or essence through visual elements, tapping into the power of imagery to create a memorable and recognizable brand symbol.
The Apple logo and the Nike Swoosh are prime examples. These images have become so iconic that the companies don’t need to include their names for people to recognize them.
HERE’S A SECRET: Logomarks are typically first created as combination logos. Meaning, Apple and Nike started their visual identity with their name AND their mark. A combination logo is one of the 9 logo types and categorized as such.
Advantages of Using a Logomark
- They’re universal. Imagery can transcend language barriers, making them a good option for global brands.
- They make an instant impact. A well-designed logomark can convey a brand’s essence or values at a glance, creating an immediate emotional connection with the audience.
- They’re more memorable. Humans are visual creatures, and a compelling image can be easier to remember than a brand name, especially if the brand name is long or complex.
Disadvantages of Using a Logomark
- They lack name recognition. For new or lesser-known brands, a logomark doesn’t help with name recognition since it doesn’t include the brand’s name.
- There’s a dependence on design quality: A logomark’s effectiveness is heavily reliant on the quality of its design. A poorly designed logomark can confuse the audience or fail to convey the intended message.
- There’s potential for misinterpretation. Without accompanying text, there’s a risk that the imagery could be misinterpreted or not understood by the audience.
Now that you know what these two logo types are, ask yourself these questions when choosing…
- What’s my marketing budget? Wordmarks are a great solution to smaller budgets.
- Do I have a unique and catchy name? Wordmarks have potential to be memorable when you have a unique and catchy name.
- Do I know my audience size? If you’re growing your audience, a name would be easier for recognition and recall.
- What’s my vision? Are your plans to be larger with a team?
- Do I want to convey a specific feeling or idea that can be better expressed through imagery?
- Am I aiming for a unique logo style totally different from competitors in my market industry?
How to Choose Between a Wordmark vs Logomark for Your Brand—Consider This 3rd Option
When choosing between a wordmark vs logomark, it boils down to understanding your brand, your audience, your budget, and your branding goals.
#1 Assess Brand Recognition – If your brand is new or not well-known, a wordmark can help in building name recognition. For established brands, a logomark might be sufficient.
#2 Consider Your Brand’s Personality – Think about what logo style aligns best with your brand’s personality. A wordmark might be more suitable for a classic and sophisticated brand, while a logomark could better suit a dynamic and modern brand.
#3 Evaluate Design Simplicity – Ensure that the design is simple and clear, whether you choose a wordmark or a logomark. The logo should be recognizable and understandable at a glance.
#4 Think About Versatility – Your logo should work across various mediums and sizes. Consider how well the logo design will scale and adapt to different uses.
#5 Seek Professional Advice – If you’re unsure, consult with a professional graphic designer or branding expert, like us. They can provide insights based on industry experience and help you make an informed decision.
What’s this ‘3rd Option’, you say?
It’s the combination logo. Where you combine the best of both worlds.
While wordmarks and logomarks can be effective on their own, combining these two elements can create a versatile and powerful brand identity. This blend, often referred to as a “combination mark”, integrates both the text of a wordmark and the imagery of a logomark, allowing brands to leverage the strengths of both logo types.
The key is to maintain a balanced and cohesive design, ensuring that both elements complement each other (NOT wordmark vs logomark) and work together to convey the brand’s message.
Look at these advantages:
- Having both text and imagery aids in brand recall.
- Versatility provides more options for brand representation.
- There’s a more comprehensive expression of your brand’s values, personality, and message, providing clarity and depth to your brand’s identity.
- It creates a more memorable logo, as they cater to different cognitive processes.
As you drive down the road, just look at all the logos around you. You’ll quickly find out that combination marks are WIDELY popular.
Also, pay attention to how many wordmarks you see online. Look at which ones stand out unique. Those are the kind that will leave an impression.
Look at some of these logo We’ve Done
Each logo project puts strategic thought into your audience, market, purpose, vision, mission, values, and personality. Without knowing these important core characteristics, your brand will have a more difficult time standing out from your competition.
Logos should be created as UNIQUE. They should not look closely related to one another.
Pay attention to portfolios that have uniqueness, not sameness. Uniqueness gets you standing out.
Remember, your brand is what your audience makes of it. What they remember it to be. That’s why each of these strategic parts ARE NECESSARY when creating your visual identity—starting with your logo.
Ready to Make Your Mark?
Because your logo is a critical component of your brand’s identity, you wouldn’t want to leave it to chance. Working with a branding agency like ours gives you the skills, experience, and passion in creating the right logo that stands out, becomes memorable, and establishes credibility with your audience.
Contact us today to start your journey towards a stronger, more memorable LOGO.
Nicole Andrew is a 20 year brand designer, Level-C certified brand strategist, educator, and co-owner of 28Lions, a branding & marketing agency that helps service-based entrepreneurs turn their expertise into powerful brands.