A good – rather, a great – logo needs to be a lot of things. It should be something that is catchy enough to capture and hold the attention of your target audience. A logo represents your company’s values, that is distinctive to help you stand apart from the crowd. Also, that is memorable for people to associate with your brand, and that is practical to be used under various circumstances with a scope of scalability, and many more things.
It goes without saying, designing a logo considering all the above is an underrated and difficult task. Here, additionally, us bringing up the discussion for ‘letter logos entering the logo design field like a boss’ sounds like a bridge to cross, doesn’t it?
Well, brands such as Google, Chanel, HBO, Yahoo, Netflix, McDonald’s, Adobe, IBM, and many other leading companies have proven the effectiveness of letter logos.
What’s That Big of a Deal About Letter Logos?
We all have noticed that a few companies, including some of the fortune 500 companies, have been pulling off letter logos really well. However, this brings up the question: is it working for them only because these companies are well-established, or do lettermark logos truly work? Let us figure this out in detail.
One of the biggest mistakes logo designers make while designing a logo for a new company is missing the details concerning the scope of the company for the future. If some graphic or illustration is trending now, that does not necessarily mean that it will be trending in the future as well. Additionally, with time, budding companies tend to change their business model, services, products, and other whatnots. Therefore, a lettermark is not only a safe bet but also the best way to ensure that a company will not need rebranding and redesigning of logo every time it tries to explore a new vertical in any manner.
As Paul Rand wrote, “everything is design.” We may or may not notice it, but from the street we walk on, to the store we go to, and the products we end up buying, all of it has many elements of design combined together to give users the final outcome. At times, we do not realize that these designs influence our preferences in many ways. However, as users are surrounded by designs all around, it is impossible to ensure that a specific design makes its way to users’ positive experience, or is worth standing apart from the crowd.
Consequently, people are increasingly inclining towards designs that do not scream at them, rather are subtle and minimalistic. Through lettermark logos, brand designers and logo designers can combine to ensure that their logo is straightforward, clear, and minimalistic.
This may sound a bit unfeasible; given the fact that there are simply 26 letters and a handful of color combinations to play around with while designing a lettermark logo, how could it be unique?
Well, this restriction of designing a logo with minimum use of graphics or illustrations (in most cases) encourages logo designers to dig deep while researching the competitors’ logos and ensure that there is no duplication knowingly or unknowingly. For instance, one of the leading social media companies, Facebook, has a recognizable logo where a white, curved ‘F’ on a blue background is immediately associated with the brand. Needless to say, no matter how many ‘letter F logos’ are there, this logo will have its unique identity simply due to it being unique based on its straightforwardness.
As the name suggests, lettermark logos are very much typography-based with a bold message that usually hints to the target audience about the name of the company. This form of a logo becomes even more important to explore when the name of the company is long. However, it does not necessarily have to be a long name to be a perfect match for designing a lettermark logo. As the heart of letter logos lies within the typography and its different elements, it can be designed using the initials of the name of the company, the entire name of the company, or even a signature of a person associated with the company.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Font for Your Logo Design
Best Letter Logos to Stir New Ideas
Similar to many other elements of design, letters need to be connected and integrated with other design elements of a logo in a way that it fits like a lost piece of a puzzle. This sounds like a piece of cake, but you might find layers of difficulty when you get to your desk and try putting it on paper. On that account, let us learn from legendary companies which got it right.
Predominantly this logo did not undergo any substantial changes in terms of concepts. However, with time, all the minute changes in the Google logo have taught logo designers some valuable lessons, mainly: letters are powerful. Its first change in the year 2009 focused on the importance of colours, the second change in the year 2014 highlighted the importance of spacing and negative space, and the third – and final change so far – brought our attention to how even tiniest aspects such as saturation of colours and typeface matters concerning lettermarks logos.
Related: The Story Behind the First Google Doodle and the Evolution
In the form of initials turned into a lettermark logo design that has been making people associate television with the brand, HBO has certainly gotten it right. Unlike many other leading companies, the HBO logo did not go under several redesigning and rebranding cuts. In fact, designed in 1972, the first logo of HBO had minor changes – such as editing out “Home Box Office” and ensuring that the letter ‘O’ was no longer obstructing the letter ‘B’ in the logo design – which led to redesigning a new logo which is up and running since the year 1980.
Known for quality designs in terms of its products, Beats and Dr. Dre has encouraged their music fans to invest in the same. However, what most of us have missed noticing is that as the company began its journey of designing luxury headphones, it also managed to tell us the same by its world-famous logo. Seen simply as a lowercase, curved letter ‘B’ this logo represents a side profile of a person wearing headphones. For anyone who thinks that creativity cannot sprout using only one letter for designing a logo, Beats sure proved it wrong.
Besides these, leading companies such as HP, CNN, FedEx, Visa, eBay, Louis Vuitton, IBM, Sony, Dell, and many more have been topping in their respective industries with a lettermark logo by their side representing a clear, bold message with a memorable appearance.
Conclusion: Is Letter Logo Suitable for Your Brand?
Okay, so we understand that letter logos are a great way to go, and many companies have been reaching fruition with such logo designs. However, it all boils down to ‘is it made for you? If so, how to get it right?’
If your company has a long name, if you would like to create something out of letters to hint at your services or products – such as Beats, or if you want to keep it simple with a pinch of minimalism, then surely a lettermark logo design is something that will benefit you in the long run.
Read more: 31 Tips To Create a Unique Letter Logo
Furthermore, while it is not always easy to tell a story through a letter logo, it is important to make sure that it aligns with your brand identity, has versatile revisions concerning typeface and color, and is scalable in terms of printing, company expansion, and changing messages you would like to deliver to your target audience.
Head of Design at DesignBro and is responsible for UI/UX Design, managing the global designer community, and ensuring quality levels of both designers and designs remain high.