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Posted by Emily on June 25, 2019

A logo is one of the most important investments a company or a brand can make. A logo can be considered the face of a company. Beyond its basic function of separating your brand from the competition, a logo acts as your brand’s foundation. This makes it challenging to design a perfect logo which represents your company’s values, mission, product, services, etc…

There are different types and components to a logo. If you’ve ever been confused by these design terms, be confused no longer! Let’s take a closer look at the subtle differences and sometimes similarities between these logo-related terms.

Wordmark / Logotype

  • A wordmark is custom design of a brand name using typographic design, and does not include the addition of a graphic or symbol. A wordmark features the full name of the company or brand, hence building clear brand recognition. In recent years, many brands are revamping their logo to a wordmark due to its simplicity. However, this might not be the best option if name is difficult to pronounce

Logomark / Icon

  • This form is all about expressing the brand essence through a graphic symbol. It takes a long time for a company or a brand to build enough recognition to use only a symbol as the logo and feel confident that the audience will easily and accurately identify the company. Brands like Nike can get away with a swoosh symbol just as McDonald’s can with a yellow M, without mentioning their brand name.



Lettermark Logo

  • A smart abbreviated version of a wordmark logo. Companies with multi-word names have an option to use their abbreviated initials and create an impactful logo. Sports teams, and institutes with longer names often opt for this option. Great examples are HBO – Home Box Office, MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, and the very famous NY – New York Yankees



Combination Mark or Logo Lockup

  • While wordmarks, logomarks/icons, and lettermarks are independent brand elements, they all can also combine and make a logo lockup (or combination mark). Brands use different lockups based on the media and space available, and design demands. Often there are horizontal formats and stacked or vertical formats.


  • A lockup can also define the spatial relationship between two or more logos, i.e., a company logo with (its own) brand logo, or two brand logos representing a partnership.


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