Logos vs. Word Marks

wordmarkDesign today moves pretty fast so it’s easy to get confused with all the new terminology. Companies who want an edge in today’s busy marketplace are always on the lookout for good design. To create a recognizable business image it takes skill and knowledge. A good designer who develops award winning marketing materials knows the visual power a logo and a watermark can have.

Good watermarks and logos can either make or break a company’s credibility. It has to speak for the company’s services, personality and their purpose. All of this of course is no small task since a logo and a water mark is the core symbol of a companies corporate identity.

Logos and word marks can be found everywhere from business cards to social media. Here is what makes them stand apart:

What is a logo?

A logo is a symbolic mark that identifies ownership of a company. This symbol can be either literal or an abstract representation to spark recognition immediately. The main function is to communicate a desired thought or feeling, and to generate a desired emotional response. Logos act as an emblem and an identifier to provide a thought-provoking brand while having a psychological advantage over the competition. A good designed logo helps define and symbolize the voice of your company or organization. To be effective, it needs to be instantly recognizable, memorable while retaining clarity when used on printed materials and online.

Benefits: A logo has the power to stand on it’s on. It is less direct than text so it leaves a wider interpretation.This pictorial image will speak for a companies services and personality as a standout graphic in a recognized symbol. Since visuals are recognized faster, the simplest symbol can make the best impact.

Examples: Some of the best recognized logos are Apple, Nike and Volkswagen.

What is a word mark?

A word mark, also known as a logotype is a text-based logo with no pictures. Its purpose is to incorporate a company’s name into a uniquely styled type font treatment. This can include hand-drawn letters, characters or symbols that have been rendered in such a way as to capture the company’s brand in an interesting way. The best word marks incorporate type, colour arrangement and of course good kerning. A word mark should be legible and come with ease of recognition, even when reduced to the size required for printing and social media.

Benefits: Good designed fonts can give a word mark a sense of professional design, formality, personality and refinement. Thick fonts showcase strength and power, whereas slanted type fonts give a sense of movement. Text based logos can be used online, for stationary, headers and banners with ease in many different sizes. Since type fonts come in thousands of possible variations, playing with shapes, sizes, colour, texture and styles can convey a slightly different impression upon your intended audience.

Examples: Martha Stewart, FedEx and Google.


This type of brand image is a combination of graphics and text. Text that is well designed can be a big complement to an icon or symbol, providing supplemental clarity as to what a company is all about.

Examples: Starbucks, Reebok and Pringles.