When clients ask me to design a logo for their business I always start with this discussion of what kind of “logo” they need
A “logo” is often made of a logotype and a logomark. But not every business needs both.
Usually when using the word “logo” people are thinking of logotype. A logotype is the name of a company that is designed in a visually unique way for use by that company. It may be displayed in a preexisting font that is customized to some degree or another. Or it may be built from geometric shapes that abstract letters for a specific effect. There can be other specifications associated with the design of a logotype that are referred to more broadly as corporate identity elements. These include PMS colors and how much empty space is required around a logo.
A logomark or “symbol” does not generally contain the name of the company — it more abstractly represents that company.. It may or may not always sit next to the logotype and there may be a few types of marks in the corporate identity system that get used in different contexts. These rules will be spelled out in a brand usage document.
Do I need a logomark?
How to decide if you need both a logotype and a logomark? It depends on how you will use your logo and what business sector you are in. Designing a logomark can add a significant cost to your brand development process so budget can be a factor too. Some new businesses will start simple and add a mark after the business grows and perhaps gains more (or sometimes less – meaning broader) focus.
It’s important for all logos to remain equally readable at each zoom/ scale level. You may not be buying a giant billboard but printing a logo a few inches across on a brochure is a much higher resolution environment than on a website.