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  • Writer's pictureRachel

Logo Types Explained

Primary logo, alt logo, submark, favicon… there’s a lot, it’s confusing, I totally get it. The reason why designers make all these different logo variations is because they give you flexibility in your branding, and can be used for a multitude of different scenarios. But first things first, here’s a breakdown of the different logo types explained.


The Primary Logo for your company is the main graphic that represents your business and is used MOST often. As your main logo, your Primary Logo should include your business’ name, sometimes even your tagline if you want it to be more specific. It can also involve some sort of imagery- such as a simple illustration or icon graphic. The Primary Logo should NOT be unclear or confusing, you want it to be memorable and legible so your business is easily recognisable when people see it.


The Alternative Logo is most often a simplified version of your Primary Logo, and is intended for online use or other instances when you need your logo to appear smaller or in a different orientation. If you haven’t put your tagline in your main logo then the Alternative Logo is the place to put it. This logo with your Primary Logo are the main 2 that you will use across most of your branding.


You may not realise this but MOST of the websites you visit have a Favicon. A Favicon is a small 16x16 pixel icon that helps you brand your website. You know that tiny little icon that’s in the corner of every tab on your browser? Yeah that’s a Favicon. The main purpose of a Favicon is to help visitors or potential customers find your page easier when they have tons of tabs open! The best Favicons are simple graphics OR one-to-three characters of text. Although not an actual logo persay, Favicons are equally important for your branding strategy.


An Icon is basically the same as your Favicon, but used for more purposes than the Favicon is. So while your Favicon is used exclusively for your website, the Icon can be used on social media, documents & stationery, etc. The best thing about the Icon is it’s simplicity, like Nike, if you just saw that tick you’d know exactly what brand it is right? That’s the power of a good Icon.


A Submark is another simplified variation of your business’ logo, and is useful for when you only need a nod towards your business. Your Submark should be visually similar enough to your Primary Logo so that consumers can immediately recognise your branding, but simple enough that it is easily visible at a smaller size. Submarks are most often used on social media, stamps, presentations and other small applications your business may use. All in all, Submarks make your brand identity STRONG and EASY to display in any scenario or on any platform.

This may still seem overwhelming but I promise that having all of these different types of logo elements is KEY to having a strong brand identity and perception. When you work with me I create Brand Guidelines for your business that layout all your logo options and explain their uses so that it’s clear for you going forward.

If you have any questions about logos or branding I offer a FREE consultation call where we can talk about how a logo rebrand may benefit your business.

logo types explained

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