Deciding On Which Logo Style to Choose For Your Startup

When it comes to progress and growth, the SaaS industry has emerged as a clear winner in the past decade. There are a lot of startups that have made it big with their Software as a Service platforms. If you are a startup owner and entrepreneur looking for success in this market, you need to show that you have something different to offer than your competitors. One of the best ways to do so is by having an effective branding strategy. And how do you make that happen? With the help of a logo design.

An engaging design instantly puts you in the front and helps you stand apart. In order for the logo to make an impact, you need to opt for a style which tells people about your business and attracts attention everywhere.

Find out how you can make that decision right here!


When it comes to most effective logo styles, wordmarks are a popular choice. Basically, a wordmark or logotype is when a business puts their complete name as their logo. It’s made up of only words which are highlighted with a particular font style and different colors. So think of Google, eBay and Oracle. These companies have all used the wordmark logo style to their advantage and become globally known brands. Now, seeing as these are huge companies, you might wonder whether a wordmark would be the right way to go for your startup logo. Well, if done right, it can be!

As a new business, you want your target audience and consumers to know your name, so by just focusing on that, you can definitely stand out. But keep one thing in mind. A wordmark logo design will mainly work when it is short, unique and designed with eye-catching colors and fonts. Now, there are quite a few startups that have opted for wordmarks as their brand identity designs and made quite an impression. GetSocial and Cvent have both chosen to trademark their company names and avoid any symbols or icons. Even other businesses, such as those in advertising have designed their logo graphic in this style. If you have an advertising company with a catchy name, we recommend designing your advertising agency logo by using a wordmark with some outstanding font type and energizing color palette to demonstrate the creative energy of your firm.


This type of logo style is also quite effective and can get a positive reaction from the customers. Essentially, a lettermark logo is designed with just the letters or initials of a company or brand name. Logos that have been created in such a style may also be known as monograms. Mostly, businesses that cannot have their entire names in their logos or feel that the initials would be more effective, use lettermarks as their brand identity designs. The N of Netflix is one famous lettermark that is easily recognized anywhere. As a startup owner, you may want to think about opting for lettermark logos very carefully.

While they may seem appealing and will be able to help in marketing and branding as well, but there is a catch. For startups and new businesses, lettermarks may have difficulty in connecting with the target audience. This is mostly because the brand isn’t established and the audience will have difficulty in recognizing the company and its products or services. Despite that, if you feel like having initials or only alphabets as your visual brand identity may give you an advantage in your niche, then go with it. For instance, in tech, businesses have and can effectively use lettermarks logos for a strong impact. ADP has combined all the letters of Automatic Data Processing to form one unique and striking logo for the company. In recently successful SaaS startups, you can look at Q2 Holdings and Zendesk, both of which have letters as their brand identities.


The emblem, which is also known as a seal or crest, is probably the oldest type of logo around. Basically, it is made up of an image or symbol with font inside. Emblems have a very traditional look about them and can be highly appealing to the consumer as well. Many organizations that work in the government or are related to education, have these as their logos. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have an emblem if your business is related to technology and software. For startups, the goal is to make waves in the market from the beginning. You can do so with an emblem that sends out the right message to the consumer and tells them what they want to know about your business. You can say that the Snapchat ghost logo is an emblem that tells users about the photo sharing app where pictures disappear in a short time.

When it comes to the designing of such logos, you can really be creative with them. Choose the colors which people respond to such as red, blue, black and pink, and then use an appropriate font style. Emblems are known to bring a feeling of trust and security to the viewer. Some even have a vintage and nostalgic appearance about them. Thick borders, circles and shields make people think of security and safety, so your target audience will be able to connect with your logo design. Xero has an emblem for its logo graphic and so does Salesforce.

Brandmarks or Symbols

Now, it may not seem this way but a brandmark logo, also known as a symbol or pictorial mark might just be your style. These logos have a very modern appearance about them. When it comes to this design, there is no use of words, only a symbol or image that represents the company. On their own, brandmarks can be highly effective for expansion and branding. But the symbol has to be powerful. Think of something like the Apple icon or the flying bird from Twitter.

As a startup owner, picking a brandmark or pictorial logo might be tricky. You need people to know your name before anything. When you are starting out, you cannot just have an image or symbol that the audience has no idea about. This is why you need to consider this type of logo style in detail. Come up with an idea that accurately describes your company so you don’t have to make a lot of changes later on. There are quite a few startups that have actually used brandmark logos to their advantage. Tidelift, Petal and Asana are just a few examples of startups in technology that have made waves with their logo designs.

Combination Marks

These are probably the designs which capture the best of everything. In combination marks, the logo can have a picture with a wordmark, a symbol with a letter and abstract shape with a tagline or company name. In the beginning, it may seem like a lot going on in the logo design but this style is actually ideal for reaching out to the target audience. Think of it this way, you can have a shape, mascot or object for people to remember your business by right along with the name. So as a startup, there is no problem in getting recognition. You can build your brand slowly like Hubspot or Slack.

Both these companies have used combination marks as their brand identity designs and have managed to turn the symbols into familiar ones today. For startups, the combination cannot only allow designers to be as creative as they want but also give them space to see what works. If after sometime, you feel like you need to remove a letter or an abstract swoosh from the logo, it can be done easily. You can just drop that without changing the entire design. Otherwise, the combination marks can become popular icons that represent the business. Currently, you can look at Shopify and Cisco, both startups are running successfully with their logo designs.


Now, mascots are famous around the globe and have actually helped put some businesses on the map. In technology, they can make companies stand out and catch the attention of the consumers. Essentially, mascot logos are all about characters which might seem human and have moods or expressions. So think of Mailchimp and Datadog. These are companies that have and are making a mark with their friendly and out of the box mascot logos. At first look, you can see the friendly and welcoming logo designs which appeal to a lot of people.

If you are a startup, you can surely go for such graphics instead of wordmarks or abstract pictorials. You can even add your own twist to the mascot logos. Github, SurveyMonkey and Hootesuite are all such startups which feature animal shapes or imagery in their logos and as mascots. While mascots are surely an established logo style, they don’t work in all situations. For a serious brand or something very clean cut and direct, this design can create a confusion within the mind of the consumer. Those who feel like they can make a stronger impact with just a name and a symbol, like Adobe, can stay with that.

So which logo style would you choose for your startup? Let us know in the comment box.

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Working as a freelance content writer is not only Chloe Philips’ profession but her hobby too. She loves to write about fashion design, interior décor and blogging. Connect with her to find out how she can help you in your content development strategy.