The Logo is the image that is made of typography and an icon, and which represents a corporation. This is the institutional identity's most important element and the other components of design revolve around it. The Logo creates a criterion, a concept, which will lead the other components in order to produce a real identity and to communicate a sole message.
There are three kinds of Logos, but first we will explain in detail the medical Logo. Medicine includes a group of fixed Logos, such as the Red Cross, the rod of Asclepius, and the different symbols of each specialty. When creating a Logo for a private practice or for a medical company, you can ignore these typical symbols or just modify them in order to give the new Logo a strong attachment to tradition. Both options are equally good, but what really matters is what the Logo communicates. It has to look serious, reliable, prestigious and neat. Now we will describe the different kinds of Logos, and their pros and cons.
There are three kinds of Logos. They are classified according to their morphological features, but their advertising characteristics should also be considered. The institutional Logo is divided into logotype, isotype and isologotype.
It is a Logo exclusively made up of typography and which does not use an icon or a figurative image. With this type of Logo, there are two ways of communicating information: a denotative and a connotative one. According to the dictionary, «denote» means to signify objectively. And «connote» means to suggest or imply in addition to literal meaning. Then, which is the denotative and which is the connotative way? The denotative way of communication is what we see in the Logo's written words, the one that concatenates the letters of the alphabet in order to create words in a certain language. These words have a relatively stable sense, shared by everyone. The connotative way is the one of the typefaces, the typography. Each typeface is different from the rest, and the way it has an effect on the recipient is also different. It is not the same to write «Gynecologic Office» with formal typography as with a funny one. The words, letter and, specially, the typeface support have an essential role when communicating a message. The typography's meaning is not as stable as the words of a certain language, but a good design can control this element's polysemy.
It is the type of Logo that is exclusively made up of an icon or a figurative image and which does not use typography. This type of Logo, in a semantic way, is more difficult to control. As it has no words, recipients just interpret it from its image. A correct isotype design limits the different interpretations of it. An example of a good isotype is Nike's Logo -the well-known Swoosh symbol- which refers to movement and speed. Although the isotype's disadvantage is that logotypes communicate an idea more efficiently, this type of Logo is more unforgettable than the other. The Logo's most important feature is that it should stick to consumers' memories and minds. In order to achieve that, an isotype is a better option than a logotype, as images are easier to remember than words. To sum up, isotypes have communicative disadvantages and memory-related benefits.
This type of Logo has the morphological features of the previous ones. Isologotypes are made up of typography and an icon. As it is represented by both elements, understanding this type of Logo is much easier, as everything is explained through words AND image. However, it is not such an easy item to remember. In the design field, there is a golden rule: «the more complex the design, the harder to remember it». Then, this Logo, which has the typography and the figurative image, is harder to remember than the previous ones. However, this difficulty is not that serious and it is not enough to reject the isologotype. This type of Logo is the one corporations prefer the most.
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