Logotypes, Logo Marks and Logo Lockups: What’s The Difference?

In our business, we often hear the terms “logo” and “branding” used interchangeably. While a logo is a crucial part of branding, branding is much more than just a logo. A logo is a visual representation of a brand. It can be a wordmark, lettermark, or symbol, and it serves as a recognizable and memorable symbol of a brand. A logo is often the first thing people notice about a company, and it is essential to make a positive impression.

The logo is one of the most important aspects of branding and design. A logotype, logomark, and logo lockup are all terms used to describe different parts of the logo and which one is used often varies by industry. Logos may consist 1 or all 3 parts, but variations can be utilized in various applications. Let’s get started and sort out some of these key pieces of marketing jargon that you may hear relating to logos and branding.


A logotype, also known as a wordmark, is a text-based logo that usually includes a company’s name or initials. Good examples of these are the search engines, “Google” or “Yahoo.” Logotypes are very popular in formal industries, especially in educational branding. This is because logotypes let you create an impressive brand identity while also giving additional information about the organization to clarify its purpose. The only drawback some find with logotypes is that creatively, they are limited to typography.

Logotype is typically included in initial logos and branding, since the company isn’t well-known enough to be recognized by an logomark/icon alone.


Logomarks are icon-based logos or the icon that accompanies your logo/brand. Among the best examples of logomarks as a primary logo is Apple’s iconic symbol. It is an easy to recognize logomark that has been tried and tested. In order to have a logomark work for a brand, it has to be unique, eye-catching, and easy to remember.

Even Apple started with a logo lockup (logomark/icon + logotype – see 1977 version here). Typically, logomarks work well for iconic brands and have to echo a brand voice through a small image or graphic – evolving from a logo lockup where the logotype can be dropped eventually as the brand builds notoriety.


To tie it all together, there are also logo lockups, which are logotypes and logomarks combined (ie, icon + company name). The combination of text and iconography into one cohesive logo design creates a unified brand identity which also helps customers remember your brand.

Especially useful for startups and small/mid sized businesses that are looking to spread brand awareness, the primary logo will appear “locked” together even though they can function as separate logos for different use cases (ex: icon for social/apps, lockup for web/letterhead) –


This is the hard part. Find someone with experience and knowledge in your industry who also has experience in branding. Finding someone or a team who “feels right” is key. The process of creating a logo/brand can be very difficult if you are not working with someone who aligns with you creatively.

Another thing to consider is to avoid letting your emotion cloud your judgement. There is often a big difference  between what will be an effective logo/brand and what you “want” or thought you wanted. Go into the process with an open mind and keep your personal emotions out of the process as much as possible. It’s not about you, it’s about how your customers/clients will feel when they see your logo/brand. There is a reason you are asking a professional for help – let them lead the way.

If you want to chat or have questions, hit us up! We are happy to talk and answer any questions you may have.