Difference Between Wordmark, Lettermark & Brandmark

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A Lettermark is a logo comprising an abbreviation — generally, a company’s initials joined or separated. When starting a new brand or business, people prefer using a Lettermark to make it easy to remember and recognize. For instance, Microsoft, IBM, General Electric (GE), Volkswagen (VW), Hewlett-Packard (HP), NASA, and CNN.

Lettermark, Wordmark, Brandmark: What’s the Difference?


As described above, a Lettermark (or letterhead, logotype) is generally a combination of a company’s initials. Since the Lettermark is also typography-based and solely made up of a company or brand’s initials, it is also known as a monogram. Also, if your company’s name is a mouthful, consider using a Lettermark.


On the other hand, a wordmark or logotype is a combination of the typographic treatment of the letters of a company, product, or institution. This use is for branding and identification. Examples are Google, Coca-Cola, FedEx, and Visa. A wordmark must be readable, look professional, readable, and straightforward. It must also be communicative and vocal for users. In other words, users can say the word or words.


A brandmark or logomark is typically a design element, such as a unique graphical shape or symbol. Famous examples are the Nike swoosh, Apple, the Worldwide Fund Panda, the Shell oil company, Mitsubishi Trademark, and the Twitter bird. Once people become familiar with a brandmark, they catch on to its association, and even from just a glimpse, they can imagine the brand name or company.


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