Branding Design

7 Types of Logos & Why I Design Them

As a designer, I’ve created a variety of logos over the years. Different projects call for different design solutions. Depending on the brand, the type of logo I end up designing varies. The logo is the brand’s visual cue. That cue will be different than others in design but may also be different in the category of logo utilized. A logo can typically fit in a particular classification of logos. Let’s look at some examples from my own portfolio.

An Iconic Mark

Example(s): Shypsi (pronounced SHY-PSI)

Like the Jordan Jumpman and the Nike swoosh, I like logos that are minimalist but impactful. This type of logo typically works for brands that want something their audience can easily recognize and draw themselves. If your audience can draw your mark from memory, that is a very good sign for your brand. This type of logo is also useful for brands that might need their mark to work in a variety of colors on a variety of products. Shypsi Creative was the first name I came up with for my freelance design side. I wanted something simple but mine, easily attached to various things.

A Wordmark

Example(s): Pawnee (word) 

A wordmark is when you want the name of your brand to take center stage. It can be simply your name written in a particular font or a custom design unique to your brand name. The Pawnee wordmark is a part of a larger brand identity project I came up with in tribute to the TV show Parks & Recreation. I custom made each letter in Adobe Illustrator. 


Example(s): Stroll City Strivers, Young Professionals of Stillwater

The monogram is the bringing of letters together in a stylish way to represent your brand. Acronyms, abbreviations, and the initials of an individual or a company flourish in this type of logo. The Stroll City Strives monogram was my attempt to give my fantasy football team a classic mark to complement the more modern main logo. The Young Professionals of Stillwater is often referred to as simply YPS so it made sense to have a mark that represented that. “Young Professionals of Stillwater” has a lot of letters and isn’t as versatile at various sizes as the YPS mark.


Example(s): Dudley H.S. Band of Thunder, Bratcher Sports & Education

Working our way down from full words and abbreviations, we have arrived at the letterform. This is where you distill your brand mark to a single letter. Make sure you make your letter stand out. The letterform is the most scalable of the trilogy. The D for the Dudley High School Band of Thunder actually has a hidden bass clef with the very visible lightning bolt in the middle to represent thunder. The B for Bratcher Sports & Education uses the lines to reference a basketball. My own personal Creative Bobbie logo is a hand drawn lowercase B that I wanted to use as my signature.


Example(s): Dudley H.S. Band of Thunder

The mascot logo is much more involved and not minimalist at all but is appropriate at times. Commonly seen in the sports marketing industry, it can also be used for more personal brands where the individual is the brand. That is the case with my design for Knockoutness. The Dudley H.S. mascot is the panther so I drew a custom one in Illustrator, complete with musical references throughout. This type is for when there is a character/person you want your audience to attach to your brand.

An Emblem

Example(s): National Headquarters of Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, Beyonce University, Pawnee (seal)

The emblem logo is typically a seal or crest that represents the brand in a more regal, professional, and traditional manner. Many soccer/football clubs use emblems, which you can see in my Fiction City Football League project. I obviously have a lot of experience with crests, working for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma. These examples use many elements similar to those found at universities and government organizations.


Example(s): Lamik’s Videos

The combo mark is for when you want the best of both worlds. You want an image that represents you but you also want the name of the brand featured. This allows you to walk your audience through the connect between your brand name and the image. Eventually, they may be able to recognize your brand through the image itself. This gives you multiple elements to work with. Lamik’s Videos is an example of that where the VHS band tape is accompanied by the brand name.

When approaching a branding project, analyze your market, your goals, and your brand itself to see which one of these would work best for you. How will your logo best stand the test of time and be recognizable to your target audience? Do you need multiple types underneath a larger visual brand identity system / strategy?

Choose wisely.


Run The Layers

Eternal Sunshine of the Knockoutness a.k.a. Janessa Smith

Multi-hyphenate (photographer, videographer, gamer, streamer) Janessa Smith a.k.a. Knockoutness joins the pod! We talk about the trials and tribulations of being a creative.

Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Be Kind, Rewind
Purpose Behind The Seams (full feature)
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Music by Kid Azul:

Run The Layers

Choose Your Perspective with Larry Bratcher Jr.

Live from Grandma’s house, sports performance and corporate wellness expert (+ my brother) Larry Bratcher Jr. joins the podcast to talk about how he uses creativity and how it ties into the pursuit of success. We talk athletes, business, sports, music, and more in what doubles as an episode of my podcast and a pilot of his future podcast!

Larry Bratcher is a Strength and Conditioning Practitioner specializing in sports performance, injury rehab and prevention. He holds a Z-Health Movement as well NASM’s CPT, PES, CES certifications with CSCS pending. He founded Hegemony Training after graduating from Fayetteville State University and playing basketball professionally for 10 years in the CBA, IBA, and USBL in the United States. Larry played in Professional Leagues in Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, Iceland, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Larry works with athletes throughout the year to develop and improve each player’s game. Larry has mastered the art of marrying sports science, skill development and nutrition to build a complete athlete.


Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Kobe Bryant ‘Muse’ Motivational Workout Mix + His “666 Workout” Routine
Choose Your Perspective by John Martin

Music by Kid Azul:

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Creativity Is Instrumental with William Blue

On this episode I talk with my friend, music producer Kid Azul b.k.a. William Blue. We talk about the universal language that is music and it’s impact on our lives.

Follow Blue (producer of the sounds you hear in the background of my content):

Mr. Hyunh
The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
“Pity” – Voli Contra feat. J. Cole
“Happy” – Pharrell Williams

Run The Layers

Inside The Mind of An In-House Designer

A solo ep where I talk about my experience being an in-house graphic designer here in Stillwater, Oklahoma for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma National Headquarters. Being in-house, for me, means being able to apply my knowledge and translate my love for the organizations into visually appealing and communicative art. As an in-house designer, I personally know and care about everything I do. It’s not just a job for me.

Kappa Kappa Psi | Tau Beta Sigma | National HQ

National Convention (Instagram)


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Acts of Service with Torrence Brown

In this episode, I chat with my friend, gamer/streamer Torrence Brown aka “Brown Koolaid”. We talk about a variety of topics including how creativity is an act of service.


Follow Brown Koolaid:

Teen Titans
Michael Baisden
Samurai Pizza Cats
My Hero Academia
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Music by Kid Azul:

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Truly 4 The Love of Storytelling with TJ Tooley

In this episode, I chat with my friend, author & podcaster TJ Tooley of 4 The Love of Story (also hosted here on Anchor) and Everyone & Their Brother fame. We talk about believing in yourself and dreams of the impact our creativity can have on the world.


4 The Love of Story Podcast: Original stories written and read by T.J. Tooley
(Available on various podcast platforms)

Quidditch (for reals!)
Fiction City Logos
Everyone & Their Brother Podcast

Music by Kid Azul:

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The Unapologetic Creativity of Justin Shepard

On this episode, I welcome my friend, artist/animator Justin Shepard (Moonbeams), to discuss how he sees creativity, the things he wants to create, the process, inspirations, and all things animation and art.

Mentions in the podcast:
We both marched trumpet at the illustrious North Carolina A&T State University in the Blue & Gold Marching Machine.
Donate: Blue & Gold Loyalty Foundation

Gurren Lagaan
Kill la Kill

Music by Kid Azul Productions

Run The Layers

What I Want For My Friends And This Podcast

On this episode of Run The Layers, I give you the mission and vision of the pod and what I believe creatively. I firmly believe that each of us were put onto this Earth to deposit something into this world that will improve it. We each have the potential to do something, create something for the betterment of others. Let’s explore that and act on it.

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