Symbol or Logotype?
But to clarify just a bit, a logotype is simply a logo with letters and no other design elements. For Nike, it would be a logo without the Swoosh. Logotypes are normally merely the company name written out in a stylized font. Since they are simple, they are often easy to recognize and reproduce on company materials.
Logotypes are extremely difficult to make though. It is very challenging to design a logotype that stands out without becoming hard to read or look too much like an existing logo. The most famous logotype comes from Coca-Cola.
Symbol logos, on the other hand, are logos that include a graphical element: a building, an illustration, an arch, a circle - the list is endless. These logos are the most common, mostly because they are easier than logotypes to make and they more easily stand out. Almost any logo you see these days has some kind of symbol or graphic in it.
So which is better? Do you want a simple logotype that is cheap to reproduce or do you want a graphical element in your logo that will make your logo?s shape easy to recognize? My response is don?t worry about it, because everything is a shape anyway. Even letters are shapes. Think about it. A circle is also an ?O? and a zero.
If, when designing your logo, you make sure your logo has a recognizable, memorable shape, you don?t have to worry about which style of logo fits your company best. And if you don?t know who to look to for great graphic design yet, consider LogoWorks, which has gotten some great positive reviews in the press as of late.