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The use of the Government of Canada's wordmark is regulated by government policy.[1]

A wordmark, word mark, or logotype is usually a distinct text-only typographic treatment of the name of a company, institution, or product name used for purposes of identification and branding. Examples can be found in the graphic identities of the Government of Canada, FedEx, Microsoft, and IBM. The organization name is incorporated as a simple graphic treatment to create a clear, visually memorable identity. The representation of the word becomes a visual symbol of the organization or product.

In the United States and European Union,[2] a wordmark may be registered, making it a protected intellectual property. In the United States, the term wordmark may refer not only to the graphical representation, but the text itself may be a type of trademark.[3] In most cases, wordmarks cannot be copyrighted, as they do not reach the threshold of originality.

The wordmark is one of several different types of logos,[4] and is among the most common. It has the benefit of containing the brand name of the company (i.e. the Coca-Cola logo) as opposed to the brandmark used by, for example, Apple.

Wordmark vs. Lettermark[edit]

Wordmark logos are often confused with lettermark logos. Wordmark logos are unique text-only typographic treatment of the brand's name where the name becomes the instant identification of the brand. Whereas, lettermark logos are made up of initials of the brand name or business. Lettermarks are also text-only but they are shorter. Some examples of lettermark logos include: CNN, P&G, HBO, and LG logo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (10 May 2012). "Canada Wordmark". Federal Identity Program Policy. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Trade mark definition". Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market.
  3. ^ "Glossary (w - x)". Guides. United States Patent and Trademark Office. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  4. ^ "Types of logos: How to create a logo for your brand | Freelancer Community". www.freelancer.com. Retrieved 2016-10-12.

Further reading[edit]

  • McWade, John. Before and After Graphics for Business. Peachpit Press: 2005. ISBN 978-0-321-33415-2.
  • White, Alexander W. The Elements of Graphic Design: Space, Unity, Page Architecture, and Type. Allworth: 2002. ISBN 978-1-58115-250-0.
  • Wheeler, Alina. Designing Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands. Wiley: 2006. ISBN 978-0-471-74684-3.