Know what the most successful businesses have in common? No, not just visionary founders. It’s their logos! Take any famous company that pops into your mind and the first thing you’ll visualize is its logo. That’s the power of logos! That’s the impact they create. They give brands their identity and make them a force to reckon with.
A well-designed logo helps a brand distinguish itself from its competitor, which makes it much more than a simple icon. Statistics show that it takes customers only 10 seconds to form an impression of a company’s logo, while it takes 5-7 views for them to recognize the logo. So if you nail it right when it comes to your logo, you are bound to be a success!
In fact, experts are of the opinion that several companies that have failed to chart success stories can blame poor logo designs as one of the reasons for their failure. Don’t fret though. That doesn’t have to happen with your brand! If you manage to create a logo that stands out while sticking true to your brand’s value, you’re set for victory. All you need is a little bit of logo design inspiration to nudge you in the right direction.
In that spirit, here are 15 of the most creative and iconic business logos of all time that you can inspiration from-
Image courtesy: https://apple.co/2HTEOJ9
The Apple logo isn’t simply iconic or easily identifiable. It is a status symbol – an emblem of elitism and sophistication most people wish to achieve. The bitten Apple logo is as famous as the brand’s products and with good reason.
Apple’s sleek and clean logo design was not meant to look like this when it was first conceptualized. The first logo Apple ever had depicted Newton sitting under an apple tree, jotting notes. However, Steve Jobs, the tech giant’s founder, wasn’t happy with it, which is what led to the birth of the bitten apple. Apple’s elegant logo represents the byte from the tech world and stand’s today as one of the best logos ever created.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2QyYaog
If you look at the MasterCard logo right now, you won’t see any of the typography that it used to have. Developed in the year 1966, the earliest version of the MasterCard logo contained the text “We Honor Master Charge: The Interbank Card” on top of the two iconic and overlapping circles.
However, that text was removed soon enough and replaced with the word ‘MasterCard’, signifying a rename for the whole brand. The new logo featured brighter colors as well as bolder text for it to stand out. This happened in the year 1976 and then finally, in the year 1996, MasterCard’s logo went through another redesign to become the 3D red and yellow logo it is today.
MasterCard’s current text-less symbol of the interlocking circles signify the brand’s willingness and flexibility to evolve with the changing times.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2XjGUHD
You won’t find a single person on this planet who does not associate the symbol of two yellow arches merging together to form an M with McDonald’s logo! For the logo of a food chain restaurant, it doesn’t even represent food but the site of it can make anyone dream of the restaurant’s legendary French fries! Although if you look at it, you could interpret the M as one long alphabet-shaped French fry 😛
Jokes aside, McDonald’s initial logo was as far from the current M as it could be. When the brand went through a name change in the late 40s (from McDonald’s Famous Barbeque to McDonald’s Famous Hamburgers), it briefly had the logo of a creepy, animated cook. In 1960s, McDonald’s logo went through a sea change, bringing about the introduction of the now famous M-shaped golden arches.
The logic behind the arches is quite simple. It represents the M of McDonald’s.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2WIoaVa
Swoosh! Well, that’s what Nike’s tick mark shaped logo is famously known as! Nike’s logo, which goes so well with its tagline of ‘Just Do It’, was created by an intern. You will be surprised to know that the logo did not even receive the love it now does. The founder of Nike, Phillip Knight said that he didn’t love the logo but it would grow on him when he saw it for the first time!
The designer who designed the logo, Carolyn Davidson, got only $35 for her work. She used the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, as her inspiration for the logo, whom the brand shares a name with. The Swoosh implies speed and movement. The logo, obviously, went through modifications and redesigns. And in the year 1995, it settled for the design it has now – a tilted Swoosh minus the brand name.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2WbF0r1
FedEx has one of the most creative business logos of all time! It might look like simple text at the face of it, but if you look closely you’ll find a cleverly hidden directional cue! But first, let’s go through a tiny history lesson on FedEx’s logo.
Back in 1971, FedEx’s logo was not what it is today. It featured the full name of the company, ‘Federal Express’, in slanted text and blue and red tones. The color scheme was chosen to display the brand’s innate patriotism since it was associated with the American government. Although the initial logo design helped the brand gain success, it was changed in 1994 to become what it is today.
The current logo of the delivery and shipping giant makes wise use of negative space. Take a look at the space between the alphabets E and X and you will see an arrow quite cleverly hidden. This arrow serves as a sign of the FedEx’s commitment to accuracy and speed.
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If there’s one business logo design you should take inspiration from, it’s Microsoft’s! Microsoft’s logo design has a rich history – going through several wildly varying changes through the years. The logo underwent a total of 6 notable alterations before fixing on the four squares we so widely associate with this tech company.
The latest logo of Microsoft was launched in 2012 during the opening of the company’s 23rd store in Boston. The tile-centric interface is quite modern in its approach. The 4 colors of the squares represent 4 major products of the company – MS Office (red), Xbox (green), Windows (blue) and Bing (yellow).
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2wBxhrY
The two-tailed mermaid is so closely associated with Starbucks that you cannot imagine one without the other! But the Starbucks company logo design we see today is actually a highly censored version of what it used to be.
The Mermaid logo was first finalized in 1971 when the founders of Starbucks came across a Norse 16th century woodcut featuring the famous two-tailed mermaid. Also known as the siren, at that point the logo presented a bare-chested mermaid. However, in 1992 the logo was censored to show a coy mermaid, with her two tails beside her, wearing a simple crown.
The design went through another revision in 2011. As a part of this redesign, the outer circle surrounding the mermaid (which mentioned the brand name) was removed and the color was changed from black to Starbucks’ trademark green.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2ER3wbj
The adorable panda of the WWF has to be one of the cutest corporate logos around! The black and white panda was first conceptualized and introduced in the year 1961. This design was the brainchild of Sir Peter Scott, who was the founding chairman of the company. Since then, the panda has stuck by as the logo of the company though it has gone through a few alterations too.
Initially, the panda logo had a bit of fur texture. That was dropped off and the logo was further simplified in 1978. That said, the design still pretty much sticks to the original version. The only additions that have been made include the WWF text, which was added below the panda. In 2000, the font of the ‘WWF’ was altered a little, keeping the rest of the design intact.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2HMey3o
The first Audi logo looked a lot different than the classic four interlocking rings that we have come to associate with the brand. Back in 1909, the logo featured an inverted black triangle containing the name of the company with the numerical 1 sitting atop the triangle.
Just like with most companies, Audi went through a merger too in its history, which demanded the designing of a new logo. That’s when the iconic four interlocking rings design was born! The four interlocking circles symbolize the merger of 4 different motor-vehicle manufacturers namely, Audi, Wanderer, Horch and DKW. In 2009, the logo went through another revision, keeping the basic design the same but adopting a more modern look.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2qbHLuz
The newest kid on the block (or at least in this list) is Twitter’s bird logo! In a short span of time, Twitter’s logo has achieved an iconic status, which only a few brands can to be honest. Twitter’s journey to its final blue bird logo was fraught with a lot of typography.
From 2006 to 2010, Twitter’s logo was the brand name written in blue lower case letters. Later on, the image of a bird was added at the end of the word, which was the creation of a British professional graphic designer, Simon Oxley. That’s when the bird came to be known as Larry!
It was in 2012 that Twitter’s logo received a final paint job and emerged as a more polished blue bird sans any typography. The new logo is supposed to resemble the mountain bluebird instead of Larry Bird of Boston Celtics’ NBA team.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/311XZbr
Chanel is one of those brands where almost everything is homegrown. Including its corporate logo! The Chanel logo was the work of Gabrielle Chanel, or who we all commonly know by the name of Coco Chanel. Created in 1925, Chanel’s logo garnered instant recognition, evoking a sense of luxury every time it was looked on.
The logo of Chanel features a pair of intersecting Cs, which stand for the initials of the legendary fashion designer’s name. The logo’s idea can be traced back to the orphanage Chanel grew up in. It has been said that the orphanage’s windows were shaped pretty much in the same way as the logo of the fashion brand.
As for the apparent simplicity of the logo, it harks to the ‘less is more’ philosophy, which Chanel personally believed in. Chanel’s logo is elegant minimalism redefined!
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2JTIexT
Every watch has a crown. And a traditional crown is a symbol of luxury, grandeur and power. So it’s really not surprising that one of the most esteemed watch brands of the world chose the crown as its company logo! The brand in question? Rolex!
Rolex’s logo comprises of a simple pointed crown that sits above the brand’s name. This pointy crown is meant to be an emblem of perfectionism, prestige and victory. The most interesting thing about Rolex’s logo is that unlike other brands, its logo hasn’t gone through any significant changes since the brand’s inception. The watchmaker’s slogan ‘A Crown for every Achievement’ fits perfectly well with the logo.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2IhLik2
The MTV logo you see today was first designed by Manhattan Design in the year 1981.The agency was asked to create a logo for the music channel and they came up with a design that became iconic from the get-go.
MTV’s distinct logo has always had a very dynamic nature. Every now and then, the pattern and the color scheme of the icon keep changing to adopt and reflect new underlying themes and trends. However, some level of consistency was achieved in the 1990s and 2000s, when the channel opted for a white logo while keeping the original design intact.
The logo went through another refresh in 2009, with the M going through a fill of dynamic images while the TV stayed a solid white.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2WGJ7js
The MGM logo’s roaring lion aside, the Warner Bros’. shield is the only logo that’s managed to achieve a cult status. Introduced in 1923, the shield has been around pretty much since the very first version of the logo. However, initially the silhouette of the studio was above the WB lettering. It was only in 1929 that the studio outline was removed. At that point the ‘Warner Bros. Picture Inc.’ was curved to fit the area above the shield, while ‘Presents’ was put in the same fashion below.
The logo went through plenty of changes after that, including a change of color and the addition of the names of the parent company when Warner Bros. was acquired. Currently, the logo, after years of polishing, depicts the classic 1984 blue and gold design. Even though it retains the original shape, the colors change depending on the movie.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2IiK6Nl
Since we are talking about logos, we cannot leave online retailers behind in this tech-savvy world. And what better way to wrap up than by talking about the logo of the world’s largest online shopping site? Amazon truly has one of the most creative logo designs the world has ever seen!
Jeff Bezos’s pet project has witnessed quite a few noteworthy logo redesigns. In early 1998, the logo was a simple Amazon.com in lower case with the tagline ‘Earth’s Biggest Bookstore’ underneath it. In late 1998, the tagline was dropped, the lower case letters became upper case, and a distinct yellow O was added in the word Amazon.
The smiling arrow logo that is the current identity of the site was born in the year 2000. The arrow shaped yellow smile that stretches from A to Z in Amazon’s spelling depicts the brand’s commitment to delivering products and smiles to the doors of people as quickly as possible!
This has been an enlightening experience, hasn’t it? We all easily associate logos with particular brands but rarely do we stop to think of the philosophy behind them and why they are as big hits they are. Hopefully this blog enlightened you on that front so that when you get down to creating a logo for your own brand, you’ll know what works.
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