Top 10 World-famous Logos and What you can Learn From Them

Rangan Das

September 21, 2022

Getting your logo right could make all the difference to your brand's growth. In this article, you'll find some of the world's most popular logos and what you can take away from their designs.

Most of the iconic logos we are familiar with today are the products of creative minds, lofty aspirations, and perceptive tales. These are some of the crucial elements, but creating an effective logo requires extensive strategic planning. It ought to:

Including several important principles in a single logo can be intimidating. Rest assured that many renowned brands have succeeded in achieving this feat, and it has resulted in thriving business gains. While markets and demographics have changed dramatically, the core formula for creating a famous logo remains the same. 

Here is a list of the top 10 logos that one can instantly recognize. 

1. Apple

While Apple is a tech company, it is also one of the best examples of effective marketing. Despite fierce competition, the brand still manages to maintain its identity and a loyal customer base. Its marketing efforts have made it one of the most recognized brands globally and has one of the most popular logos. It's interesting to think about how a piece of fruit serves as the visual representation of one of the most well-known companies in the world. 

There are still hundreds of conjectures floating around the internet regarding how the brand came up with its well-known bitten apple logo. Although the logo's appearance has evolved, the half-eaten apple has remained constant. The original Apple logo from 1976 was very different from the one we recognize today. 

In the original, an apple was dangling from the tree and was about to fall, with Isaac Newton seated beneath it. Despite being inventive, Apple quickly changed its emblem to a simple apple.

Some claim that the apple's "bite" is a play on the word "byte" (as in gigabyte, or megabyte). Others claim that it serves as a metaphor for the knowledge users acquire through the use of Apple products. 

In either case, it's an effective approach to spice up a simple logo. It adds a certain level of asymmetry that makes the logo appear less boring. 

What we can learn

Apple’s logo design conveys the characteristics of its products. The personality of their brand is perfectly reflected in their logo. Apple’s products aim for simplicity to a point where even commonly used features are absent on their phones. This radical move towards simplicity is also seen in how their logo has evolved. 

Their logo's simplicity helps it stick in the consumer's mind. If a logo has too many elements, we are likely to forget about it quickly. The Apple logo is instantly recognizable due to its stark simplicity and is simple enough to be remembered.  Also, we associate the phrases "accessible," "sleek," and "intelligent" with Apple products. The logo expresses just that.

2. Google

Another notable tech company with a memorable logo is Google. With a market share of over 90%, Google has established a strong monopoly over the search engine market. Since its logo is the first thing that appears when someone performs a web search, it is only reasonable to assume that people will remember it. 

When designing its initial logo in 1998, Google used a common font to display the name of the business. Back in 2009, Google made some minor changes to the colors. In 2014, they changed the spacing of the letters. 

The goal of Google as a company is to promote innovation and push the limits of what is socially acceptable. The business deviated from conventional color schemes by using a secondary color for the letter "L" in a daring attempt to express individuality.

Google's logo was updated in 2015 with a new, contemporary bespoke typography and analogous colors that were more intense and saturated. This is primarily the logo that is used now.

What we can learn

Simplicity is one of the key ingredients of most of the famous logos of the world. However, Google frequently adapts its logo in quirky ways to reflect current events, which is a great way for the company to engage with a global audience. The Google logo also shows how one can simply use the right hues and lettering to create an effective visual representation of the brand.

3. FedEx

FedEx is another memorable logo. 

Like Apple and Google, it’s also one of those brands which have been around for a long time. However, the logo of the company is way cleverer than it looks because of its use of negative space. 

In 1973, a simple blue wordmark on a patterned blue background became the first FedEx logo. The typeface and colors have evolved. However, the business unveiled the logo we are familiar with in 1994, which features the iconic white arrow visible between the second E and the X. 

FedEx also uses color to effectively represent the various divisions of their business. The "Ex" portion of the logo changes depending on the product while keeping the purple color of the “Fed”. For FedEx Express, the company that handles most packages, the most frequent color combination that we observe is purple and orange.

What we can learn

The creative edge you've been looking for in your logo design may be found in the hidden meanings contained within a logo. FedEx give their customers an "A-Ha!” moment by making clever use of that negative space, making it one of the best logos in the world. It also increases the engagement levels of the audience.

Another thing we can learn from the FedEx logo is that we can use colors to represent various areas of the business. One can consider color psychology to integrate various business divisions using a single logo design.

4. LG

Electronics brand LG was originally known as Goldstar Electronics back in 1958. The rebranding took place in 1995 when the company changed its logo, name, and slogan. 

What does one see when they first glance at the logo? A smiling, winking face!

The emoji face concealed in the LG logo is undeniably clever, despite being more obvious than the concealed arrow in the FedEx design, and eventually became one of the most famous company logos. The company's tagline, “Life's Good,” is represented by the letters “LG”.  

The best way to illustrate the company’s slogan is a smile. In addition, the G has a power button shape, which is ideal for an electronics company. The red circle in LG's logo stands for endurance, community, and friendship. Officially, this specific shade of red is known as "the unique LG red color."

What we can learn

Again, keeping your logo simple is important. The LG logo uses just one color, two letters, and basic shapes to convey all its brand characteristics. Only a few components in a great logo can establish a brand identity. LG is also another example of a hidden image in a logo design.

5. Toyota

Toyota was originally known as "Toyoda," after the founder of the business. The business changed its name to "Toyota" in 1936 after holding a public contest for a new logo because the word is visually easier and luckier in Japanese. The business unveiled its current oval logo in 1989, which is now one of the most famous brand logos.

Toyota uses red as its main brand color, just like LG. A sense of belonging, friendship, and perseverance are all essential qualities when selling cars to the public. The metallic shine adds a sense of high value and quality, while the silver or gray represents convention, dependability, professionalism, and safety.

The logo's curved edges suggest sophistication and sexiness, and its bold, eye-catching typeface suggests reliability and strength. The two parallel ovals inside the larger oval stand in for both the company's and the customer's hearts. They overlap to represent the two parties' cooperative relationship. 

Together, they make the letter "T," which also resembles the shape of a steering wheel and serves as the company's initials.

What we can learn 

Toyota's logo design conceals a lot of hidden meanings while remaining straightforward. The Toyota logo is another excellent illustration of contrast. The design's rounded edges work well with the eye-catching boldness of the typeface.

6. McDonald’s

McDonald’s crest is a well-known symbol for multiple reasons. It is instantly recognizable because it stands for more than just a fast-food restaurant. The logo has evolved into a symbol of capitalism, globalization, and the dissemination of American culture. 

The golden arches that resemble an “M" are one of the logo's most eye-catching features. The arches were a part of the restaurant's exterior design when it was built in 1952, the year of the first franchised McDonald's restaurant. Nine years later, their logo design included those same arches. The arches have remained ever since despite numerous logo redesigns the business has undergone in the last 60 years.

See the source image
Source: https://www.roadarch.com

What we can learn

Overall, McDonald's demonstrates that a perfect fusion of shapes, colors, and simplicity is the elusive secret ingredient in creating one of the most recognizable logos in the world. With these characteristics working together, it didn't take long for people to remember such an impactful, simple, and distinctive design.

7. Nike

The recognizable Nike "Swoosh" has an intriguing origin story. 

The logo was created in 1971 by graphic design student Carolyn Davidson, who sold it to Nike co-founder Phil Knight for just $35. The text was initially a part of the logo. However, it is no longer necessary. Only a few other businesses, such as Shell or Apple, can claim that their logo is instantly recognizable to everyone.

Nike, the goddess of victory in Greek mythology, served as the inspiration for the company's logo. The swoosh symbolized the goddess' wing. 

The logo is a combination of Nike's distinctive brand characteristics. The symbol is associated by the company with acceleration, power, and speed. It also resembles a check mark, which stands for "yes" and is a motivating and encouraging symbol.

What we can learn

One of the most important things we can learn from the Nike logo is how to use shape to represent characteristics. The swoosh conveys movement and quickness. Also, a few logos can stand on their own without any text, and the Nike logo is a great example of that. 

8. Shell

You may be familiar with Shell as an oil and gasoline producer. However, Shell was founded in 1891 as a trading firm that focused on exporting seashells to Western countries. 

The first Shell logo, a black-and-white illustration of a seashell, was unveiled in 1900. The shell has remained in the company logo ever since, despite numerous updates, including a change in color in 1948. The company started using the current logo as a stand-alone mark without any text in 1995.

The vivid red and yellow brand colors of Shell are recognizable. Nevertheless, these decisions emphasize cultural significance rather than color psychology. 

To establish an emotional connection with their customers, Shell chose the colors of the Spanish flag—where many early California settlers were born—when it first arrived in California. That bond has grown quite strong when considering how the business has performed over time.

The shell is a representation of a mollusk and recalls the company's beginnings in trading while also being a component of the eco-cycle of oil exploration. A bold company with a strong reputation in business is reflected by bold font and strong lines.

What we can learn

Shell's colors serve as a reminder of the company's history. Using simply colors, Shell got into the list of popular logos and brands. One can use colors to showcase the brand’s history or form a cultural bond with the target audience.  

9. Coca-Cola

In 1886, Coca-Cola unveiled its first black-and-white logo. Although the logo has changed over time, the traditional script lettering has largely not changed. 1958 saw the official incorporation of the company's well-known red and white colors into the logo.

Apart from the addition of the "white wave" we frequently see beneath the text, the logo hasn't changed significantly throughout dozens of iconic marketing campaigns such as “Share a Coke”. There aren't many logos that have withstood the test of time like Coca-Cola's. What makes it one of the most recognized brands is originality and class.

Classic Americana is reflected in the Coca-Cola logo; the two are intertwined. The trendy cursive lettering perfectly embodies the brand's fashionable class. The Coca-Cola logo conjures images of traditional America, giving the brand a timeless and cross-generational appeal.

Also red is an extremely effective hue. It inspires passion, vigor, and excitement. These characteristics seem to showcase the traditional American culture. Red also increases appetite, which unquestionably benefits a soft drink company!

What we can learn

One can use color to lead. Red and Coca-Cola go hand in hand. When it comes to incorporating its brand colors into its products and marketing, the company goes all-in— and it succeeds. Brands like McDonald’s or KFC also use red for similar reasons. 

Also, Coca-Cola really uses its fonts. To make your brand truly distinctive, use or reimagine fonts, letters, and shapes that aren't readily available as your brand evolves.

10. Amazon

See the source image
Source: Amazon logo and symbol, meaning, history, PNG (1000logos.net)

The Amazon logo we know today went through multiple redesigns. Initially, the logo was a photo of the Amazon River. The logo stood for an enormous and limitless flow of knowledge. After a few years, Amazon changed the logo and got rid of the river. It also abandoned its slogan and opted for a straightforward black wordmark.

Amazon's black wordmark soon adopted a large gold 'O' in its title to symbolize a globe as its offerings expanded beyond books. This was unquestionably the biggest change to its logo, ultimately leading to the one it uses today.

The title had changed to lowercase, and the gold 'O' changed to a downward curve beneath it. They thought the new logo would have a more approachable look for the company since Amazon was gaining ground as an effective marketplace by this point.

This was accurate up until the company's final logo redesign when it slightly altered the slope's characteristics to create a new visual narrative for its clients. With arrows pointing in the direction of A and Z on either end, Amazon inverted the downward slope to form a smile.

The evolution of the brand over time—from a bookstore to a marketplace where you could buy anything you wanted—is best represented by this version of the logo. The ability of the business to meet every need of a customer is symbolized by the arrows pointing from A to Z.

What we can learn

Amazon doesn't need a slogan, an icon, or anything else flamboyant today. The brand doesn't have to because it has more than 100 million users. Amazon's effective marketing and business strategies have made its simple black and white logo quite famous. 

Closing thoughts

Designing a logo from scratch can be a challenging task. Making that logo stand out on your product packaging and creating a brand identity can be even more difficult. Using label management software such as Artwork Flow, you can ensure error-free packaging. With tools like Font Finder and online spell checker, you can ensure that your logo remains consistent and error-free! If you'd like to know more about how your teams can benefit from Artwork Flow's powerful range of features, book a demo with our team today.

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