A company’s logo is its visual identity. The symbol announces its presence to the world and can make or break its brand.
A logo can inspire brand loyalty, and people become so attached to it that they don’t mind wearing it or displaying it in everyday use, like in a coffee mug. A successful logo is a recognizable one, and there are a few that stand out above all the rest.
Some of the most iconic logos are forever associated in consumers’ minds with their product. A Mercedes Benz logo, for example, instantly brings to mind a slick car. Maybe you have a favorite product and part of the reason you love it is its logo and branding.
Curious about which ones stand out above the rest? Keep reading to find out the 10 best logos of all time.
1. Starbucks and the Mermaid
The logo of the largest global coffeehouse is often ranked among the top logos in the world.
It’s been in use for over 40 years now. In a sign of how iconic it is, the company even removed “Starbucks” from the logo. Despite this, the trademark green and smiling mermaid are instantly recognizable.
Coffee lovers all over the world will be surprised to know that the current logo was changed even further. The formerly bare-chested mermaid design was updated and censored in the 1980s.
2. Coca-Cola’s Curves
Coca-Cola’s hard work at equating their drink to happiness is a brand triumph.
It’s one of the most recognizable logos of all time. The curvaceous font with an equally curvy bottle both up Coke’s branding. The modern evolution of the design incorporates the bottle as well into the logo itself.
The font used has not changed, only being slightly tweaked throughout the company’s history. Its formal handwriting style is based on the Spencarian script typeface. This was the most popular style to write in when the brand was created.
3. McDonalds, One of the Best Logos of All Time
The fast food brand McDonalds, also known as Mickey Dees, has a nickname based on its logo. The “golden arches” is a familiar term based on one of the best logos ever. Part of the beauty of the logo is that the arches are simple, and can be seen even from far away.
Born in 1960, the architecture of the restaurants were the inspiration for the letters’ shape. They form the letter M and went through several colors before today’s red background and white logotype. The arches, however, remain as golden as their french fries.
4. Pepsi’s Bold Branding
Pepsi is one of the best logos of all time simply for its longevity as a brand. Since 1898, the design has been modernized a few times but remains the symbol of a timeless recognizable drink.
Its biggest change was from a handwriting-based design scribbled by the founder. It transformed into a bold, blocky type that jumped off bottles, caps, and advertisements. The patriotic red, white, and blue was a nod to the troops serving in World War II.
5. The Visa Card Logo
Visa’s rise coincided with the growth of debit card technology and the credit card boom. Its debit card came out in the mid-1970s, and the company was also instrumental in putting ATMs across the US.
The blue and yellow have not changed, but became more visible with a design change in 1982. Today, Visa continues to lead the market in debit card transactions. The bright symbol is a common one across ATMs, and stores both domestically and internationally.
6. Apple’s Icon
The road to the simple Apple logo of today has been a long one. It started with a complicated design, including a quote from Wordsworth.
The apple itself came in 1977 with a colorful rainbow illustration. The colors themselves had a purpose. They were supposed to show the superior color reproduction qualities of Apple computers.
To make it look less like a cherry, the iconic “bite” in the apple was featured. The current apple on its own came around the time of the first Mac computer. Since then, Apple products have been incredibly popular and the word “Apple” is no longer needed.
7. Nike Swoosh
The Nike “swoosh” is a logo in motion. The forward movement is implied, a perfect fit for a sportswear brand.
Movement and speed were the instructions that the logo designer was given. The name of the brand, Nike, is the Greek goddess of victory. The creation is a legend in itself as the designer was supposedly paid just $35 for it at the time.
In 1995, like Apple, it removed the Nike from branding. Today, no one needs the company name to know what the symbol means.
8. Levis Jeans
Famous for their high-quality jeans, the logo for Levi Straus is actually an ad. The 1886 design is two horses, with a pair of jeans being pulled between them. It’s a powerful image of the strength of the workmanship.
At the time of its creation, this was a practical move. Many people could not read English, or were simply illiterate.
The Levis red label, though, was designed in red to make it stand out from other jean brands. Color is an important part of logo design and can be used to communicate meaning to a consumer.
Design agencies often use color to send a message. You can discover more by looking at the colors used for various brands.
FedEx’s logo is often used as an example of the simplest, yet most effective logos. There’s a subtle arrow in between the letters E and X in the logo, a great implication of speed and forward movement.
This use of negative space is an example of the design quote by Dieter Rams. “Good design is as little design as possible”.
10. The Gap
Gap’s original design was a simple text-based one, with just its name. The blue box we now know was introduced after 1986. Consumers are so attached to the brand that a proposed change in 2010 caused protests online.
Logos and Design
Good design never goes out of style, but most brands update their colors and typography to match current trends. If you own a business, keep up to date with how design changes from year to year.
All of the best logos of all time have one thing in common though: they’ve stood the test of time.
Are you interested in design? Check out some awesome kitchen design ideas that can work to give your home a new look.