20 of the Most Iconic Logos
Logos, or logotypes, are the symbols that companies use to brand their products and allow the consumer to instantly link an emblem, set of words or even a colour scheme to merchandise. Successful marketing can create trust and brand loyalty, and good design work can attach iconic logos to these brands. This post brings together 20 examples of the most influential logos from today’s marketing world, winning examples of branding graphics.
Coca-Cola’s is a ubiquitous product known around the world for the sweet, carbonated drink, made with a secret formula of ingredients. The marketing material associated with the drink has generated an instantly recognisable brand, with its red and white colour scheme, traditional lettering and contour bottle modelled on a cocoa pod. Drugstore owner John Pemberton created the beverage, and his bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, designed the iconic logo in 1895.
The interlocking rings of the Olympic logo represent the five continents of the world, brought together in the spirit of the competition. While the Olympics can be traced back to ancient Greece, the founder of the modern games Baron Pierre de Coubertin created this logo in 1912.
Apple is an immensely popular electronics company know for Mac computers, iPod, iPhone and the new iPad. The original 1970s logo pictured a scene of Isaac Newton under a tree with an apple about to drop onto his head. In 1976, designer Rob Janoff created this logo with the rainbow colour scheme that was used until 1998.
McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of fast food outlets, known for the distinctive letter ‘M’ logo. Jim Schindler designed the logo in 1962, taking inspiration from the golden arches built on the sides of the original restaurants.
5. Microsoft Windows
Bill Gate’s Microsoft dominates the personal computer market; the Windows operating system is familiar to any computer user, as is the four-colour window logo.
The iconic Nike swoosh represents the wing of the Greek goddess of the same name who was said to have inspired the feats of courageous warriors. Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student from Portland State University, created the logo in 1971 while freelancing with the sportswear company.
The BBC logo has evolved over time from the original television idents used to brand the broadcaster. In the 1990s, Martin Lambie-Nairn’s design company took charge of the idents, and eventually created the simplified logo seen above. The design is reminiscent of the corporation’s first logo from 1932, and employs a font based on London Underground’s typeface.
The rings of Audi’s logo represent the amalgamation of brands that formed the Auto Union of 1932: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. The logo bears a striking similarity to the Olympic Rings, causing the Olympic Committee to sue Audi in a small claims court in 1995.
The search engine is so popular that word Google has entered the English language, and the company’s branding is also instantly eye-catching. There have been several adaptations of the wordmark logo since its inception in 1999; designer Ruth Kedar designed its current incarnation using the Catull typeface.
The Bavarian Motor Works was originally known for building aircraft engines, and the company logo was developed to represent the movement of a plane’s propeller cutting through the sky. The design also incorporates the blue and white of the Bavarian flag, reversed to create the BMW roundel.
Gottlieb Daimler designed the Mercedes-Benz logo, which debuted in 1909. The three-pointed star signifies the company ambition to dominate land, sea and air. The laurel wreath was added to the logo in 1926, when Benz was merged into the company.
In 2000, British Petroleum was renamed BP and replaced its traditional shield emblem with this design, with the aim at highlighting the company’s green credentials.
Graphic designer Paul Rand created IBM’s ‘eight-bar’ logo in 1972. The horizontal stripes simultaneously represent speed and dynamism, while also making the logo easy to print with the reprographic technology of the 1970s.
Pepsi Cola has been around since the 1890s, and like its great rival Coca-Cola, has a brand image that has evolved over time to become one of the world’s most recognisable logos. The company currently uses a variety of variations such as this text-free example, identifiable by its red, white and blue waveform design.
When Adi Dassler parted company with his brother (who went on to form Puma), he created the Adidas brand, and since its inception the company’s marketing material has featured the three-stripe motif.
After Rudolph Dassler angrily severed his partnership with his brother, he created Puma. The leaping big cat, representing the company’s potency, was first used in 1948 and continues to be used today with few modifications.
MTV changed the way people listen to and create pop music, and the logo, with its solid ‘M’ and graffiti-style ‘TV’, reflects music’s constant evolution. While the format remains the same, the design means the separate elements can be decorated with any pattern, colour or material.
From humble beginnings, Tesco has gone on to dominate the retail market. The logo is based around the company name, which originates from when Sir Jack Cohen joining forces with TE Stockwell to create a grocery chain. The first shop called Tesco opened in 1929.
Phillip Morris’s Marlboro cigarette brand is famous for its billboards featuring Marlboro Man, and for its distinctive red and white packaging.
Starbucks’ logo is based on a 17th Century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed siren. Since Terry Heckler created it in 1971, the logo has been adapted and streamlined through various changes, mostly to make the siren’s body more modestly concealed.