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1. The Apple Logo
The Apple logo works so well because of its instantly recognisable shape. Having the bite out of the side means there’s no doubt that it is in fact an “apple”, and gives the image scale. Its silver colour is the logo’s way of representing what it actually does (computing). Apple has no need for lettering to spell out the company name because the image says it all. It’s clean, modern and extremely easy to reproduce.
Did you know: the Apple logo started life as an image of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree with the text: Apple Computer Inc. The story of Newton and his “eureka” moment certainly foreshadows and parallels Apple’s own innovative approach and success.
2. The BBC Logo
The BBC logo comprises 3 identical solid black squares, each of which contains one letter of the word ‘BBC’. Its simplicity and strength ensures it’s easy to remember and works well on TV, online and in print as it’s incredibly easy to reproduce. It also works well when it’s both very small and blown up extremely large. The logo perfectly complements the BBC’s long heritage as a trusted British brand.
3. The Nike Logo
The Nike swoosh is clean, simple, suggestive of movement – which is really important for a sports fashion brand – and, most importantly, works incredibly well on the side of a training shoe. In fact, that’s how the Nike swoosh was born: the designer was asked to come up with a shoe stripe.
Did you know: the designer of the Nike swoosh was initially paid only $35 for her design.
4. The Amazon Logo
The amazon.com logo works because it embodies the company’s philosophy: everything from A to Z delivered with a smile. The logo gets this across incredibly cleverly by placing a ‘smile’ beneath the text that links the A to the Z in the company name.
It’s also clean, instantly recognisable and places the .com in a thinner font so as not to distract from the company name, at the same time reinforcing its internet heritage.
5. The Google Logo
The Google logo uses the primary colours red, yellow and blue; strong colours that are easy to identify with. The letter ‘L’ has then been placed in green to show that Google doesn’t follow the rules. The success of Google’s logo in recent years has to be in part due to the Google doodles that modify or add to the logo in an often humorous way. Now nearly every day there is an adaption of the logo on the Google homepage, which brings interest and fun to the otherwise strategically empty page.
Did you know: The original name of the company was “Googol”, which means, specifically, the number one followed by one hundred zeros. It was changed to Google due to a spelling mistake.
6. The London Underground Logo
The circular London Underground symbol instantly recalls the tunnels of the Tube. The round shape is in fact the ‘O’ of the font used for the text in the logo, which makes it directly proportional to, and in sync with, the text itself. It’s an incredibly simple and effective use of font that applies to every aspect of the logo design. It is now one of the most recognisable logos in London (and even globally) because it’s the sign for every Tube station and bus stop in the city.
7. The UPS Logo
The fairly radical change in the UPS logo in 2003 caused some controversy. The new logo, however, may show that the ill feeling has disappeared since it makes it into our top 10. The yellow and brown tones of the UPS logo are seen all over the distinctive UPS delivery vans: the brown is symbolic of packaging and parcels, and the new logo has taken on a bevelled 3D effect that, coupled with the shield shape, gives it the look of a security firm. Perhaps security was something UPS wanted to place more emphasis on as the company grew.
8. The American Express Logo
It’s all about the squares and block lettering with American Express. The use of squares suggests strength and trust, while the white edging around the letters and the light glow seen in the top left of the blue square brings the otherwise plain logo to life – and could be said to suggest optimism.
9. The Sky Logo
A simple logo that has been used a number of times very successfully for brand extension. Think SkyNews, SkyHD, SkyMovies; the list goes on. Blue is an obvious colour choice given the company name, yet the treatment conjures up a feeling of movement and technology due to the highlighting on the letters and the shine on either end of the ‘S’ and ‘Y’ which leaves the ‘K’ much darker.
10. The HSBC Logo
HSBC is the only logo in the top 10 using a very traditional serif font that looks like type from a book or newspaper (for example). The use of a serif font is much more common in the business and finance world as it’s suggestive of authority and tradition. The hexagonal red and white symbol highlights uniformity
Did you know: the symbol was influenced by the traditional Hong Kong flags of the 19thcentury
So that concludes our top ten.
We hope you found our analysis helpful. We’ve also taken it one step further and pulled out the obvious trends in a second article, to help you create a memorable lasting logo.