The possession of a bright, memorable emblem at times increases the efficiency of activities and commercial success. First of all, the logo allows you to get the first and often fundamental idea of the company’s attitude to its corporate style. With its help, the owner’s identification in the competitive market environment is formed, helping to create a visual image of the brand even before getting acquainted with the offer itself. But creating a truly memorable and vivid visual display is a difficult task, requiring relevant knowledge and skills and a creative approach.
Considering the history of the development of this direction, one can notice that, especially often, the masterpieces of visual identification appeared due to a random combination of circumstances. But this game of chance today can be used for good by studying all the previous reasons for the appearance of such successful logos and applying these lessons in the creative and professional approach to new designs. This confirms the list of the most recognizable brands today – the owners of unique and especially attractive logos.
The logo of the world famous manufacturer of sports shoes – Adidas, was coined by Edie Dassler – the company’s CEO, in 1967. But for the first time, the stripes were used back in 1947, causing a dispute with the Finnish Karhu Sports. The problem was solved for 1600 euros and two bottles of whisky. In 1971, a shamrock was added to the logo, and in 1991, the stripes became slanted, forming the image of a mountain peak. The modern version – a circle intersected by curved three stripes – appeared in the early 2000s. The stripes reflected the design features of the boot, providing durability to the shoe. The shamrock symbolized the diversity and international focus of the brand, with each of the leaves symbolizing the part in which the company sold products – North America, Europe, and Asia.
One of the most recognizable logos globally is the emblem of the American manufacturer of personal and tablet computers, software with a graphical interface, smartphones, and audio players – Apple Corporation. Founded in 1976 by Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Jobs, it immediately presented itself with an original logo made in a minimalist style, striking everyone with its conciseness. The emblem’s success was so overwhelming that this bitten, striped apple with twig and leaf has remained virtually unchanged as the brand’s emblem to this day. Recently, the logo was only brought into line with the requirements of modern times and went through digital processing, gaining clarity of lines, the saturation of its black paint, which filled all its space instead of stripes.
Today, it isn’t easy to find a person who would not know what the emblem of the world’s leading automaker, the German brand BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), looks like. Founded in 1916 by Karl Friedrich Rapp and Gustav Otto in Munich, today, it leads the list of the largest auto companies in the world. Its logo is directly related to the company’s history, which started as an aircraft engine manufacturer. The round emblem has a small round sector as the central element of its composition, divided into four identical segments, made in white and blue colors in a diagonal design. The colors correspond to the flag of Bavaria, where the history of the company began, which became a tribute to the memory of its history. But their placement is done in reverse order. It is believed that the composition resembles a rotating propeller, which also links the brand with its historical past, highlighting the roots and experience. The larger circle of the logo contains the text abbreviation of the name. The latest update is distinguished by the minimalism of execution and the transparency of the internal space of a large sector, which symbolizes the mobility of the future.
Coca Cola (1886)
The proposal of Frank Robinson, a friend of the founder of the American giant food corporation Coca-Cola, to create a brand name and logo turned out to be the most successful and viable. Time has shown the correctness of the statement that the two letters C in his performance will perfectly attract attention. For 130 years, the emblem has remained virtually unchanged. Spencerian curly font, popular in the late 19th and early 20th century in American business correspondence, the quaint lower tail of the first C, the upper curl of the second – all these are the elements that ensured the consistency of brand recognition. Since 1958, the letters have been made in white on a bright red background. And the lower white wave adopted in 1969 will return and acquire its initial form in 2007.
The popularity of another American multinational corporation – Google, is not even worth talking about. Company founded in 1998, it and its logo are now known to every kid who has just learned to find cartoons on the Internet. The attractiveness and originality of this brand were laid down already during the formation of the name – Google, which means one with a hundred zeros. But the accidentally lost “O” was never returned, providing the name with the original sound. The first logo was created by one of the founders – Sergey Brin. Its modern interpretation is a colorful, multi-colored version of the traditional text module – the name of the brand, in which the letters are made in bright corporate colors – blue, red, green, and yellow in the power of the visualization of the current brand owner – Alphabet Inc. since 2015. The text is in Product Sans.
The largest restaurant chain globally, McDonald’s was founded in 1940 by Dick and Mac McDonald in Oak Brook, Illinois, US. Today, probably, there is not a single person in the world who has not tried the products of this brand at least once. Its logo is known worldwide, even though there are no restaurants in this chain yet. The brand’s emblem is a stylized letter M, made in gold. This execution gave its name to the logo – Golden arches. To create a clear display and ensure contrast, each sign element was highlighted with a rich, bright red border. This combination of colors contributes to the formation of increased appetite. Beneath the badge is the full company name in bright red in a round, thick sans-serif typeface.
Mercedes Benz (1909)
In 1926, Carl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, and Wilhelm Maybach founded the German automobile company Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, which would become one of the leading manufacturers of high-tech modern cars. Her emblem will be known to everyone. The company was formed due to the merger of Benz & Cie and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. The first emblem to feature a star was a drawing by Gottlieb Daimler in 1909. After the update in 2011, the logo gained volume, and the color became steel gray with shadows imitating the sheen of metal. The badge is a circle symbolizing the steering wheel, placed on a traditional three-pointed star. Below the emblem is the full name of the brand, made in a beautiful font like Serif, slightly compressed in its width. Thin classical letters provide a high definition of the display and ease of reading at typographic or digital execution.
In 1964, the Blue Ribbon Sports company was registered, which in 14 years will change its name to the world-famous sportswear brand, Nike. Today it is the most expensive sports brand that needs no further introduction, whose emblem is not just a reflection of quality. The company logo has become an element of style and a confirmation of the high status of the owners of such clothes. The most famous emblem was developed by a young designer Carolina Davidson, who received $37 for her work. The inspiration for creating the Jeff Johnson emblem was the image of the goddess Nike. But the “tick” known to everyone was not the only project. Her appearance resulted from the designer’s dissatisfaction with his options for the brand, irritably crossing them out. This black stroke became famous and one of the most recognizable logos today.
“Bird’s foot,” “cross of peace” or Pacific, created in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, has become a worldwide emblem of peace, disarmament, and the anti-war movement, including the popular hippie movement in America in the 60s. Designed for the movement for nuclear disarmament in Britain in 1958, the logo has become an international emblem. It represents the contour of a circle, inside which there are short lines, by their arrangement, reminiscent of the trace of a pigeon’s foot – a bird that symbolizes peace. The logo’s color is black, which ensures the convenience of its execution and placement on any surface, ensuring readability, including in typographic and digital versions.
The founder of another recognizable American brand – the erotic magazine Playboy in 1953 was editor Hugh Hefner. The world-famous rabbit emblem appeared in the same year, designed by designer and artist Arthur Pohl. The monophonic silhouette of the head of a long-eared black character with an imposing butterfly has gained the widest popularity. The choice in favor of the rabbit personified the playfulness and impudence characteristic of the magazine, to which the bow tie added sophistication. At the same time, this animal is distinguished by sexual activity and vitality, which perfectly illustrates the magazine’s features. Butterfly spoke of the presence of intelligence.