When done right, logos become one of the most influential parts of brand marketing and awareness. They become so intertwined with the brand identity that the logo is enough for the brand presence.
Creating influential, memorable, symbolic, creative, yet simple logos is a tough job. Achieving all these elements in one logo along with a strong brand identity is what makes a logo immortal.
When you think of the best logos of all time, you think of Google, Apple, Nike, and so on. And rightly so, because these trademarks have successfully used their identity- and name, with their logo in the most efficient manner. We are conditioned enough to recognize them even at our periphery.
So what makes a logo so important?
Logos, when the trademarks or the brand takes off in the market, can become the very brand itself. But creating an evergreen logo requires a harmony of colors, lines, fonts, creativity, and simplicity.
You don't want to be designing an overly complicated logo that takes minutes to decipher. You want a log that is visually appealing, creative, but very simple. Simple enough to remember and simple enough to transition and load on your devices, billboards, and covers.
Take a look at the list of the best logos of all time, and you will realize how all the elements combine to create iconic brand identities.
The National Geographic
It is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. You probably grew up seeing it all around you and instantly recognizing it as National Geographic. You only need to see the thick, yellow outline of the magazine to know what brand it is referring to.
The sans serif font beside the yellow outline is as much part of the logo as the borders themselves.
The logo was created after extensive research and brainstorming. It was inspired by the National Geographic magazine issues and combined the original identity seamlessly into its trademark symbol. This simple design made it easier for the national geographic society to use it for their other ventures as well.
Talking about iconic logos and brand symbols, one can never exclude Apple. It is one of the most successful logos in the world. There hardly can be anyone who would not recognize it. When Steve Jobs was laying the foundation of Apple, he could never have envisioned the level of relevance it has now.
It was created by designer Rob Janoff, who said that he was simply told that the brand name would be Apple. He then created the apple symbol with a bite out of it. That is said to give the logo some precision and balance. It also saved the logo from looking like a cherry when it was reduced to a smaller size.
The sleek titanium finish on the apple makes it one of the most liked, recognized, and successful logos of all time.
The iconic Nike swoosh is easily recognizable even without the name of the company. The simple check like logo represents a plethora of meaning.
If you take a closer look, it looks like a sleek running track, which goes well with the brand's purpose. It also complements their “Just Do It” slogan.
You can do it. That is what Nike wants to convey.
Companies use a lot of tactics and techniques when they brand their logos. They use psychological tactics to make it attention-grabbing and easily recognizable. Bright colors like red and yellow are perfect for grabbing attention anywhere.
From years of recognition, the yellow arches of the M are now synonymous with a happy meal that fills you with the greasy satisfaction only Macdonald’s can provide.
With Jeff Bezos as the richest man on earth and his trademark sailing new heights, Amazon has become a giant corporation. It has finally incorporated itself into our lives, and who doesn't feel excited when they come home to one of these amazon packages.
The logo of Amazon is simple yet creative. The smiley that stretches from the “A” of Amazon tight “Z” if the word is an innovative and smart move. This tells you that all your needs from A to Z will be met by amazon themselves.
Target logo is simplistic and to the point and represents its name very evidently. The red color is a good choice to grab attention. The bull's eye is the perfect representation of the brand, and with Target now international, its presence is sure to only grow.
The circle within a circle is a symbol of universality, endurance, and community. Even though the brand did undergo several phases of rebranding, it seems like the simplistic one is here to stay.
Google is a genius when it comes to giving it's brand an iconic motif. Their name and logo are a result of designed typography, which is very hard to achieve. The colors used by google are all primary colors. They attract your attention and leave you feeling welcomes, friendly, and accepted.
It is unquestionable that google undoubtedly has one of the best, if not the best, logo of all times.
LG uses clever and creative branding techniques to bring their logo and their motto together. Life's Good is represented by the smiley face embedded in the circular logo. The one eye, which also looks like a button, is a very smart representation of their electronic products.
They use bold colors that make u focus your attention on it, but it is pleasing to the eye and domestic to look at.
Toyota Motor Corp has very smartly designed its logo in a way that all the letters of the word Toyota can perfectly fit into the logo.
The simple logo has been designed in a way that is simple and elegant but also a distinctive representation of the Japanese brand. Try tracing each letter of the word TOYOTA, you'll surely be surprised to see them all visible in the logo.
The Olympics logo is universal but insanely simple. A few circles looped together, but they represent a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, people, and places. The 5 interlocked rings are symbolic of the 5 continents of this world. The colors used are bright yellow, red, blue, green, and black. They are distinctive to represent the diversity of the continents.
Safe to say, the Olympics are the most universally inclusive symbol of all time.
How we feel towards a brand can be affected by how we perceive the log. Paul Rand rightly said that a logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes and not vice versa.
Logos should be appropriate, distinctive, memorable, minimalist, and simple. But for iconic logos, simple is very, very hard.