There are many logos and symbols that we see everyday. Most of which we can probably recognize, even if we cannot see the company or brand name of a product. Logos are important in advertising because it is a way for consumers to identify an organization or entity.
Logos have to be eye-catching, and it should be simple enough to remember but still look original. It has to use certain colors—colors that are appropriate for a particular brand or company, such as green for health food, and blue for diet food—and it should use either an ideogram or a typeface. There are other elements to consider when thinking of a logo design, such as shape and size.
To give you an idea how logos are designed, here is a list of the most recognized logos of the world, in no particular order.
According to Millward Brown Group, Google is the most powerful brand in the world. It might seem like Google won’t be familiar to people who don’t use the internet, but since many people are starting to go online, Google has become one of the most recognized logos in the world. Their simple, multicolored logo is displayed in their search page so that everyone who uses their search engine can easily remember their logo.
McDonald’s has a very recognizable logo, with a bright yellow M and a red background. It’s the biggest fast food chain, popular not just in the US, but in the whole world, so it’s no wonder that many people of all ages are familiar with McDonald’s. McDonald’s has done an amazing job of branding towards children as well. Whenever a child sees the big golden “M” arches, they immediately think of Happy Meals and toys… begging the parents to make a quick stop.
Many internet users can easily identify eBay’s logo. eBay is the most well-known and most visited auction site online, and it’s next to Google among the list of popular logos used online. eBay has localized sites in 30 countries. Even though not all people who go online have transactions in eBay, they should be familiar with the logo since it appears in banner ads on its affiliate sites.
With stores in 49 countries, Starbucks is one of the most easily identified coffee chains in the world. Its trademark logo shows an image of a long-haired siren inside a green circle with the words Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks also likes to change up their logo every once in a while, and whenever they do, it causes a stir of controversy among their loyal fans and die hard customers.
Coca-Cola has superb marketing, and their trademark red logo with white Spencerian script has been around for years. But the logo is not the only one that’s memorable for consumers; almost everyone from the age of three can recognize a Coca-Cola contour bottle. There may be other carbonated soft drinks that are currently known in the market, but no other brand can beat Coca-Cola and their excellent marketing.
FedEx or Federal Express is a logistic services company that was only started in 1998. It is easily recognized by its short name “FedEx”, and its purple logo. Naming the company FedEx was a brilliant move, since its original name Federal Express was too long to be painted on airplanes and trucks. By painting their airplanes and trucks with a shorter name the company saved money, and they also made it easier for people to remember. Did you notice there is an arrow in between the letters “E” and “X” which represents an arrow for fast service and always moving?
Originally Apple Computer Inc., Apple manufactures consumer electronics and software products. With its best-selling products such as Mac, iPod, and iPhone, it was named as the most admired company in the world by Fortune magazine in 2009. Apple uses a very original logo, that of a silver apple with a bite. With the recent sales from Apple’s iPhone and iPad and the huge increase in Apple’s stock, they are now one of the largest companies in the world.
Many athletes and celebrities wear Nike products, so the Nike logo is well-known among the public. The Nike logo is a perfect example of a simple but unique logo—it’s just a black swoosh. All Nike products have this logo, so it’s bound to be recognized by a lot of people. Would the Nike brand be what is it today if they never signed Michael Jordan?
The Mercedes Benz has been used by German automobile company DMG since 1909. The logo was originally just the image of a three-pointed star, but when DMG merged with Benz & Cie., a laurel wreath was added to the logo. In later years the laurel wreath was simplified as a circle, and this became the widely recognized logo of Mercedes Benz.
Royal Dutch Shell, the Dutch-British multinational petroleum company, uses a very straightforward logo, a yellow clam shell with red outlines. Shell operates in more than 140 countries, so it’s only natural that many people can recognize the Shell logo.
I love writing about logos and doing research on how companies have changed their brands over the years. If you also find this interesting, please check out my previous articles on logos, which are The Art of Company Logos and Branding, and Top Company Logo Redesigns of 2009.