Most Recognized Logos of the World

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  • Published on : Feb 9 2011

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.

Google

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

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.

eBay

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.

Starbucks

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

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

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?

Apple Inc.

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.

Nike

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?

Mercedes Benz

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.

Shell

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.

Zac Johnson
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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  • http://dukeo.com Dukeo

    That's interesting to see that a lot of these logos actually include the company name…
    My recent post Monetizing my blog with Google Adsense

    • http://www.dotcomreport.com dotCOMreport

      And those that do not include the company's name, like Shell have logos that are pretty easy to remember. Simplicity seems to be the word here.
      My recent post Zuckerberg Faces Scraped by Lovely Faces

  • http://www.dinovedo.com Dino Vedo

    You forgot my logo for that list Zac… tsk tsk tsk!
    My recent post Adwords Account Suspended Due To My Blog

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Maybe it will make the list next time.

  • http://twitter.com/Garin @Garin

    First things first, the new site design looks awesome! Nice work.

    A good logo is an ad in itself! Gotta love the arrow in the Fedex logo, and Mercedes is classic as well.

    Just because a brand is huge does not mean they can't evolve. Starbucks is switching their logo up this year and dropping the green "Starbucks Coffee" ring from the outside of their logo.

    Google mixes their logo up on a regular basis, and I give them props for the extent that they are willing to switch it up.

    It will be interesting to see how these brands re-invent themselves into 2011 and beyond.

    Cheers,

    Garin
    My recent post 50 Ways to Get More People to Like your Facebook Page

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Thanks, I love the new design too. The whole Google mixing up their logo has become a theme and following of it's own. Very smart and creative of them.
      My recent post Most Recognized Logos of the World

  • http://impulsemagazine.net Impulse Magazine

    I would throw Microsoft into this category as well.
    My recent post How to Outsource – Freeing Up More Time for You

  • http://twitter.com/yurself @yurself

    Shell Oil and McDonald's both use the yellow and red, several others use some combination with red. Something about those color combo's which attract people. Having spent a long time on the highway, it always fascinates me that I have learned to associate certain shades of color with the different trucking lines. I can see a color in a glance and by now know instantly which line it belongs to. As to personal logo's, the social networks have made it almost imperative that our mug's are spread across the internet in the form of an avatar, gravatar or which ever, people with large followings and multiple social accounts are advertising their faces!
    Michael Brown
    My recent post Develop An Affiliate Marketing Strategy For Your Content

  • http://siteaim.com Austin

    It might be Apple today, but about 5 years ago I know that Nike had the largest brand equity in the world. At that time I believe their brand alone (just the image and words) were worth something like $80 Billion. Coke's presence in third world markets will make it hard to rival, but I would bet that Apple is catching up.
    My recent post Lead Generation Done Right

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Apple can thank their stock price rocketing to $350+ per share for their massive increase in world power and value.
      My recent post Most Recognized Logos of the World

  • http://www.searchmonkey.org Internet Marketing

    Great post, I have always heard and assumed that coke had the largest brand equity in the world, but maybe things have changed.
    My recent post Diversified Link Building Strategy

  • http://www.profitblog.com Ben

    Yeah, it's insane how well recognized logos can be. It just goes to show how important branding can be for your business.
    My recent post Setting Up Your RSS Feed

  • benjaminbellville

    Zac I've got to go with the Apple logo as my all time favorite. Something about that little bite missing that just makes it what it is. Having a logo for brand recognition is an often overlooked tool by small business and online marketers alike. Great post man!
    My recent post Comment by

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com Andrew@BloggingGuide

    Logos are important especially on the advertising aspect and to make sure hat people have something to associate your brand name with. That way it is easier for your brand to stick to people's minds and this should be the same to us bloggers. We should also have a logo of our own that our readers can associate us with.
    My recent post You Are Losing Customers If You Don’t Do This

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      It's a lot easier to remember a logo and name, then just a general domain name. Branding them together is a great mix.
      My recent post Most Recognized Logos of the World

  • http://www.premieretreeservices.com/ TreeLover

    It is important to know that logo is an important tool in marketing your business. Just look at the list that you guys have. I doubt if there is one here who wouldn't know those logos. I have seen the new logo that Starbucks is planning to launch. It gives emphasis on the girl and the name was not included anymore. Let's see if it will be as popular as the one there.

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      I'm not too thrilled about the new Starbucks logo, I liked the old one. Maybe they are just trying to stir up some controversy in the process.
      My recent post Most Recognized Logos of the World

      • http://www.premieretreeservices.com/ TreeLover

        I agree with you. I think the old logo is better. Their logo is already popular, why is there a need to change it? Controversy? Yeah, maybe.

  • Will

    "here is a list of the most recognized logos of the world" – according to who? Is this research? It feels more like someone's finger in the air?

  • http://twitter.com/Authopublisher @Authopublisher

    You forgot the Zak Johnson king logo with cash in his hand.

    I need a logo done. Can you suggest someone?
    My recent post X Men- First Class Screenwriting Screenplay Writing Tips

  • http://www.hostgator-info.com russ

    These logos have high visibility and are great brands, but when you look at the logos in detail, there is nothing really special or advanced about any of them.

    • http://www.premieretreeservices.com/ TreeLover

      Yes that's true there is nothing extra ordinary in these logos but the money that they are getting are huge. Visibility plus advertising made these logos reach the position that they have now in terms if profit. I'm sure you know them all. :)

  • http://mytimemattersblog.com Vitaly Tennant

    I love posts like these… this totally makes sense.
    My recent post One Liners – O

  • http://www.internetincomecode.com George Tee

    The Coca-cola logo is an example of a good effective brand because the logo has been using all these years though there are some minor changes, people didn't even notice them. Making a logo for a certain company is an important key in branding the products. Successful logos are unique, timeless, simple yet catchy. When someone see the logo, one can easily identified their products or services.

  • http://www.fitnessandfreebies.com/blog/ fitnfree

    Very interesting – now I see logos in a whole different light! Thanks!
    My recent post Racy Rubs

  • http://aliensmoney.com qasim

    Hi,

    Seeing those companies of the most recognized logos of the World is not a wired thing specially when we now that some of the mentioned brands are in the top 10 of the highest price brands like Google, Apple, etc..
    My recent post <a href="http://www.aliensmoney.com/Best+Ways+To+Make+Money+With+Your+Blog">5 Best Ways To Make Money With Your Blog in 2013