The Art of Company Logos and Branding

Written by Zac Johnson
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There’s no doubt about it… the importance of your logo is extremely crucial to your company’s branding and success. Just having a great logo alone won’t determine your future, but branding that company image into the minds of your customers is all part of the game.

When Logo Design Goes Bad
The logo P&G (Proctor & Gamble) used when it first launched in 1851 pictured a man in the moon with 13 stars, representing the original American colonies. The logo later was criticized for having stars connected to form “666” and also that the curls on the man’s beard represented devilish sixes. P&G would later remove the bearded curls in 1991, then get rid of the logo all together two years later. To me, the old logo says nothing about the company, and the amazingly simple “P&G” is recognized by all as Proctor & Gamble. (source)

Serving Up New Logos Daily
Starbucks is one of the most well known and addictive brands in the world. Though everyone recognizes the name, Starbucks has had their fair share of logo design changes. Even when you look at the Starbucks logo… you still are confused what the heck you are looking at! In short, it’s actually a “twin-tailed siren”. Check out “How the Starbucks Siren Became Less Naughty” for a nice article on the evolution of the Starbucks logo over the past years.

If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It!
Pepsi is among the handful of most recognized world wide brands. So why mess around with something that has worked so well your company. Apparently Pepsi wants to go through the “new image” process, and along with a new image… comes new logo modifications. Below we have a chart of Pepsi’s previous designs, then all of their new designs below it. The new Pepsi logo varies depending on what product it’s place on (regular, diet, max). What do you think of the new logo? It’s supposed to represent a smile… but has been their most criticized logo yet. Even being compared to the Obama campaign logo.”Pepsi has a New Logo” has an in depth article on the new and past logo designs of Pepsi.

Striking Gold, with Your New Logo
Advertising is all about branding and sales. Having a cult following is just a mega plus! I doubt anyone would be placing stickers and decals on their computers and cars, if Apple was still using their logo from 1976. This design belongs at a renaissance fair or on a classic book cover. Apple also saw the light and changed over to the rainbow colored “Apple” logo in 1976. After years of seeing the rainbow Apple, the smooth and sexy chrome logo was designed, and also available in every color on earth! This logo is so good, they don’t even need to put their name on it, you just know what it is!

What are your thoughts on these design changes, Good or Bad? Leave your feedback about these logos, and any other company logo changes over the years.

To learn more about logos, their designs and hidden meanings, be sure to check out this article from DesignHill.

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38 Replies to “The Art of Company Logos and Branding”

  1. I find myself doing google image searched for company logos just to see how they have changed over the years, its funny how “decade” specific styles influence trends.

  2. Image building via a logo is very important. You have to remember that the logo is at the front of your marketing campaign so it is important to have an up to date look and feel. Great write up!

  3. The 1950s Pepsi logo is the best I think. The new ones are boring and strangely familiar.
    Apple only changed the color at least and I think that was a good thing.

  4. Yeah I like outsourcing my logos because I am not the design guru. I have found that it makes a world of difference when you have a nice logo to run with your blogs.

  5. The apple logo is an iconic symbol that is worth a tremendous amount in brand identity and aspirational appeal. It has evolved over the years, but never dramatically enough to lose its identity. It is a brilliant example of timeless design.

  6. Logos have a kind of triple meaning besides being art. They're symbolic and they are ads.

  7. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-110160" rel="nofollow">@Andreas Nurbo: I like the retro look and feel of the 1950s logo as well. I'm not a fan of companies that continually change "great" looking logos.

  8. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-110164" rel="nofollow">@GoldMineBlogging: We all can only be so talented and creative. I love running contests on 99designs or other design sites to see all the different perspectives and ideas designers come up with.

  9. I just saw an article about logos recently and was thinking how great the current Apple logo is compared to the past. It's important to change with the times. Even if your brand is recognizable- can you imagine the original Apple logo working today?

  10. Logos should change as the company would evolve with time to represent the changes in the company goals and objectives.

  11. I love the showcase of logo evolution. It shows the growing and ever evolving choices and tastes of people when it comes to branding and reputation building. 🙂

  12. What in the world was Apple thinking with that first logo? Their second logo reminds me of being a little kid. They really have come a long way since then. I would have loved long car trips with an ipod touch and mifi hotspot…

  13. Actually the logo of a company is much the logo can attract or exclude customers, Starbucks is an example of the evolution of logos.

  14. Zac this is great article, I love seeing all the older logos. I am currently developing different logos for my sites so this is kind of "right up my alley" Thanks.

    – Robert

  15. And am I the only one who thinks the new Pepsi looks good? Why all the hate? The 1998 one is better though.

  16. It's always fun looking back at Companies and their respective logos to what they were in the past, and to what they are now. I actually like all the new designs of the Logos you posted. Especially the new Mac design, much better than the colorful Apple Design.

    Till then,


  17. Wow this is just such a cool post… Thanks a lot i was just thinking about fixing my logo and the post has a great overview of logo making strategies… Anyways i think Apple has the best designers on here… And wonderful insights and observations 🙂

  18. in my opinion the logo of each company is in a way part of the advertising projects, so when some logos are wrong created can attract bad publicity to whatever company dosent count what it does or how good it does it.

  19. I agree with you, the design of company logo is importance. It show the spirit, culture and about the company.

  20. I don't like the new Pepsi logo, they changed their logo why too many times. Also the new apple logo isnt as good as the one from 76-98. The new one looks too new.

  21. Logos always describe the introductory things about the company, it gives the measurement of what the company really is. The designs are really good to see here for different logos.

  22. if it's not broken , fix it anyway 🙂 was one of my college teacher's favorite saying

  23. That is hell of a logo, these logo suggest that Pepsi really needs to redesign their logo

  24. Evolution is important but I think sticking with your brand is vital. Too much change, too often gets confusing to the end user.

  25. While changing a logo can perhaps bring a fresh face to a product, it doesn't always give customers that are really pissed with the old one a new outlook on it…

  26. The more important than the logo, is the brand, which the logo represents. As you showed us, the logo can be changed many times over time, like most of them do, but the key to the success of the business is how the brand image will develop.

    Apple, for instance, has bigger brand than what the company is. This forecasts that the company has chances to grow in the future.

    Juhani Tontti

    A man from Internet Business Ideas – site.

  27. Really nice post. I am searching now for a logo for my business website over 2 years and I am not satisfied with it. These logos are great revolution

  28. Pepsi logo revisions are fantastic, as compared to their logo in 1973 and 1998 onwards, the current logo tells us the cool taste of pepsi. This logo really attracts their customers.

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