Best 11 Famous Logos in the World – Why do They Work?

Image by Jeff Thomson

Why is a logo so important to any brand or company? It’s a unique graphic representation that embodies the culture, the ethics and the reputation of that brand.

When people see it, they immediately know who it is and they “rewind” the impression about the brand within their heads. A logo is essential for rock-solid brand identity and designers and marketers are constantly looking for new tools for logo creation.

There are many ways to make a successful logo, but the best way to do it is to look up to the most famous logos in the world and why they’re effective. With these 11 legendary logos, you will understand what logo psychology really is.

1. Starbucks

Starbucks - Famous Logos in the World

When you’re looking at legendary service providers in the drink industry, there is no logo more impeccable than that of Starbucks. It works because of three key elements – the lack of sharp edges, the feminine figure of the siren and the color green.

A lack of sharp edges induced calmness and alleviates pressure. Using the siren, Starbucks made the logo seem more graceful and “approachable. The color green has always been associated with nature and it’s more important than ever due to environmental awareness being at an all-time high. The logo is timeless, has three different elements and isn’t just the result of a passing trend.

2. McDonald’s

Mc Donalds - Famous Logos in the World

By looking at the color yellow, people usually think of urgency, speed and activity. However, McDonald’s made a genius move by “tilting” the yellow in their logo to resemble gold. Gold, as we all know symbolizes luxury and reputability. This indicates that a brand is able and willing to provide premium service to its customers.

Moreover, we see the benefit of smooth, curved lines. The logo is based on their early architecture and was made to fit the exterior of their early restaurants. As McDonald’s became more popular, the logo became synonymous with premium quick service in the world of fast food.

3. Apple

Apple - Famous Logos in the World

Apple’s logo has always been a staple of premium design and graphical ingenuity. It works because it doesn’t try to do anything overambitious nor is it made to amaze. The simple combination of and the shape of an apple sends just the right message – reputation. Rob Janoff, the man who designed the logo, said he first wanted the apple to be whole, but he realized it wouldn’t be obvious that it’s an apple.

There have been many conspiracy theories over the years. Perhaps the most famous one is that the logo is a homage to legendary scientist Alan Turing, who killed himself by eating a poisoned apple. Other speculations, all untrue indicated that the logo might be because of Isaac Newton or Even biting into the forbidden fruit.

4. FedEx

FedEx - Famous Logos in the World

One golden rule in the world of design is to minimize blanks space. The more “crammed” the logo is, the easier it is to remember it and to view all its distinct features. FedEx made a logo that is used in graphic design textbooks around the world. Consisting of the words Fed (federal) and Ex (express), it combines contrasting hues of blue and orange.

Even though negative space should be minimized, here it’s used as an arrow, between the letters E and X. It signifies speed and movement, everything FedEx stands for.

5. Mercedes

Mercedes - Famous Logos in the World

Mercedes, or Mercedes-Benz was named after the daughter of Emil Jellinek, a friend of Gottlieb Daimler, one of the founders of the company. On cars and in advertisements, it boasts the color silver with shades around different parts of the logo. Silver is also used to indicate luxury, but it’s less over-the-top than gold.

The main part of the logo consists of three arrows starting from the same point. The meaning behind them is that Mercedes was built to rule over “land, air and water.” Simple, yet effective.

6. Pepsi

Pepsi - Famous Logos in the World

One of the most famous drinks in the world, Pepsi is best known for its iconic logo. Even though it has seen many iterations, the basis was always the colors red, white and blue. Of course, they are the colors of the American flag and instill a feeling of patriotism and national pride. This is because, in the early 20th century, it was important for brands to market themselves as patriotic.

The current iteration features yet another set of curved lines that instill the feelings of elegance and smoothness. These two feelings are essential in making a brand seem premium.

7. Nike

Nike - Famous Logos in the World

Did you know that the Nike logo was designed by Carolyn Davidson, a student of graphic design, for just $35? Nobody expected Phil Knight’s brand to become the most famous sportswear brand of all time, so she wasn’t paid a lot. Over the years, however, she received a number of gifts and stocks as a sign of gratitude.

The logo is based on the state of the Winged Nike of Samothrace, the Ancient Greek goddess of victory. It’s easy to understand and sends a positive message associated with sports – victory, supremacy and competition.

8. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola - Famous Logos in the World

Ah, the brand of all brands, Coca-Cola. They are one of the rare brands that didn’t change their logo that often, with only minor tweaks being included in the overall design. The cursive script is not that common for big brands, but Coca-Cola applied it so that it radiates with happiness, positivity and playfulness.

Another thing most people don’t realize is that a well-designed cursive logo has a feeling of flow within it. Notice how every line leads somewhere and even those who end abruptly – you expect them to do so at one point.

9. Chanel

Chanel - Famous Logos in the World

Coco Chanel forever shaped fashion and was a big fan of symmetry and designs that didn’t seem unorthodox. The logo was created in homage to her initials, all while sending a message of elegance, culture and high fashion.

The symmetric design is a perfect symbol of the heritage of her groundbreaking fashion work and the fight to provide classy clothing to women.

10. Versace

Versace - Famous Logos in the World

Unlike Chanel, Versace wasn’t supposed to be simple or minimalistic. It’s supposed to shock, cause reactions and metaphorically, turn the observers into stone. Their designs are over-the-top and have forever defined high fashion and branding today.

Medusa, the monster from ancient Greek mythology could look at anything and immediately turn it to stone, just like Versace fans are petrified by their unique designs.

11. Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse - Famous Logos in the World

Although a Disney character, Mickey became a brand of his own. His own logo was designed to radiate with happiness and to prove that he is a good and noble character. Circles are smooth, calming and don’t cause any erratic reactions.

Mickey Mouse has always been “a good guy” in Disney Cartoons and movies and this logo helped fans from all around the world relate to him a bit better.

Concluding thoughts

What can we learn from these 11 iconic logos? For starters, it’s essential to mention that they’re all in sync with the culture of their respective brands. Versace is over-the-top and extravagant, so they had to use a logo that’s shocking and memorable. Apple wants to provide a smooth technological experience so their logo is just that – the essential outline of a fruit essential to all of humanity.

To design the best possible logo, you need to take into consideration the culture and the direction of your brand. We hope these 11 legendary logos help you create a story that will resonate with your customers.

About the Author!

Diana Clark has gone a long path from being a recruiter to a successful career coach. She loves guiding people through their business practice and helps all confident women to make the transition from full-time employees to successful entrepreneurs. She also provides writing help at Connect Diana on Linkedin.

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