Designing memorable brand logos is not a straightforward task. The designer needs to understand the product more than logo design techniques. The designer is supposed to symbolize the product and not show-off his designing skills.
Today we look at the famous brand logos that have been successful over the period of time and try to scrutinize their success secrets.
I’m trying to learn effective brand logo designing myself, so I thought why not learn together? Let’s begin!
Method in the Madness
In recent times, Paul Rand is probably the best logo designer to have emerged on the scene. Here are some of his logos.
If you notice, Paul Rand always tried to design with a concept and theme instead of ‘design for the sake of design’. In his own words:
A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important than what it looks like.
Mr. Rand basically decoded the formula creating logos. Today’s most recognizable logos have a hidden meaning. They always have a hidden meaning. Here are some examples.
In the famous apple logo, there’s one bite taken off from the fruit. Can you guess who took that bite? Yes, you are right. This refers to the biblical story of Adam and Eve and the “Tree of knowledge”.
Ever wondered why BMW uses such a unique logo? Well, this logo does not depict automobile! BMW used to manufacture engines for German military in WW-II and the logo actually shows a plane propeller in motion. Blue color represents the sky.
Such a simple logo it is, but the arrow points from a-to-z. This represents the wide range of products available at Amazon.com. Apart from that, the arrow also adds a smile-like effect 🙂
The three-cornered star of Mercedes represents land, sky and sea; meaning that Mercedes motors dominate over all of these elements.
This logo is designed by Paul Rand. He believed that the strait white lines create an ‘equal’ sign all around the typographic logo. The message encapsulated in the logo is “equality”.
FedEx’s logo seems very straightforward but if you look closely, you’ll find that there’s an arrow hidden in the lower part where E meets X. The arrow is pointing towards right that gives the illusion of movement and speed.
FedEx designer pulled off a near-miracle when they went into Arabic, Persian and Urdu world. All these languages are written right-to-left and mostly they have the same ligature. If you know any of the language, you’d realize how difficult it was to fit that arrow in this language again, but the designer did it beautifully.
Famous Brand Logos and their Timeline
Complex Magazine recently published a list of iconic logos. Here I’m sharing top ten of those iconic brand logos.
The Apple logo, the might among brand logos was designed by none other than Steve Jobs and his colleagues. This glossy Apple is the dream device of every geek. Probably this is the best example of creative logo design.
AT&T started as Bell Telephone Company in 1877. You can see the shifting of time in their logos. The change of trends, from compressed black and white to simple and colorful.
We learn that characters are much better than typography. Text is only good if you are working in a limited market. When you go global, you better create a symbolic language. Today, with this new logo intact, three barbie dolls are sold every second.
Do you know the full form of BMW? Well, here it goes: Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH (Bavarian Motor Works).
Canon has one of the oldest logos in the IT market. The name Kannon is actually the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The original name was Kwannon but after suffering from the nukes, when this Japanese tech house re-established themselves, they renamed it to Canon. Since then, we are seeing this logo. Usually brand logos don’t last 60 years, especially in the tech industry but this one has.
You can see the trend that simplicity is winning these days. The more simple your logo is, the more memorable it becomes.
IBM started as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company but later it was renamed to International Business Machines. The first logos contain the letters CTR and from 1924 onwards, IBM.
In 1967, Master Card was called Master Charge… but the audience did not really embraced the word “charge” so they reverted back to Master Card.
The iconic three-cornered star wasn’t included in the logo until 14 years after the company’s foundation.
The WB shield has been a part of the logo since the very beginning. There aren’t many examples of brand logos where the main design was a part of the very first logo.
So, what I have learned from this post is that these days, I need to focus more on simplicity than design. I don’t have to make the design look good but rather make the product look good through the logo.
I have learned that simplicity is winning compression and complexity. Brand logos don’t like either of the latter.I have learned that if I want to go into global market, I better not use the text but rather a symbol or character.
This was what I have learned from researching and writing this article about brand logo designing. What have you learned? Do share your opinion with me in the comments.