Anyone who has ever tried to achieve a catchy, memorable logo knows that this is no easy task. Although many of the most iconic company logos and ad campaigns seem simple and intuitive, there is a great deal of genius involved in the best ones. It is quite difficult to take your entire business philosophy, public image, product, or service, and sum that up with an image and words. The history of advertising is rich with bold campaigns and game-changing designs. High points in ad design, like the fifties and sixties in the United States forever changed the way we view products around the world. We examine five of the best company logos and their impressive designs below.
With iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks all around us, it is hard to escape the simple beauty and effectiveness of the Apple logo. This logo was designed by Rob Janoff in the 1970s, and it is still used today. The image was inspired by Steve Jobs’ fruitarian diet and a day of apple picking. The logo illustrates the need for simplicity in design, since Job’s vision began as a complicated scene involving Sir Isaac Newton. The original logo had a rainbow of colors to evoke an image of humanity and advanced color technology. Today, it is sleeker and monochromatic to reflect the cutting-edge product lines of this industry giant.
The Google logo and the Apple logo, with their no-frills, iconic take on design have created a whole new era of advertising. Ruth Kedar designed this epic logo, based loosely on an original by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. This logo utilizes a mix of red, blue, yellow, and green lettering on a bare white background. The brave simplicity of Google’s logo on a huge blank space is one of the most-emulated aspects of this example. Google’s brand became so well-recognized that the company began using Google Doodles to celebrate important events, anniversaries, or historical figures.
This communications giant is also known for a simple, easily recognizable logo. Compared to many large trucks rolling down the highway, FedEx trucks are always easy to spot because of their plain white backgrounds with red and blue letters. The color palette of the FedEx logo is the same as that of the American flag, giving this postal service competitor a look of patriotism and authority. The most genius part of the FedEx logo is one that many people have never even noticed. Look closely at the “E” and the “X,” and a horizontal arrow emerges from the negative space. This symbol implies the speed and forward-thinking direction of the company.
This list would be sadly incomplete if it did not mention Coca-Cola. Often cited as the most successful and well-recognized logo in the history of advertising, the Coke logo’s famous script letters go all the way back to 1915. Try to name any other popular, sexy item that sports a logo almost one hundred years old. Again, a study in simplicity, Coke’s red and white scheme can be found almost anywhere on earth.
The “swoosh” has become such a symbol of the Nike brand that the company does not even need to include its name in a prominent location on its products. The symbol, which can be seen on the uniforms and shoes of many pro athletes and on vinyl banner printing at many major sporting events, says it all. The “swoosh” was actually designed by a college student, Carolyn Davidson, in 1971–for a grand total of thirty-five dollars. Davidson was later compensated with Nike stock for creating this logo that has come to define the brand.