Logos are an important aspect to building brand awareness and loyalty. Companies like Louis Vuitton plaster their iconic pattern all over their wallets, handbags, and other leather goods. Meanwhile, counterfeiters try to get in on the action by putting together their own shoddy merchandise, making sure to include the famous LV in order to capitalize on its popularity. Logos define brands and are sometimes even used by individuals to define themselves.
Like it or not, corporate and organizational logos are ingrained in our memory. Here’s our pick for the 10 most iconic logos in the world.
The Golden Arches were designed by architect Stanley Meston in 1952, but it wasn’t until Ray Kroc bought the business in 1961 that the stylized M was incorporated into the logo.
Coca-Cola was created in 1886 by American pharmacist and morphine addict John Pemberton, who was searching for an opium-free alternative to the painkiller. The logo has seen only minor changes over time and today looks almost identical to its nearly 130-year old iteration.
Graphic designer Carolyn Davidson came up with the legendary “Swoosh” checkmark in 1971 for Nike founder Phil Knight. She billed Knight $35 for her work. Several years later, Knight presented Davidson with an undisclosed amount of Nike stock as well as a diamond ring engraved with the Swoosh – a more fitting compensation given the iconic status of the design.
Today, Walt Disney’s name, written in a unique and embellishing font, is synonymous with fun, happiness, and family.
Few can make simplicity as beautiful as Apple. In 1981, when Steve Jobs was asked about the apple being core to the company’s brand, Jobs responded: “I like apples and love to eat them. But the main idea behind the apple was to bring simplicity to the people, in the most sophisticated way and that was it, nothing else.”
The 102-year-old technology company has used the same logo since 1972. American graphic designer Paul Rand, the mastermind behind the logo, was forced to craft a design free from large solid areas due to the technical limitations of 1970s’ printers and opted for the “8-bar” design as a result.
In 2013, the annual number of Google searches was a staggering 2,161,530,000,000. That’s nearly 6 billion searches per day. Google’s colorful logo reaches exposure levels like no other making it a staple in our day-to-day lives.
An homage to the company’s Seattle seaside roots, Starbucks has used a twin-tailed mermaid – or siren – to represent its brand since the 1970s.
9. The Olympics
The Olympic icon of the five interwoven rings that symbolize humanity, continuity, and unity, was designed in 1912 Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee. At the time, the six colors depicted in the logo – blue, yellow, black, green, red, and the white background – represented all the colors of the flags of all nations competing in the Games.
Though significantly younger than the others on our list, the matte blue square and off-center rounded F can be seen on the phones, tablets, and PCs of over one billion people around the world. It’s so rare that a logo can become widely ingrained in our society in only a few short years and that’s why the Facebook F is rounding off our top ten list.