Some of the best businesses in the world have cracked the mystery of what makes a memorable logo and created some of the most iconic brand symbols that span generations and cultures. Whether using the logo to simply market the product to expand the brand, these 5 logos are the most innovative and influential.
Carolyn Davis, while still in design school, was paid a whopping $35 dollars to create a logo for Nike that would compete with Adidas. Her goal was to come up with something that would appear simplistic while conveying motion and still look cool on the side of a shoe. The Nike Swoosh was born. Given the success of her design, Nike later compensated Davis properly with a diamond ring and company stock. Today, Davis’ famous swoosh can be see not just on shoes, but on t-shirts around the world, showing that an innovative logo can not only sell product, but spark a pop culture movement.
The Coca-Cola logo transcended marketing and became a lifestyle for its fans. True Coke enthusiasts don’t just enjoy the carbonated drink, they have Coca-Cola bar stools, wall hangings, coolers and t-shirts. Coca-Cola merchandise can be found in most major department stores not to mention in almost every home. Frank M. Robinson, the co-founder and bookkeeper for Coca-Cola, was convinced that the combination of the two c’s along with a scrolling Spencerian script would look good on advertising signs. Coca-Cola is now capitalizing on their merchandising gold mine with sustainable fashion, making t-shirts from a combination of recycled plastic bottles and cotton.
If you’re like most people around the world when you see a big golden M you think McDonald’s. Interestingly enough, the golden arches actually started as a structural piece used to support the overhang that kept customers dry when ordering food outside. The company branched out with the McKids brand of children’s clothing in 1987 and has continued to be a commanding force in apparel that has led to a logo driven t-shirt movement. A generation of kids who grew up wearing McDonald’s branded clothing are now inundating t-shirt sellers with orders for shirts sporting the McDonald’s M, the “I’m lovin’ it” slogan, and even t-shirts with the famous red fry container touting the famous M.
The Apple logo is recognized in practically every corner of the world and spans the generational divide. The apple with the now iconic bite made its debut in 1977 when Steve Jobs decided the company needed a logo that conveyed the company’s name and wasn’t “too cute”. The bite came about to give the logo scale and to keep it from looking like a cherry. The Apple logo can now be found on everything from computers and cell phones to watches and clothing. T-shirts incorporating the Apple logo and their line of “i” products are on store shelves everywhere.
In 1999 Ruth Kedar designed the Google logo we all know and use every day. Designed to be playful and seem effortless, the color scheme is intended to bring about childhood memories with the use of primary colors while showing the unpredictability of the company by using a secondary color on the L. The Google logo can now be seen on more than just computer screens. This international logo is on everything from t-shirts to mouse pads.
These logos are so recognizable that countless other companies have not only mimicked their logos and marketing strategies but have turned them into them into clothing and collectors’ items. Combining innovative design, creative marketing and probably a little bit of luck, these logos will go down in history as the most innovative logos ever.
Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in graphic design, marketing, and printing. She currently writes for 777 Sign, her go to place for banner signs, custom flags and custom signs printing.