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30 of the Most Recognizable Brand Logos of All Time

Brand logos are the visual identity of your company. Research shows the average person on the average day is exposed to over 5000 brand logos and messages. That's EVERY DAY! To create a memorable logo is the goal of most businesses.

The visual identity of your logo can make or break your brand in the eyes of consumers. Brand logos are often tied directly to the product or service they represent. When you see the “golden arches” your first thought is probably a Big Mac and fries.

When you see Google, you immediately think of search. That's the power of a good logo. It can influence and trigger how you feel about a company and the products or services they provide.

If you're designing a logo for your company, the best way to get ideas and inspiration is to check out iconic brand logos and what they represent. Here are our picks (in no particular order) of the 30 most recognizable brand logos of all time!

1. Nike


Image via WikiCommons

Nike was founded in 1964, but it's iconic “swoosh” logo wasn't introduced until 1971. In 1971 "Blue Ribbon Sports" expanded into producing their own footwear and changed their name to Nike. Designer Carolyn Davidson from the greek goddess of victory, Nike. She created the “swoosh” which implied speed and movement and one of the most iconic brand logos in history was born. By the way, Davidson was paid a total of $35 dollars for her work!

2. Coca Cola


Image via WikiCommons

Founded by John Pemberton in 1886 the Coca Cola logo was created by his bookkeeper. It was a simple logo in the principal typeface of formal handwriting at that time called Spencerian script.

After a brief redesign in 1890, which featured swirls and what may have been cherries hanging from the “C's” the original logo was brought back and has become one of the world's most recognizable brand logos!

3. Google

Google Logo

Image via WikiCommons

Every day millions of people open up their browser and see this logo. As the centerpiece of a website that gets more than 100 billion visits a month, Google is know for being a fun company, and their multicolor logo reflects it!

4. Apple

Apple Logo

Image via WikiCommons

Some say it was inspired by the apple from the biblical story of Adam and Eve, others say it is a homage to Isaac Newton. Rob Janoff the designer tells a much simpler story. The bite was added for “scale” and so the Apple didn't look like a cherry. Either way, it's an iconic brand logo that is instantly recognizable!

5. Microsoft


Image via WikiCommons

The four color Microsoft logo represents four components of the company. The blue square represents Windows, the red represents office. The green represents the fun of Xbox and the yellow represents Surface.

6. Pepsi


Image via WikiCommons

Caleb Bradham founded Pepsi Cola in 1893 and scribbled the design which would become their logo in 1898. The design remained in place until 1962 with only minor changes, until the “cola” was dropped and it just became Pepsi. Between 1971 and 2005 the logo was modernized 5 times each time becoming more defined.

7. eBay


Image via WikiCommons

eBay's recent logo was conceived in 2012 replacing the old logo that was in place when “Auction Web” changed their name to eBay in September in 1997. The new logo uses design elements like zigzag letters (called baseline shift in designer speak) and fun colors to convey energy.

8. FedEx


Image via WikiCommons

FedEx is probably the best example of subliminal advertising among the brand logos here. If you look closely at the white space between the E and the X you can see an arrow. It's a subliminal message conveying speedy service.

9. 3M


Image via WikiCommons

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company's logo is as simple as you can get. Two simple red characters in a sans serif font. While it loks like it took seven seconds to create, it has actually evolved numerous times since 1906, each time becoming simpler and simpler.

10. The Olympics

The Olympics

Recognized around the world since 1912, the five connected rings of the Olympic logo represent the joining of five continents, the Americans, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania, and the colors of the logo represent the flags of all of the participating countries.

11. Disney


Image via WikiCommons

The Disney logo is the actual signature of legendary founder Walt Disney. It's appeared in the opening credits and on Disney memorabilia for literally decades.

12. United Parcel Service


Image via WikiCommons

UPS has been delivering packages for over 100 years. Fifteen million packages are delivered in 220 countries every single day. Since it's founding, UPS has used four logos. Three containing the letters UPS in a shield. The logo was most recently changed in 2003 during their worldwide rebranding initiative.

13. GAP


Image via WikiCommons

Founded in 1969, the original Gap logo consisted of the words “the gap” written in simple text which was switched to the blue box logo in 1984. During rebranding in 2010, Gap attempted to make their logo “sexier” but customer outrage on social media caused the company to revert back to the old logo.

14. Honda


Image via StaraBlazkova at Czech Wikipedia

The bold letter “H” in the Honda logo depicts confidence and durability. Named after founder Soichiro Honda, the logo still uses the original “H.”

15. Hewlett Packard


Image via WikiCommons

The HP logo combines the surnames of both founders in blue and white denoting excellence and grace. The “tailing out” of the H and P in the logo symbolizes innovation.

16. British Petroleum


Image via WikiCommons

The BP logo has its significance within the colors used. The green and yellow combo is that of Helios, God of the Sun signifying all forms of energy.

17. Colgate


Image via WikiCommons

Colgate's red and white colors signify dynamism (red) and sincerity (white). The logo is relevant to the wide acceptance of Colgate's products based on their quality.

18. NASA


Image via WikiCommons

Founded in 1958 the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics changed its name to NASA and introduced their three logos: The NASA insignia, the NASA logotype, and the NASA seal. The original seal was approved by President Eisenhower and then modified by President Kennedy.

19. MTV


Image via WikiCommons

From the first day in 1981 when viewers turned on MTV to check out “Video Killed the Radio Star” the MTV logo has remained the same block “M” on which the “tv” is scrolled. It's changed colors throughout the years until it was rebranded in 2009 with the “M” being filled with different images and the “tv” becoming a non-distracting white.

20. Rolex


Image via WikiCommons

Rolex's iconic logo consisting of a pointed crown above the company name is meant to symbolize prestige, perfectionism and victory. It has not changed much since its introduction in 1908. The logo is a visualization of the company's slogan “ A Crown for Every Achievement.”

21. Starbucks


When Starbucks opened in 1971, the founders went in search of inspiration for their logo. The came across a 16th century Norse woodcut featuring a bare-chested two-tailed mermaid. This siren with an intricate crown and tail became the logo.

In 1987 designer Terry Heckler turned it into the demure, smiling mermaid with a simple crown and tails. In 2011, the logo was once again revised and the circle around the mermaid was removed and the color was changed from black to Starbucks green.

22. World Wildlife Fund

Logo WWF

Image via WikiCommons

Probably the “cutest” logo on our list, the WWF logo was introduced in 1961 with only the iconic panda and no logo type. Created by chairman Sir Peter Scott it has remained the key branding element of the company. In 1986 the panda was simplified and the WWF was added to the design.

23. Kodak


Image via WikiCommons

First introduced in 1907, the Kodak logo claims to be the first integration of a company name into a symbol. The logo which features a red and yellow color scheme and logotype was used by the company until a rebranding in 1987.

24. Dunkin Donuts


Image via WikiCommons

Dunkin's original logo was a script version of the name which was used until the “donut man” made his first appearance in 1955. After a few more changes in 1960 and 1976 the modern logo was created.

25. Subway


Image via WikiCommons

The Subway logo features two arrows on the “S” and “Y” symbolizing entry and exit. It signifies a move and having food on the go,.

26. Lacoste


Image via WikiCommons

The Lacoste logo was born out of a bet between Rene Lacoste, the founder and the French Davis Cup team captain. The captain promised Lacoste a crocodile suitcase if he beat him. After the game, the iconic crocodile logo depicted the victory.

27. Verizon


Image via WikiCommons

The Verizon logo is done up in the masculine red and black combination. The red checkmark represents the company's excellence.

28. National Geographic


Image via WikiCommons

Simple and strong the National Geographic logo is the company name next to a yellow rectangle that represents a door opening to a sea of knowledge. The door is yellow to depict the Sun that is light and knowledge.

29. McDonalds


Image via WikiCommons

The “golden arches” have come to represent convenient, fast food. It draws in over sixty million people a day and can be spotted from a mile away on a sign-filled highway!

30. Target


Image via WikiCommons

Target's logo always focused on the simplicity of the bull's eye. Until 2007 the logo always included the name. In 2007 the name was scrapped because the logo was so well known.

Your logo is the face of your company. These 30 companies all feature minimalist, simple designs that use color and symbolism to effectively represent their brand. Through the years many have evolved, but have always remained consistent in their visual message. When creating your logo, draw inspiration from these thirty iconic companies and their stories.

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Rob Steffens

Rob Steffens

I am the Director of Sales & Marketing here at Bluleadz. I'm a recent newlywed who enjoys spending time with my wife vegging out and binging our favorite shows or getting some exercise on the Racquetball court.