Marketing is everything for a business, and branding is a big part of marketing. How big a part it is depends on the specific industry, of course. However, the importance of your logo always ranges between “pretty significant” and “absolutely crucial.”
For example, if you’re an Apple vendor, the exact design of your logo may not be the most critical aspect of your business, but a good logo would still be helpful. If you’re Apple, on the other hand, the exact design of your logo is critical. Can you imagine what the world would have been if, instead of a bitten-off apple, they had gone with a peach?
Unfortunately, many potentially great companies have made similar mistakes over the years, which is why we’ve never heard of them. Fortunately, some have not, and their logos are so iconic today that our spellchecker tried to correct “an Apple vendor” above to “an Apple vendor.” Let’s go over more such examples below.
McDonald’s Golden Arches teaches us one of the most important branding lessons – consistency. Based simply on the two real-life arches that were part of the first restaurant’s exterior, the logo combines the two arches into a letter M. In that sense, the logo doesn’t symbolize any particular meaning or notion like “delicious,” “affordable,” or “healthy.” Instead, it just symbolizes McDonald’s itself.
This can make it sound like the logo itself doesn’t matter, but the exact opposite is true – even when a logo doesn’t represent anything in particular, it should still represent the company in the clearest way possible. And McDonald’s logo is so one-of-a-kind that you can never mistake it for any other.
Nike’s iconic logo was designed to symbolize many things. First, it represents the wings of the goddess of victory, Nike, after whom the company is named. At the same time, the logo looks like a checkmark, which goes with the notion of accomplishing things (i.e., “Just Do It”).
Probably most crucially, however, the logo evokes a sense of speed and motion, which is precisely what an athletic footwear company would want its logo to do. All this is accomplished with the most minimalistic and simplest logo designs, which shows how tricky and vital a logo is for a business.
Amazon’s logo is a perfect example of simplicity, with just enough touches of brilliance to make it work. It’s also the only logo on this list to spell the company’s name. Plus, it’s an example of a logo and name that don’t have a deep meaning behind them – Bezos reportedly chose the name after he realized his original pick (Cadabra) sounded like “cadaver.” So, he settled on Amazon instead by skimming through a dictionary and picking Amazon because it describes a place that was “exotic and different.”
Yet, despite this simplicity, Amazon’s logo does enough not just to stand out but to become iconic. The arrow underneath it connects “a” to “z,” symbolizing Amazon’s deliveries and resembling a smile. Note the slight curve on the bottom of the “z,” too – just a subtle touch of motion to make the logo dynamic.
There are thousands of sports competitions out there, most for sports played around the globe, but how many of these competitions have universally recognizable logos? Fans of one sport or another or people from this or that country may name certain famous logos, such as the NBA logo or that of the UEFA Champions League.
However, only one competition has a logo instantly recognizable everywhere around the globe, even by people with no interest in it – the five multicolored, linked rings of the Olympics. That’s only fitting for what is likely the oldest sports competition in the world, but the logo doesn’t represent the Olympics’ history or legacy. Instead, the logo represents the sport’s purpose of uniting our multicultural world.
Optical illusions are always fun to tackle, but they also make great logos. That’s the exact conclusion designer Manabu Sakamoto came to when PlayStation shifted to 3D polygon graphics and needed a new logo to represent that. A game center logo is particularly important, and the company wanted a logo that reflects its commitment to exploring new technology and always striving to stay ahead of the competition. Thanks to Sakamoto’s design, they clearly succeeded.
To many, choosing an apple as a logo for a computer company might seem downright crazy. But the apple is the most iconic fruit, after all – Adam and Eve’s apple, Newton’s apple, Turing’s apple, and so on. However, it was a visit to an apple farm while he was on a fruit-only diet that inspired Steve Jobs to name his tech company after this beloved fruit. He felt the name was “fun, spirited, and not intimidating” – all values that the company has lived and breathed since its earliest days.
The apple in the logo is also a McIntosh, which certainly isn’t a coincidence, as that’s where “Mac” comes from. As for the bite itself, it isn’t a reference to the byte, as some fans speculate. Instead, it was just a design choice to ensure people don’t mistake the fruit’s silhouette for a cherry.
In stark contrast to the above, the meaning behind Android’s logo is apparent – it’s an android. It doesn’t necessarily try to symbolize something or have a mysterious origin; it just represents the brand and its name. This can sound overly simplistic, and it is, but that’s a perfectly valid way to go about a brand’s logo. The key to making it work is to ensure the logo’s design is as unique and memorable as possible. Nowadays, designing an android, robot, or cyborg logo that looks unique is exceptionally challenging, yet designer Irina Blok managed just that.
So, whenever we’re browsing for new social, music, or casino apps for both iOS and Android users, Android’s and Apple’s two exceptional logos are always there, both immediately recognizable.
Of course, none of these seven companies became what it is today solely because of its iconic logo. An incalculable amount of innovation, effort, work hours, and money went into ensuring the success of these companies, and their logos and branding were just pieces of the puzzle. Still, discounting that particular piece’s significance wouldn’t be fair, considering its monumental effect.