You must have heard the phrase “money brings more money.”
This proverb takes different forms when it comes to business and profit.
Companies that can invest more in branding, design and infrastructure often perform better.
It is quite a conventional logic.
However, in the recent years, we have seen the rapid rise of venture-funded businesses, crowdfunded businesses and start-ups, which did not have millions, to begin with.
There are several small yet highly successful businesses we see today that began with a dream and indomitable zeal.
The entrepreneurs tried online funding, SBA loans and several other lines of credit to fund their ideas.
They did not have a lot to invest in design or marketing.
They made up for the lack of promotion with an extensive collection of market data and use of the same.
It is big data that fueled their growth, and they have expert DBAs to thank for it.
Now, you may wonder how a start-up could afford DBAs in the first place.
They found it possible due to the presence of remote database management companies, who offer online and telecommunication-based assistance.
These data management companies offer services identical to the dedicated DBA firms.
You can check out more about the services of remote DBA teams at RemoteDBA.com.
Quite similarly, due to freelance graphic designers and fresh budding talents from all over the world, logo design is becoming much less of a financial hassle.
After all, businesses should not aim at the costliest logo design.
They should instead aim for a logo design that is both simple and memorable.
A good logo comes with a high recollection value.
Just to show you what that means, we are going to present a list of the ten most distinguishable logo designs from the world's ten highest valued companies.
Did the logos of the world's biggest companies build their success?
That is a chicken-egg question that might find an answer at the end of the list of the top 10 best logos of the world's richest companies:
1 – Apple
The venture-funded of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple is now the wealthiest consumer electronics and entertainment company in the world.
This company gave us MacBook, iPad Air, the cascade of iPhones and iPods and so much more.
Apple has inspired dreamers to think of a unified world of technology that runs without wires.
Today, Apple is an icon of change, modernisation, and success.
People camp for days outside the store for the first go during product releases.
The company introduced their first (not too simple, not so hip) logo in the mid 70's.
We first saw a semblance of the iconic “the bitten apple” logo in 1976.
Over the last 40 years, the apple logo design has remained the same with minor adjustments of colour.
Most importantly, their quality, service, and style have remained the same throughout four decades.
2 – Walmart
Walmart began in 1969 that soon graduated into discount department stores, hypermarkets and grocery stores across the USA.
Right now, Walmart plays a significant role in global e-commerce as well. It has over 11,718 stores across the globe that generate over USD 480 billion in revenue.
The Wal-Mart logo has changed six times over the last four decades.
The first one was a plane-Jane and didn't focus much on design aesthetics.
The ones that followed next were fancier with bursts of new colours and new experiments with hyphenation and asterisk.
The current logo uses a soft blue tone for the simple font that spells out “Walmart” and a yellow sunburst at the end that the company calls “the spark.”
The new logo incites a feeling of familiarity, trustworthiness, and class among their global customer base.
3 – Amazon
Thanks to Amazon Prime, it is now possible to buy anything under the sun and get it right at your doorstep in less than 48 hours!
These guys have made everything impossible seem possible.
Moreover, how do they represent their customer services and their business principles?
By designing a logo that looks a lot like a happy customer (smiley face) and an arrow in the logo that represents their A to Z service.
This is the ideal example of the most subliminal, yet genius logo design.
Did you know?
Amazon started out as a small digital bookstore with a very underrated and strange logo design.
It included a translucent “A” under which were the words – “Earth's Biggest Bookstore.”
The water texture of the logo was quite soothing, but it did not leave a lasting impact.
Soon in 1998, Amazon re-founded itself as music, book, and more e-commerce site.
The logo was similar to the one we see now.
In 2000, Amazon introduced the logo that most will find almost identical to the current one, complete with the yellow arrow underneath.
In 2002, they merely added the words, “and you are done” to the logo in the bottom left-hand corner.
This just put the cherry on top of the cake!
4 – Facebook
It is still one of the most popular social networking sites that allow direct conversations, social media marketing and sharing your regular dose of hot news.
Mark Zuckerberg's creation quickly dropped “The” from the name and then switched to a simple yet elegant white and blue design.
The 2015 redesign did not see a lot of drastic changes.
What we saw was the preservation of style and colours, representing the protection quality and simplicity and a slight change of the type font to make it look less condensed and more casual.
5 – Johnson & Johnson
They are the guys who take the award for the most recognisable logo around the world.
Moreover, who would not recognise your logo especially if you do not change it for over 100 years!
The original logo drew its inspiration from James Wood Johnson's signature.
While we cannot give them much credit for creativity, they surely deserve the fame and repute they have garnered over the last one century.
These guys are still one of the most recognisable names in the fields of baby products, medical technologies and medication.
6 – General Electric
It is one of those brands that have survived the two world wars, the Great Depression and has managed to keep their revenues to $126,661 the past year.
This brand dates back to 1892 and ever since the launch of the first logo, the design has not undergone many changes.
The curly and swept style of G and E are elegant and straightforward.
The cold blue and white combinations inspire trust, reliance and brand loyalty.
Although the design is purely ornamental, it does contribute to a high recollection value.
Additionally, it sure looks like these guys were the first to test the negative space in logo design concept.
7 – Volkswagen
Volkswagen is the brand the manufactures cars for people.
The company started in 1937 in Walburg as Volkswagenwerk GmbH.
This company has undergone significant changes just like its logo owing to the tilt of power from the pre-second world war to the post-war era.
The logo after the Second World War featured the classic “V” and “W.”
The company has kept the message of the logo unchanged ever since, but it has undergone massive changes in 1996 and 2000.
The last modification saw the introduction of 3D elements and new colour blends, with complete preservation of the pure “V” and “W” initials within the wheel.
Just like most other iconic logos, its beauty is its simplicity.
The sober blue and white represent purity, class, excellence, nobility, and charm.
8 – FedEx
The original FedEx logo dates back to 1974.
This year saw a complete overhaul of the old name and the old logo.
The company retained the purple as brand colour and added the orange.
If you notice carefully, you will see an arrow nestled between the E and the X.
This represents what FedEx does – Moving cargo from place to place.
The simplistic creativity won over 40 design awards from across the world in the last 35 years.
It is now a part of every primary designer course, and yet people do not seem to get enough of this logo.
Initially, the company applied the logo to over 30,000 vehicles and 600 aircraft.
Currently, there are several FedEx units across the globe that transport important cargo and boxes from one destination to another overnight.
It is one of the most recognisable logos in the world, even though the company might not be one of the richest compared to other consumer electronics and software corporations.
9 – Shell
Initially, Shell was a company that specialised in importing old oriental shells to the counties in the west.
The first logo dates back to 1900, and that was quite a simple one.
The logo represented just what the company dealt in – mussel shells.
The logo was not attractive back then since it was black and white, two dimensional and quite crude.
The 1904 logo change did not do them much justice. However, the 1909 logo finally brought into existence a feeble form of the current shell logo.
The first shell logo which bore a striking resemblance to the modern logo was the one of 1948.
Red and yellow became the primary colours since this California company wanted to build their trade relations with the Hispanic population (stereotyping much?) in Spain.
They wanted to reach out to the local community of buyers.
1971 saw another redesign that cut out the clutter and focused on the richness and depth of the colours.
Raymond Loewy is the creator of the “modern” shell logo.
It introduced its iconic lettering, its yellow and red colours.
It was bold, unmissable and bright – virtually all the qualities your brand logo needs when you pick the sides of the state highways as your marketing spot.
The billboards with the Shell logo and ad are still common across the different states of the USA, as well as several other countries.
10 – Microsoft
When we are talking about the logos of the wealthiest companies in the world, we cannot leave Microsoft out of this list.
When it started in 1975, the logo was simple, yet delectable.
The use of the simple type font with bold black lettering and smart use of little white space made this logo quite iconic.
It was stark, and it made its mark on the target audience.
Microsoft has taken quite a few missteps in the recent past, but their logo overhaul of 2012 wasn't one of them, for sure.
Each of their logo changes has been quite impressive and massive.
Yes, it would be foolish for a new company to change its logo so frequently and so drastically but being a multi-billion-dollar corporation founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft can do that right now!
What's the takeaway message?
You will notice the role of technology in logo design, in each of these cases.
Some of the older logos of the world's biggest companies were hand drawn, while others made use of daguerreotypes.
Presently, we cannot think of presenting a brand logo directly from a sketch, illustration or a photo.
Whether you are a trained designer or a logo enthusiast, you should know that today, branding requires extensive knowledge of software programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create most of these iconic logos.
Designers work for days and weeks to come up with designs that represent company values and correspond to company image.
Every colour selection has essential meaning when it comes to logos.
As we have seen above, blue represents elegance and sophistication, while white represents nobility and trust.
These are brand values that vary from company to company.
Your startup or SME might represent creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and novelty.
Your designer should be smart enough to understand that and design a logo that pays enough attention to all your needs.
Since logos play a significant role in branding and drive brand recognition to a substantial degree, you could say in some instances logos have made brands more memorable and recognisable around the world.