Top 15 Examples of Memorable Logos
Logos are such a critical part of any business. In most cases, you will find that many customers associate your brand with your logo design.
What do you think of when you think of Mcdonald’s?
What do you picture in your head? For me, it’s the red and yellow colours, and I can distinctly picture the famous golden arches.
Now, think about Apple. What is their logo? I bet you can guess it.
Yes, it is an iconic apple with a bite taken out of it. But imagine if Apple’s logo was a complex illustration of a computer, a phone, and a watch combined into a single logo mark.
Not so memorable and sounds like a mess.
Let’s discuss a few things that make a quality logo.
What Makes a Logo Memorable?
Many contributing factors make memorable logos. However, many studies have found that one thing is shared amongst the most memorable logo designs.
Unique but straightforward logos are the most memorable.
A simple logo might draw your attention to one thing, but it leaves room for you to learn more about the brand.
Great logos don’t necessarily need to explain what the company does in a single visual.
As we mentioned, simplicity is the number one factor in a memorable logo. The golden arches, or the Apple, are perfect examples of this.
And while simple might seem tedious, you can add unique features to make it stand out or feel more personal.
Do not underestimate the power of colour. What are the colours in the McDonald’s logo? I bet you can answer that.
What colour is Facebook? How about Twitter? Coca Cola?
The colours within the logo help to build the brand. Frequently the logo colours come first; then, the brand applies primary and secondary colours to support visual language.
So, when creating a memorable brand and logo, it is essential to really research, test, and then pick the right colours for your logo.
Choose the Right Type of Logo
Another significant thing to consider is the typeface of a logo. For example, is the logo an icon, a wordmark, or a combination of the two?
While either type can be memorable, it is essential to choose the right type of logo for the brand.
If the brand name is exceptionally long, a wordmark might not be the best choice.
If the brand needs a minimal mark to use throughout many of its touchpoints, an iconic logo mark will work better.
What is a Symbolic Logo?
A symbolic or iconic logo utilises a symbol or icon as a signifier for the business.
A great example of a symbolic or iconic logo is the white or black Apple, which represents Apple’s technology company.
Everyone knows when Apple makes a laptop or phone because you can quickly identify the Apple on the computer or phone.
And what is the symbol? It’s simply just an Apple!
Or, if you spotted the Golden Arches on a billboard, you would immediately associate the Arches, in addition to the red and yellow colours, with McDonald’s.
These symbols are so recognisable that most people worldwide can identify them immediately.
The key to a memorable symbolic logo is to keep the logo simple! Don’t overdo the details.
The best symbol marks, as we will see below, as super unique but straightforward. The colours are critical, perhaps a unique feature, but the goal should ultimately be simplicity.
5 Examples of a Symbolic Logo
Many of the most memorable logos are symbols. Here are five great examples of symbolic logos.
As previously mentioned, the McDonald’s logo is an excellent example of a symbol mark style logo. Who doesn’t recognise the McDonald’s logo seen above?
But in addition to the symbol mark itself, the colours in the logo are critical. The red and yellow colours are just as memorable as the symbol itself.
The significant part about the McDonald’s symbol mark is that they can easily use the mark on many different things, from uniforms to packaging to signage.
The Target logo is another excellent example of a symbol mark that sends a quick, clear message.
Target, which has created a target in its logo, has created a unique and memorable mark that makes sense.
Like the McDonald’s mark, they can use this logo as a striking visual element in various applications, from bags to signage to uniforms.
The Twitter brand mark is simple yet effective. What do you do when you send a message on Twitter? You Tweet!
So this clever bird symbol pulls the brand together. Used as their logo, their app icon, and more, this clever symbol mark is an excellent example of bringing the brand identity full circle.
One of the most memorable brand marks is the Apple logo. Everyone can distinguish Apple products when they spot an Apple.
This is also a great example of simplicity. We typically see the Apple logo used in a very minimal black or white colour palette.
Last but not least is the Pepsi logo which is considered an abstract mark.
Slap this logo on a bottle, and you will instantly recognise the Pepsi brand.
The red, white, and blue colours in the cap logo were initially meant to show U.S. patriotism when the modern logo first appeared during World War II.
The Pepsi logo is an excellent example of abstract symbol marks.
What is a Wordmark Logo?
A wordmark logo is a logo that uses the brand name in the text, styled as the logo.
The advantage of this is obvious – it immediately associates a business name with the visual identity and does not leave much room for brand confusion.
Creating the letters from scratch with subtle identifiers allows the type to stand alone as a symbol for the brand.
This logotype style can be created through hand-drawn lettering, digitising a personal signature, or altering a pre-existing typeface.
The benefits of a wordmark logo lie in its versatility and its ability for the brand to champion its name in place of an abstract mark.
5 Examples of a Wordmark Logo
Many of the most recognisable companies use wordmarks, and these logos are some of the most widely recognised symbols in the world.
Who hasn’t seen Google’s logo?
A great wordmark logo can take a simple word and make it a memory.
A wordmark logo can become an iconic and versatile asset for a business, from colour to typeface to special features.
Here are the five great examples of a wordmark logo:
You may have never realised it, but yes, the Google logo is a wordmark.
This simple logo is best remembered for its playful colour scheme.
With its first design in 1998, the Google logo has seen many variations from a serif to sans-serif typeface, embossed to flat letters, and a move to pastel colours.
The Disney logo underwent many significant transformations since the foundation of the company.
This brush-lettered wordmark looks quickly executed and playful based on Walt Disney’s signature, which speaks to the company’s target demographic.
The Disney wordmark has been paired with a range of imagery, starting with a cartoon of Mickey Mouse to the iconic castle that we all know today.
Similar to Google, Facebook is an example of a significant website using a wordmark logo.
Facebook logo is a modern sans-serif type based on the typeface, Klavika.
A fun fact about the blue colour scheme is that they chose it because Mark Zuckerberg suffers from deuteranopia.
However, blue is the one colour someone with this condition can distinguish.
One of the most recognisable trademarks in the world is the Coca-Cola wordmark logo.
The lettering is based on a Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of the late 1800s.
Created by Coca-Cola’s first bookkeeper, Frank M Robinson, he thought that “the two Cs would look well in advertising”.
While the full logo has gone through many variations over the last 100 years, Robinson’s elaborate script has remained a constant.
Developed in 1994, this simple logo will go down in history as one of the best of its kind for a hidden feature, considered revolutionary at the time.
While this bold sentence case text may seem simple on the surface, a deeper look will review an arrow pointing to the right.
This “hidden” arrow created in the negative space between E and X’s letters symbolises speed and precision.
What is a Combination Mark?
A combination mark essentially takes a symbol mark and a word mark and combines them into one logo.
A combination mark contains both a symbol or icon and a word.
Combination marks are excellent because they take the best of both worlds, a creative symbol and a clear word to communicate the brand.
Another great advantage of combination marks is using either the symbol or the word depending on the use.
For example, perhaps you want to use the symbol on a t-shirt but the word in your website’s header.
5 Great Examples of a Combination Mark Logo
Similar to symbol mark logos and wordmark logos, combination mark logos are used by many of the most popular companies in the world.
From Adidas to Doritos or Burger King, you can probably spot a combination mark logo every day!
Here are five great examples of memorable combination mark logos used by famous companies.
The Adidas logo is an excellent example of a combination mark.
And I’m sure everyone has seen this logo used as just the icon or the Adidas text.
Simple in colour and text, but combines the abstract icon to tie it all together.
The Starbucks logo is technically considered an Emblem logo, but we have all seen pieces of the logo used differently.
The icon in the centre circle is used on cups, and you often see the word written out on its own.
But I’m sure you’ve seen them both combine like in the logo above!
The Doritos logo is also a combination mark!
Sometimes, it looks like a design on the back, but this combination combines the Doritos text with the triangle shape to represent the Doritos chip shape!
The Lacoste logo is an obvious choice when providing examples of a combination mark.
What do you see on a Lacoste shirt? You only see the Crocodile (and yes, a crocodile, not an alligator!).
But you will sometimes spot just the wordmark on tags or other places.
Lastly, the Burger King logo is a fun and clever example of a combination mark logo.
The wordmark itself represents the burger between the buns!
So in one sense, this is a fun symbol, but in another, it combines a burger bun symbol with the Burger King wordmark.
To Sum It All Up
The most memorable logos can be just about any logo, but the type of the logo is so critical to consider when developing a memorable logo.
It doesn’t make sense for every brand to use a wordmark logo, and the same can be said for an icon or symbol mark.
As you can see above, many of the largest companies in the world, across all industries, use wordmark logos, many of them have gone with symbol marks, and some even combine the two into a combination mark.
It isn’t the mark itself. It is how that mark represents your brand.
With wordmark logos, the style’s simplicity helps the consumer associate the brand with the company’s name.
So, if the business name is short, a wordmark is an excellent solution.
With symbol marks, the simplicity lies within the design of the symbol itself.
It doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be complex.
As we see above, all the symbol marks are elementary, but they are each unique.
And with combination marks, you get to combine the two and communicate your brand while creating a versatile logo and being used across many different places.
So remember, when you are designing your next logo, figure out what type of mark is right for your brand, then keep it simple.
Author Bio: Wells Collins is the Creative Director at Two Bridges Design – a nimble logo design studio based out of Denver, CO.