The Most Iconic Logos of All Time

A logo is perhaps the most important part of a brand’s success. For the business owner it might come across as a small part of the identity but to the consumers on the outside, this is perhaps the one thing that they cling on to. This is what defines the whole product and the company for them. They develop subliminal feelings for the product through the logo and start caring for it.


This is the reason why there is often a lot of fierce opposition from people when some famous company or product decides to change its logo. For the consumer, it’s akin to getting rid of their comfort zone. The logo is a friend they have known for several years. Getting rid of it is like getting rid of a friend.

Logos are what advertisers also use to speak directly to potential consumers. If you ever go to sports events like the ones that Las Vegas is now hosting, you will see dozens of logos everywhere. These logos also evolve with the times for example the Coca Cola logo you are so familiar with today is very different from what it used to be even though some elements still remain the same.


The Nike Swoosh is probably one of the most recognised logos ever. It was first revealed in 1971 and was designed by a young design student by the name of Carolyn Davidson. She got paid $35 for it back then although many years later she got shares to the company. The logo was inspired by Nike who is actually the name of a Greek goddess who had wings to fly over battles. The logo was supposed to refer to the wings and the idea of speed. This was a sort of abstract idea and yet it has been able to communicate everything that the brand stands for.


The Apple logo is so simple and to the point. Yet this was not the case when they first launched. The first Apple logo was actually a photograph of Newton sitting under an apple tree. This was obviously too staid and old looking and Steve Jobs realised he needed something more contemporary and minimalist to replace it. The brilliant designer Rob Janoff came on board and a new logo was born which was an apple with the rainbow stripes. The logo has evolved some more over the years as described in detail here. It stands as one of the most simple and yet most recognised symbols of all time.


fedex logo

FedEx is a brilliant example of how typography can be used to convey more than one thing. If you don’t know what we are talking about then look closely at the FedEx logo and notice the arrow between E and X. This hidden element represents what FedEx really stands for – moving items from one place to another. This logo was first unveiled in 1994 and has now become of the most recognisable logos of all time.

There are some more logos that you could call iconic like World Wide Fund (WWF), IBM and BMW. It’s a great exercise to start looking for hidden design elements in all these logos that represent the company ethos. Once you get an understanding of these subliminal messaging, perhaps you can design an iconic logo yourself.