The Story Behind Some of the World’s Best Logos

A well-designed and thought out logo can make a business, or damage it. Logos are meant to represent a company’s values and vision for the future. Successful logos do this effortlessly. While there seems to be a lot riding on logo design, there are many companies out there that have really hit the mark with their now iconic logo designs. Here we’ll run through 10 of the best company logos of all time and discuss why they’ve been so successful.

Nike’s Swoosh

1000 Words / Shutterstock.comOne of the most well-known logo’s of all time would have to be Nike’s trademark Swoosh. While Nike was originally founded in the 60s by Phil Knight, who called the company Blue Ribbon Sports, it wasn’t until 1971 that Knight decided to rename the business Nike after the Greek goddess of victory. The swoosh logo was then soon developed for $35 by a graphic designer by the name of Carolyn Davidson. There were 35 people who put forward designs for the logo but they settled with Davidson’s design, which is an abstract representation of the goddess of victory’s wings, despite the fact that Knight was not 100% keen on it to begin with. The reason behind the logo’s success stems from it’s alliance together with the slogan, “Just Do It” which represents the core values of Nike. The swoosh embodies movement and determination, and symbolises reaching goals and of course, victory.

The Olympic Rings

JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.comDesigned in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who was also the founder of the Olympic Games as we know them today, the five interlocking rings are one of the most iconic logos of our time. The blue, yellow, black, green and red rings on a white background represent the five continents of the world. Because of their colourful design and easy to distinguish symbols, the olympic rings have remained the logo for the Olympics for over 100 years.

McDonald’s Golden Arches

LesPalenik / Shutterstock.comWe all think McDonalds when we see those golden arches. Originally, the arches were part of the restaurant design and were then incorporated into the logo design in 1962. The arches work, because they are also significant to the name of McDonalds. While the standard logo is instantly recognisable worldwide, in Canada the logo also includes a maple leaf in the middle of the arches.

Apple’s Apple

pio3 / The Apple logo directly references the company name here, making it a clever, easily recognisable design. The rainbow coloured apple logo actually has a biblical reference to Adam and Eve where the apple represents the tree of knowledge. The idea behind this is to encourage people to pursue their dreams. The logo has become very successful ensuring Apple is front of mind for people when considering buying new electronics.

Coca Cola

360b / Shutterstock.comOriginally designed as a medicine by John Pemberton, Coca Cola has become one of the most famous drinks the world. The logo and the name were created by Pemberton’s bookkeeper in 1886, who believed that the two ‘c’s would look good in advertising. The letters use the Spencerian typeface, said to be the predominant form of writing adopted by American bookkeepers during that era. It turns out his bookkeeper was right – those two ‘c’s and the curvey script is now recognised all over the world.

Red Bull

Luciano Mortula / Shutterstock.comOften logos that translate well are those that are the easiest to remember. Red Bull’s logo is directly representing the name of the product. The name of the energy drink and the logo design actually came to the owner Dietrich Mateschitz when he was in Thailand. He was drinking a sweet drink that was called “Krating Daeng” which translates to “red bull” in English.

Walt Disney

Stefan Holm / Shutterstock.comThe Disney logo is synonymous with fairytales. The Walt Disney logo in 2000 featured a castle behind it. In 2006 the logo was changed to a shining star in the sky travelling towards the Disney theme park. While slight changes have been made, the core look and feel of the logo have retained their strong meaning.

I Love NY

360b / Shutterstock.comThe I Love NY logo was designed for New York city in 1977 by Milton Glaser. At the time, tourism was taking a hit and the city was suffering from one of the highest crime rates in the world. The logo successfully helped changed the perception of New York. In the meantime, the logo has since become one of the most iconic logos of all time, being copied time after time across the globe.


ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.comThe Mobile logo is the ultimate in simplicity. It is written in sans serif typeface with a round, red “O” which stands out and runs through the entire branding of Mobil fuel stations. It’s simple yet very effective and easily recognisable.

Burger King

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.comBurger King was first known as Insta Burger King in 1954. It wasn’t until 1989 that it was re-branded as Burger King. The simple logo design features the name between two bun halves which has evolved slightly with smoother font. In 1999, another slight change was made to the logo with the bun halves becoming more stylised. It also has a blue swirl and is rounder, giving it a more contemporary look. While it’s still the same logo, making relevant adaptations to it over the years has served Burger King well.

A clever and thoughtful logo will allow for a business or brand to form a strong visual brand identity which is crucial when establishing a recognisable look. Speak to the team at MVP PRINT today to learn more about developing a logo and brand identity.