Designing an Iconic Logo
Apple is an immensely popular electronics company know for Mac computers, iPod, iPhone and the new iPad. The original 1970s logo pictured a scene of Isaac Newton under a tree with an apple about to drop onto his head. In 1976, designer Rob Janoff created this logo with the rainbow colour scheme that was used until 1998.
The interlocking rings of the Olympic logo represent the five continents of the world, brought together in the spirit of the competition. While the Olympics can be traced back to ancient Greece, the founder of the modern games Baron Pierre de Coubertin created this logo in 1912.
Bill Gate’s Microsoft dominates the personal computer market; the Windows operating system is familiar to any computer user, as is the four-color window logo.
The iconic Nike swoosh represents the wing of the Greek goddess of the same name who was said to have inspired the feats of courageous warriors. Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student from Portland State University, created the logo in 1971 while freelancing with the sportswear company.
The rings of Audi’s logo represent the amalgaation of brands that formed the Auto Union of 1932: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. The logo bears a striking similarity to the Olympic Rings, causing the Olympic Committee to sue Audi in a small claims court in 1995.
In 2000, British Petroleum was renamed BP and replaced its traditional shield emblem with this design, with the aim at highlighting the company’s green credentials.
Current NBC Peacock Original NBC Peacock 1970’s design
Hollister California pursues the technique of "walking self-marketing", where in wearing an item of clothing from HCO results in direct advertising. This is notably achieved through the large embroidery or screen print of the brand's name, initials, fictional date of establishment and the flying seagull logo on the vast majority of their merchandise.
Gottlieb Daimler designed the Mercedes-Benz logo, which debuted in 1909. The three-pointed star signifies the company ambition to dominate land, sea and air. The laurel wreath was added to the logo in 1926, when Benz was merged into the company.
Pros of Iconic logos Faster to visually ‘absorb’ than illustrative logos but much more exciting than text versions. More likely to be recognized later after limited initial exposure. Can be reproduced on most media without any modifications Can be reproduced on low resolution media (FAXs, checks) while remaining recognizable. Easier to trademark the logo. Favored by hi-tech and start up companies. Easier to appear ‘cutting edge’. Can usually be reproduced in a variety of color combinations (easily edited). Is more likely to be recognized when reproduced at small sizes, or from distances. Icon can be ‘separted’ and used individually either as main logo presentation or graphic accent.
Cons of Iconic Logos • Difficult to create a unique logo • Requires a fairly experienced graphic logo designer • Runs the risk of looking like “cliip art” if not designed effectively. • May end up as “fad” logo i.e.: globes and swooshes from the 90’s • Generally requires a text portion, unless the subject of massive exposure (i.e. Nike) which can lead to visual “clutter”.