The 20 Best, Most Iconic Business Logos of All Time

Business Logos

Business logos are incredibly important because they’re often the first thing people see when they encounter a brand. A good logo has to neatly and clearly represent your brand in a subtle yet intriguing way. Adding too much to it will overwhelm the senses of the person viewing it, and adding too little will ensure that your logo isn’t memorable at all.

A logo also needs to give an idea of the kind of industry that the company is in. For example, you wouldn’t choose an overly aristocratic font for business logo ideas for a company in the fast-food industry. You also wouldn’t use an extremely colorful logo for a business that specializes in bookkeeping. It’s just common sense that you have to keep in mind when looking at these things.

If you’re interested in what makes these company logos great, keep reading. We will give you a list of 20 amazing logos from businesses, as well as some tips on what to keep in mind when choosing a logo design for your company.

20 of the Greatest Business Logo Designs

1. Apple

Business Logos - Apple Logo

The Apple Inc. logo is iconic; that’s for sure. Originally, it was more of a story than a logo, the story of how Isaac Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head. The first version of the most current logo was the colorful apple with a bite taken out of it, used from the late 70s to the late 90s.  At the end of the 90s and towards the beginning of the 2000s, the logo evolved to the black apple with a bite taken out of it on a white background. These days, the company uses business logo images that are silver and sleek. It works because they represent the brand with a simple and yet impactful design. It’s easy to identify and has since become synonymous with the tech company’s commitment to aesthetics.

2. Mercedes

Business Logos - Mercedes Logo

From the first logo for Mercedes, used in 1902, the brand has been accurately portrayed as elegant and up-market. It has greatly changed since it was first just the name “Mercedes” in an oval. Through the years, its business logo design has changed drastically in its coloring until, finally, it became the silver emblem we see today.

3. Nike

Business Logos - Nike Logo

The globally renowned business logo design idea was originally conceived of by Carolyn Davidson in 1971 and cost Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike) only $35. However, if you feel like the designer was short-changed for the famed Nike “Swoosh,” you should know that she now has stocks in the famous sneaker and sports brand, so it was well worth her effort. Davidson got the idea for the Swoosh from the Greek goddess of victory, which the brand was named after. She was inspired by the wings of the goddess and used that to create a logo for the business that would become one of the most iconic symbols in the world of sneakers and sports branding.

4. McDonald’s

Business Logos - McDonald’s Logo

Initially, however, The Golden Arches weren’t just designed for the logo. In fact, they were built on to the franchise restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, as an actual structure in 1953. When viewed from an angle, the arches resembled a giant “M,” bringing to mind the name of the business. Later on, in 1962, The Golden Arches were added to the logo and have remained part of the custom business logo throughout its evolution. You will now find The Golden Arches featured on all McDonald’s packaging and merchandise. The gold-colored “M” is known throughout the world as the symbol of the fast-food chain.

5. Coca-Cola

Business Logos - Coca-Cola Logo

The name “Coca-Cola” was originally coined with advertising in mind. Bookkeeper for the Coca-Cola brand Frank M. Robinson claimed that the Cs would look good in print together, and he was right. Think about it for a moment. Are there any fonts for business logos more iconic than that of Coca-Cola? The Coca-Cola logo has changed a lot since it was first created in 1887, although one could say that the modern font is definitely reminiscent of the very first font used for the brand. From 1890 to 1891, the logo used an entirely different font, after a one-year stint, it returned to a style more familiar to the first.

6. Starbucks

Business Logos - Starbucks Logo

It’s almost as if you can’t look at the Starbucks logo without dreaming of a delicious cup of coffee, a frappuccino, or even a fall-inspired Pumpkin Spice Latte. Being among the cool business logos, it has been so entrenched in pop culture that these days the words “Starbucks” and “coffee” may as well be synonymous. From the very beginning, the logo has included a siren as an ode to Greek mythology. The initial logo was brown and was a lot more detailed than the current version. It included the full mermaid with her two tails in a circle. The latest version still keeps an element of the original design, however, it’s a close-up of the mermaid with her two tails.

7. Chanel

Business Logos - Chanel Logo

There are different stories about what inspired the business logo idea for the two interlocking Cs that face in opposite directions, whether it was an ode to a queen or Coco Chanel’s lover. But one thing is certain; the unchanged logo is a staple in the design community. Originally created in 1925, the interlocking Cs have remained the same and adorn every design by the brand, even after the creator’s death.

8. Louis Vuitton

Business Logos - Louis Vuitton Logo

You can’t talk about fashion and how to create a business logo without bringing up the gorgeous Louis Vuitton. The design is an ode to the Victorian era’s “mon.” Mon is a Japanese design trend that was used to illustrate family names like we use family crests in the West. As Japan was seen as exotic, so was its design trends. And that is how we got the L and V that form the distinctive logo. The logo was developed by the son of Louis Vuitton, Georges Vuitton. However, his aim wasn’t necessarily to create something that evoked the idea of style. Instead, in creating a business logo, he wanted to make a trademark that was as memorable as it was distinct so as to stop the counterfeiting of the brand.

9. Gap

Business Logos - Gap Logo

The Gap logo isn’t brilliant because it was conceived through many brainstorming sessions and hours of deliberation. No, its brilliance lies in its simplicity and the hard work of their branding department. It’s almost basic in its lack of decoration, but that’s also what makes the modern business logo stand out. The standard white text in the blue box is unashamedly bold without working too hard. The contrast of the white on blue makes it stand out to anyone who even glances in its direction. There was a time when the marketing department tried to alter the design, but it was soon returned to the original when the public was not pleased with what they came up with.

10. Facebook

Business Logos - Facebook Logo

Most people have a Facebook profile. But even those who have abandoned the social media platform or who were never interested in it in the first place will still know the famous business logo. It’s as simple as it gets when it comes to a logo, but it’s easily recognizable and instantly understood to represent the biggest social media network available at present. The white text on blue background with the lower-case “f” isn’t too far-off from the original. The first version of the logo had blue on blue, which certainly wasn’t as striking as the white on blue.

11. Amazon

Business Logos - Amazon Logo

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to shop online or at brick and mortar stores, you will know this logo. It’s one of the best business logos for a reason. Far from its original version in typical 80s blue background with purple and gold lettering, the current version is bold, simple, and leaves an impression. The black text on white background with the orange tick underneath is unmistakable. The only connection to the first version of the logo is the lower-case “a.”

12. BMW

Business Logos - BMW Logo

We mentioned Mercedes-Benz earlier, and you can’t mention the logo of the one luxury brand without bringing up that of BMW as well. Why? Because the two couldn’t be more different. Whoever chose to carve out a business logo design like this wasn’t taking inspiration from any other car brand. It’s original and completely unique compared to any other car brand logo. And unlike Mercedes-Benz, the logo hasn’t changed that much since its first version. Sure, the coloring has changed as well as the font, but the shape and general idea haven’t moved very far away from that first design.

13. FedEx

Business Logos - FedEx Logo

The FedEx logo seems simple at first. It’s the name of the brand written out in colors that strangely complement one another and make both parts of the name stick out. However, when making a business logo, they went one step further. There is an arrow made out of the space between the “E” and the “x.” And while it is a subtle detail, it meant that the person who created the logo had to choose a font that worked with the shape. It’s easy on the eyes, but it took more planning than you would expect.

14. Pepsi

Business Logos - Pepsi Logo

While Pepsi is often thought to be the cola option when a restaurant doesn’t have Coca-Cola, the logo is definitely not just another cola option. When it comes to business logo fonts, this one stands out as 100% unique. You won’t find this font anywhere else. And the name of the brand isn’t even the king of this design. It’s the globe-shaped bottle cap in red, white, and blue that really grabs attention when you look at this logo.

15. Shell

Business Logos - Shell Logo

When it comes to logos, using the name to create the image works well, especially if your name is based on an easily recognizable object. Shell was lucky in this regard. They could use a stylized image of a shell when designing a business logo, and people would instantly understand what brand it was for. While previous versions saw the shell sketched out in black white, the latest colors of red and yellow make it stand out in an energized way.

16. NBC

Business Logos - NBC Logo

The NBC logo is world-renowned, even though it is an American company. Where it really shines is the peacock with colorful plumage. The bird isn’t drawn into the design, but instead, it exists in the white space of the logo. The colorful “feathers” are what steal your attention, and the tiny little detail of white space insert over the purple area makes the peacock evident. When it comes to logo design ideas for business, this one comes out tops because of its reliance on detail without being overly complicated in any way.

17. AT&T

Business Logos - AT&T Logo

This logo has been through some drastic changes over the years. The original wouldn’t even be understood in modern times due to the fact that the technology featured in it is no longer relevant. The white and blue globe has a 3D look to it, which sticks in your memory and makes it stand out. And the lower-case text of the company’s name next to it is so simple that it works without even trying. It’s the effortless effectiveness of this logo that makes it one of the best business logos.

18. Mastercard

Business Logos - Mastercard Logo

When it comes to logos, Mastercard is so well-known that it doesn’t need to rely on the name of the brand being in the image anymore. “Mastercard” used to be in the two circles, but the most recent version from 2016 has the brand name at the bottom. It’s almost an add-on and isn’t necessary because everybody knows that the red and orange circles represent the credit card company. That is true brand recognition. When anyone wants to create a business logo, what they initially hope for is that one day, the brand name won’t have to be there for it to be understood.

19. IBM

Business Logos - IBM Logo

IBM’s logo is so simplistic that you would think that it has always been that way. But it hasn’t. The original was black and white with a wordy effect to it. It wasn’t at all as bold and easy on the eyes as this current version. After the black and white version, it became closer to the logo we see today—the three bold letters. Only it was originally just in blue. Now, the business logo design is white and blue and stands out much more than it did back in the day. The white background makes the white stripes look as though they are invisible, and that’s the true genius of this design.

20. Gillette

Business Logos - Gillette Logo

For a razor brand, they could not have come up with a better font for their logo. It is clean-cut and sharp, representing exactly what the business is trying to sell. It’s also bold and slanted in a way that gives off the idea that this brand is modern and evolved. When looking at business logo design ideas, you should always consider whether you want to use an image or have a custom font developed. The latter can prove to be an excellent choice, as illustrated by this Gillette logo.

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Logo

Having the right logo could make all the difference in how your brand is perceived in the world. So here are some things you need to keep in mind when deciding on a logo.

Color Palette

Choose your color wisely. If you already have specific colors that represent your brand, stick to them when you’re looking at business logo examples. However, the logo of your business should lead the branding and not the other way around. Choose colors that work well together and avoid cluttering the design with too many colors, unless that is the aesthetic you’re going for.

The Devil Is in the Detail

Don’t be afraid to add little details to your design to make it stand out. However, it is important that you don’t go into too much detail that confuses the human eye. You want everything to be visible without anyone having to look at your small business logo for too long to try and understand it. Too many details and your design will lose focus, so keep that in mind. You can tell a story, but keep in mind that it should be instantly understandable.

Simplicity Is Key

You’ve heard the phrase, “keep it simple, stupid,” right? Nobody wants to have to decipher a logo to find out what it means. There’s no such thing as too on the nose when it comes to logos. So, before you go and come up with a complicated meaning for your logo, ask yourself whether people will get it immediately. Jokes and logos are the same in that if you have to explain it, it’s not working.

Conclusion

Business logos are important and can make or break the branding for your business. Keep in mind the above-mentioned logos and what makes them so great. Don’t necessarily imitate them, but maybe try and use them as inspiration.

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