According to Wikipedia, a logo is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition of a brand or company. It may consist of a design being abstract or figurative, or a simple wordmark text-based design. The history of logos goes back to ancient symbolism, hieroglyphs and family crests and heraldry. Early versions of logos were also used on signage for shops and pubs in the Middle Ages to show what they did and on products to indicate quality and identification of the merchants. The first logos considered as ‘modern’ evolved alongside mass printing in the 1900s.

Every now and again, as is the desired result of a logo design, a company or brand releases a logo that catches more attention than usual for being clever, unique or has a special aesthetic. Below we show some of these logos and what makes them so cunning, quirky and memorable:

The Beats by Dre is rather simple but recognisable – the ‘b’ is contained in a red circle that represents a human’s head with the letterform imitating the headphones the brand is most famous for. This allows the customer to see themselves in the headphone, making it a more personal brand element.

Amazon is one of the world’s foremost powers in online shopping and their logo needed to reflect just that. The yellow arrow that also represents a smile, starts with the letter ‘a’ and ends at the letter ‘z’ showing their diverse range of products on offer (everything from a-to-z). The smile also indicates the happiness their customers feel when shopping on the platform.

The VAIO (or Visual Audio Intelligent Organiser) range by Sony, is known worldwide for incredible technology. The logo represents the combination of both analogue and binary/digital technology. The letters ‘va’ are made to look like an analogue wave, while the ‘io’ resembles the numbers 1 and 0, representing a digital signal or binary code.

The logo for the London Symphony Orchestra also cleverly hides an orchestra conductor in its initials and the feeling of elegance is set with the script-like style.

Another example of a hidden surprise in a logo is found in the Le Tour De France mark. The ‘O’, ‘U’ and ‘R’ creates a stylised cyclist and the yellow circle represents the bike’s front wheel.

The logo for the French company New Man also contains a visual trick. It is believed to be one of the first ambigram-logos, meaning that you can read it the same way upside down. This also reflects the versatility and innovation of the clothing.

The colours found in the BMW logo come from the Bavarian Flag (blue and white). It is believed that the logo represents the spinning blades of a propeller, as the company was also famous for aviation technology and products.

The popular shipping company FedEx has its logo displayed on trucks and planes, and although there isn’t anything special about the colours or typography, it still contains a hidden gem. If you look at the negative space between the ‘E’ and ‘x’, it forms an arrow which depicts the idea of moving forward.

The makers of the famous triangular chocolate brand Toblerone are based in Bern, Switzerland. The city is also known as the City of Bears and even has the animal represented on their coat of arms. When the company created its logo, it therefore decided to hide a bear in the negative space of the Matterhorn Mountain, also found in the province.

The unmistakable swoosh Nike logo was created for only $35 and was designed by a graphic design student. Years later however, she was luckily compensated for what would become one of the most recognisable and iconic logos in history.

Contrary to the Nike logo as listed before, the BP oil and gas company spent an incredible $211,00,00 on the re-design of their logo, replacing the shield logo they had previously been using for over 70 years. The newly designed ‘Helios’ logo only featured the colours green and yellow from the previous version, as they represented growth and energy.

The four circles that comprise the Audi logo represent the four companies that made up the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932: DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.

Adi Dasler founded the Adidas shoe company in 1924 with his brother Rudolf. The initial shoes featured only two stripes which became an identity of the company. Unfortunately, years later, his brother left the company to start Puma, a competitive shoe brand. As the two stripes where registered he had to change the identity and added the now famous third stripe on a whim.

How many of these logos do you recognise?

When we design logos, we try to make every colour, line, and composition unique and meaningful to fully represent your brand and company and create a memorable identity to make you stand out.

Contact us today and let’s see if we can help you create the next world-famous iconic logo.