Open Associates

TOP FIFTEEN: LOGOS

As any marketing professional will tell you, a good logo can be a powerful thing. If a logo can transform a man wearing his underpants on the outside into a superhero, imagine what it can do for a company brand. A good logo will send a message that instantly communicates your brand, distilling a company and everything it stands for down into simple symbol.

Which is why of course big businesses spend so much money creating them. In 2008 Pepsi reportedly spent $1m on their new logo that to all intents and purposes looks remarkably similar to their old one. The most recent incarnation of the BP (designed by Landor) was equally expensive but, rumour has it, was inspired by the mosaic floor in BP’s own HQ which the designers spotted when taking the client brief. But for every logo with a million dollar price tag, there are a thousand others costing a whole lot less and crafted with equal care and generating as much success.

We’ve picked out some of our favourite logos plus have some interesting observations based on the top 100 most valuable brands and their logos:

  • – 30% of the top brand logos use red.
  • – 35% use blue.
  • – 23% are black & white or without a set colour scheme.
  • – 14% use a colour field or bounding box background.
  • – 20% feature yellow or gold.
  • – 51% use one colour.
  • – 27% use two colours.
  • – 26% use a wordmark only.
  • – 7% don’t refer to the company name at all.
  • – 13% use acronyms rather than the full company name.
  • – 4% use an illustrative or hand-drawn style.
  • – 9% use animals or people.
  • – 28% feature a square (ish) aspect ratio.
  • – 57% feature a horizontal (ish) aspect ratio.

And some of our personal favourites:

Circu of Magazines
Circus of Magazines was named the World’s best logo in the Worldwide Logo Design Annual.

clever-logo-fedex
The Fedex logo has a beautifully crafted directional arrow in the negative space between
the E and x.

world-wildlife-fund
Originally designed in 1961 the World Wildlife Fund logo has stood the test of time.

woolmark_logo
The iconic Woolmark logo has acted as a symbol of quality for over 50 years and appeared on
over 5 billion products.

va
Designed by Alan Fletcher at Pentagram in 1989, the Victoria and Albert Museum
is beautifully understated.

mcmenemy hill logo
McMenemy Hill specialise in face to face strategic marketing –
themes which are cleverly incorporated in the chess piece used in their logo.

Food writers logo
The Guild of Food Writers logo subtly incorporates both food and writing in their logo.

stones
John Pasche designed the “Tongue and Lip Design” logo for the Rolling Stones in 1971.

i-love-new-york
The I love New York logo by Milton Glazer was conceived in the back of a taxi en route to a
meeting for a campaign for New York State.

ibm-logo
A Paul Rand classic designed in 1972.

mother_and_child_logo
The Mother & Child logo is both elegant and subtle.

penguin logo
The original 1939 logo was designed by an employee who new how to sketch but the Penguin logo
has cleverly evolved over the years.

playboy_logo
Playboy’s iconic mascot was created by Playboy art director Art Paul for the second
issue as an endnote.

Freedom logo
The Freedom Travel Group logo makes you want to fly.

Continental
The C and O of Continental combine to make a beautiful 3 dimensional tyre.

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