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Greatest logo of all time?

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by Greg, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hey guys,

    Interesting discussion to kick off the logos forum... what do you believe is the greatest logo of all time? I'm talking about a single logo not a vote for a company because of its branding across the board...

    A few contenders spring to mind... Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, Nike, VW, Adidas, Starbucks, MTV, Ford...

  2. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest

    hmm. not sure about the 'greatest of all time' but I definitely like my logos uber simple.

    I'm not a massive fan of the Starbucks or Google logos, but I really think that MTV, Nike and Apple are up there with the best.

    The book Los Logos (and sequels) have some of the best logos in that I've ever seen.
  3. Mike

    Mike Senior Member

    Im sure i have read somewhere that the actual greatest logo of all time is FedExs

    Though I dont neccessarily agree :)
  4. red tiger

    red tiger Member

    Depends what the definition of greatest is, after all it's difficult to judge a brand's success given the variation of tactics used to enforce and promote that brand.

    I think in terms of lovability, it has to be someone like Apple, MTV or Honda - they've all worked very hard to change opinions and make a difference.
  5. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I guess that falls into a different discussion on the greatest brand of all time?
    Here comes the issues in the distinction between a logo and a brand, I guess for a logo to be in people's minds as the best for a question like this it must have had some amazing branding powering it to get it out there and to the front of people's minds.
  6. red tiger

    red tiger Member

    It's all too difficult to tie down, brands aren't just about marketing, they can be about changing opinion, provoking reaction, building on sub-brands, changing market positions - so many factors to take into account.

    I'd still opt for Honda, I don't own one - but I've bought into the brand so much.
  7. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    If I had to chose in terms of a logo standing out on its own I would have to say Nike, who doesn't recognize that logo and what it represents?

    As for brands Apple has to be up there for me as an obvious contender, the whole package is just so darn smooth, they even have a legion of die hard product fans that won't have a bad word said about the company or its products... that takes some serious brand power IMO!
  8. Eagle

    Eagle Member

    For me, personally, it's the Gatecrasher Lion logo. It just hits all the right notes for me. :) I love complex forms that are represented in a simplistic but stylish way. GC lion does that.

  9. Gaz

    Gaz Member

  10. Purplegurl

    Purplegurl Senior Member

    For me its the Channel 4 logo its so diverse and instantly reconisable not to mention simple
  11. matt

    matt Member

    I'm glad someone up the thread mentioned that a brand and a logo are two very different things.

    Is the Honda logo a really beautiful and succinct mark, or do they currently make really cool ads and so become a cool, interesting and forward thinking brand in their target audience's mind?

    The Coca-Cola logo?! Can you honestly imagine something like that getting commissioned today? The only reason everyone in even vaguely developed societies recognises that is because of their aggressive world-wide marketing.

    The same goes for Apple. Yes it's a succinct mark, but it's just a simplified apple (duh!), they just have excellent marketing strategists who've built up an uber cool brand over the last decade (lest we forget they were on the verge of bankruptcy before they released the first iMac). Don't get me wrong, I'm an Apple fan—I'm on of those w**kers who has never, and hopefully never will never, use a PC—and I love the brand, but one of the greatest logos? Really?

    London 2012 anyone?
  12. Purplegurl

    Purplegurl Senior Member

    Grrr dont mention London 2012 pleeeeeease that was my first assignment for uni ... re-designing it! drove me nuts! Did get a 72/A on it tho ;)
  13. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Matt I agree with your points, and it is important to distinguish between a logo and a brand with a discussion like this. Perhaps as a result of that it's going to be an impossible answer to get to, as the most common logos that spring to people's minds in general will be those that have had powerful branding and advertising to push them into the forefront of the mind.

    London 2012 is another thread altogether!

    As a general view of logos, my personal favourites are usually very simple, perhaps something that has a subtle message incorporated or plays with type in a clever way, or just a logo design that gives me the feeling of 'I wish I'd thought of that!'.
  14. berry

    berry Active Member

    Let's shake up the can here! (... without getting lynched)

    One of the greatest logo's of modern times and one of the first to utilise it's brand power was the Swastika.

    When Adolph Hitler, a frustrated artist, was placed in charge of propaganda for the fledgling National Socialist Party in 1920, he realized that the party needed a vivid symbol to distinguish it from rival groups. He sought a design, therefore, that would attract the masses. Hitler selected the swastika as the emblem of racial purity displayed on a red background “to win over the worker,” The swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. Because of the Nazis' flag, the swastika soon became a symbol of hate, antisemitism, violence, death, and murder.

    As a piece of pure graphic design it is flawless in it's geometry and simplicity, it is just a shame about what it ended up representing.
  15. lacedrabbit

    lacedrabbit Junior Member

    For Sure Berry..

    Hitlers passion and conquest over doubt imposed is breathe taking, but no one wants to forget what evil he did..

    back on topic, the swastika is up there in my favs especially after looking at it objectively and not at the branding :)
  16. DereckJohnson

    DereckJohnson Junior Member

    VW, Channel 4
  17. LankyDan

    LankyDan Junior Member

    This is a topic that we could all discuss for time indefinite and still not agree on one logo that would be classified as the best logo of all time.

    But as with everyone else here, I have an opinion as well :)

    To me what classifies a good logo is what impact it has on the environment it is in through time.
    This doesn't mean that a logo has to have a long history to be a brilliant and effective logo, but it helps.

    An example is the Google logo. Google has only been round for just over ten years and still, anyone who knows anything about internet has most likely heard about it and also use Google as their main search engine.

    Google is a strong logo, but then again it has not proven itself for more then a decade, so a logo that has survived the test of time would be considered as a stronger logo in my eyes.

    Texaco and Shell are two good examples of this. These two logos have been round for over a century and are still as strong as ever. They have a good development as well and as history has shown, every re-brand that these two companies has done has fit the time they have been designed for.

    Who knows where Google will be in a century? It might still stand as the most recognized search engine logos, but then again, with technology evolving as quickly as it does, it might not be. Texaco and Shell has at least shown its strengths with a great history.

    With all this said, my ultimate logo must be Coca Cola. As much as I hate the drink it has stood the trials of time since 1885 and is still one of the strongest logos and brands in the world today.

    Thanks for reading :)

  18. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest

    If the Nazis hadn't adopted this as their 'logo' would people still have said they thought this was one of the "greatest logos of all time"?

    The Google logo is one of the worst logos of all time. I think Google are an excellent example of a company that cares very little about the way its perceived graphically and is more interested in an awesome product than a flashy brand.

    Whats really interesting is that most of the brands mentioned here, Coca-Cola, Texico, Shell and the Nazis. Have either a pretty mediocre product, that people wouldn't buy if it wasn't for the brand i.e. Coca-Cola or something they feel they need to protect with a logo i.e. Texico and Hitler.
  19. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I think it's very difficult to look at a logo seperately these days as all the logos that spring to mind on a discussion like this are the logos that have huge branding budgets, and have been repeatedly put in 'the limelight'.
  20. Modermo

    Modermo Junior Member

    I think Fedex to be honest. The subliminal arrow is incredibly effective.

    But, then again, you cant go past companies like Apple and Nike. Goes to show simplicity is a good thing.

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