Every day we are exposed to hundreds of logos, whether we realise it or not! We think we tune out all the branding that’s thrown at us each day but in actual fact those logos filter into our subconscious and become part of our everyday lives. Have you noticed how you can just glance at certain logos or colours and know exactly what it is? We can instantly make connections between a symbol and a product. Let me give you an example, Green mermaid… How many of you instantly thought of a white coffee cup? Well that’s the power of branding for you. Huge corporations such as Starbucks have filtered into our lives and took over our minds!
But this makes me think why. Why has a hot beverage become so strongly associated with a mythical sea creature? It makes no sense! Yet we are all so used to these iconic logos that we don’t actually take a step back and ask why? Well if you want to know the meaning behind some of the worlds most recognisable logos, then keep reading.
Logo 1: Apple
Quite an obvious but necessary starting point is the mobile technology giant Apple. This is a perfect example of how a brand can take a seemingly random object and completely change it’s meaning. Now when we say the word apple, for some, their first thought is iphone. It’s such an odd concept that we can instantly associate an ordinary fruit with a world of technology. So how did this happen?
Well this particular logo has been under debate for some time, with numerous theories flying around about the meaning of the iconic apple. One interesting argument is that the logo actually relates to the story of Isaac newton, who supposedly discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head. The apple In this story represents genius and a sudden revelation which redefines the world as we know it. To some extent that concept can apply to the technology giant. Their genius did change our lives and shape the future of communication. So maybe the simple logo is a way of apple secretly naming themselves genius?
There is also debate about the infamous single bite which gives the apple its iconic shape. Some have suggested that this is to pay homage to the brilliant computer scientist, Alan Turning, who died by biting into an apple laced with cyanide. Others have linked this to the story of Adam and Eve by showcasing the company as a forbidden fruit. This is ironically accurate as no one can seem to resist the temptation of their overpriced, sleek and shiny products (including me). But all these theories have been debunked by Rob Janoff, who designed the logo. He states these are wonderful urban legends and revealed that the bite was actually a practical solution, to stop the logo being mistaken for a cherry! Personally I prefer the forbidden fruit theory.
Logo 2: Nike
The iconic Nike swoosh is another logo up for debate. Many mistake the symbol for a tick, which commonly suggests competition or success. This makes some sense as sport is associated with a feeling of accomplishment. However, the swoosh is supposedly not a tick but a wing. The logo is meant to emulate the wings of the Greek goddess Nike, the goddess of victory. The whole brand has successfully associated its self with triumph and achievement through it’s clever use of mythology. The extended line of the swoosh is also said to connote movement, speed and energy which are definitely appropriate associations for a sport apparel brand. Personally I think the simplicity of Nikes branding, coupled with the subconscious meaning we attach to it, are partly what has made this such a successful brand.
Logo 3: Audi
Audi is an interesting one as I don’t think many actually realise the meaning behind the iconic four rings. Each ring apparently represents the four oldest car manufactures in Germany who joined forces in 1932 to form the Audi we know today. The overlap resembles the bond they formed as the four independent manufactures merged. There was a bit of controversy with this logo though, as many of you may have noticed the similarities between this and the Olympic games logo. The world Olympic committee actually took Audi to court but lost their battle for a trademark.
Make yours iconic
There are endless numbers of weird and wonderful logos out there but there are a few things that help set a logo apart. From the three examples here I think simplicity is key to creating a successful logo. We have loads of tips and tricks to help you create your own, so browse below.