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Best Logos That Became Icons

  • I Heart NY Logo, design by Milton Glaser
February 4, 2017
Alias of Ksenija Pantelić

What do the best logos share and what is a good logo design? Once asked this question, the legendary graphic designer, Milton Glaser, known for the I Love New York logo, replied that “simplicity is the key”. This should not surprise any of us since the best logos are the ones that grab our attention quickly and which stand out from the crowd. As a consumeristic society, governed by the chase and the need to fulfill our desires, all of us seem to have a lesser attention span than our ancestors. This lack of attention and focus is one of the key issues for many art theoreticians and museum workers, who, more often than not speak about the short gaze, or the gaze through the camera that many visitors give to the displayed masterpieces.

Facing similar issues, great designers know that the logos they create need to not only be catchy and unique, but that they also need to be adaptable for use in other mediums. Major food and car manufactures, fashion labels, TV stations frequently implement their logos on other items, which not only promote their company but for sure add to the budget.

Yet, above anything else, the best logos are the ones which are timeless, iconic. Many of them share the similar use of clean lines, symmetry, structure, and neutrality.

As time passes, the most successful logos no longer stand only as the symbol of the brand but become design icons. The following ten logos we have chosen for you, for sure emphasize this idea.

All images used for illustrative purposes only. Featured image: I Heart NY Logo, design by Milton Glaser

  • Nike Logo Design. Image via


The author of this famous logo, Carolyn Davidson, was inspired by the Greek goddess of victory. Wishing to symbolize the idea of movement and speed, the author created the Swoosh, which became one of the most iconic images of the world. In 1978, Nike company updated the logo and incorporated a bolder, all caps font, along with the slight re-positioning of the Swoosh. Yet, due to the fact that the letters and fonts were considered redundant, next to the dominant and timeless feeling of the Swoosh, the company choose to remove the brand name, leaving the Swoosh as its sole symbol. Changing in color, depending on the product, the simplicity of this symbol is forever imprinted in our mind to stand for nothing else but the Nike company.

Featured image: Nike Logo Design. Image via

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The original logo for the now famous and celebrated Apple company reflected a complex idea of gravity and the findings of Isaac Newton. Incorporating the quote “Newton…a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone,” and featuring the words Apple Computer Co, it was considered too complex and too cute. Instructed by Steve Jobs, the designer Rob Janoff created the apple illustration. At that time, the logo was created with rainbow colors, appealing to the young people and reflecting the ability of the computers to reproduce colors. In 1984, as the company released its Apple Macintosh, the design changed again. Believing that the apple illustration was unique and bold enough, the company opted to take out the words and to concentrate one single symbol. The iconic bite was taken out of the apple, to distinguish it from the cherry, and slight modifications of colors and shading occurred many times, but it never steered away from the distinctive symbol of the company.

Featured image : Apple Logo Design.Image via

  • Pepsi Logo Design. Image


The famous cola drink brand was first launched in 1898, and has evolved through the ages. From the decorative scripted font to the red, white, and blue globe we recognize today, the company and its product withheld the tests of tastes and of time. Few years ago, the company hired Arnell Associates to come up with slight alterations of the globe design. The document with the companies wishes was leaked and it allowed the public insight into how much thought is behind a very simple design. In order to work, simplicity needs to have hidden associations and meanings, similarly to the allegorical paintings of the past. In this case, the ideas for the new Pepsi logo needed to subtly reflect the Feng Shui, the Renaissance, and much more.

Featured image: Pepsi Logo Design. Image

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Coca Cola

Created with the use of a Spencerian script typeface, which was the principal style of formal handwriting at the time, the Coca-Cola logo design also went through changes from its original 1886 image. Confirming yet again that simplicity is the key, the company rejected the more complex ideas, which featured swirls and what appeared to be cherries hanging from the Cs of Coca-Cola. The original design, by Frank Mason Robinson, is what we still have today and what has become one of the most recognizable brand logo designs.

Featured image: Coca Cola Logo Design. Image via

  • Mobil Logo Design. Image via


The timeless Pegasus, an integral part of the Mobil logo, even appeared in one of the most famous collaborations of pop art’s history, that of Andy Warhol and Michel Basquiat. Even though the company changed the face of its company several times, the Pegasus stood strong until 1964 when Mobil simplified the logo to only include the company name with the signature red O.

Featured image: Mobil Logo Design. Image via

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Whenever one thinks about fashion, the label Coco Chanel for sure comes to mind. Representing the house which was responsible for the revolutionary female fashion, which forever changed the way women dressed and presented themselves, the logo, representing the double C’s reflect the style of the products it helps to promote. The minimalist fashion designs and the focus on elegance is reflected in the simplicity of this design. Created by the use of two C’s, representing the initials of the author, this logo is not only considered as one of the best logos but an iconic image of an iconic fashion label as well.

Featured image: Chanel Logo Design. Image via

  • McDonald's Logo Design. Image via


As one of the images which are literally everywhere, the golden arches on the red square for all of us echo the food chain Mc Donald’s. In the 60’s McDonald’s wanted to change their logo yet their consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin insisted that the golden arches remain, analyzing their symbolic quality and association to the pair of nourishing breasts. Whether this is true or not, this logo is for sure one of the most recognizable in the world.

Featured image: McDonald’s Logo Design. Image via

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Drawn by the artist Dik Browne, Miss Chiquita was introduced as the logo and mascot for the banana company in 1944. In early years, the mascot appeared on radio shows and made many guest appearances in movies, and commercials. In 1987 it changed into the iconic image we know today, as the woman with a fruit hat. Regardless of the fact that many changes also occurred with this logo design, the woman with a fruit hat will forever stand for this company.

Featured image: Chiquita Logo Design. Image via

  • MTV Logo Design. Image via


From the very beginning, the MTV logo has been constantly changing in color, patterns and images, that filled the block M. During the 1990s and 2000s, MTV opted for a simpler white logo. Reflecting the various programs, it promoted and the brands of music, explains the shifts in the patterns and colors. Yet, as it is always the case with best logos, one important part needs to remain consistent, as it is here with the block M on which tv is scrolled.

Featured image: MTV Logo Design. Image via

  • Mercedes Benz Logo. Image via


The iconic three-pointed star that was selected as a trademark of the company, stands for the company’s desire to dominate on land, on water, and in the air. In 1916, the star became surrounded by a ring, bringing the concept and desires of this company that much more together. As with the rest of the examples from our list, the logo went through several changes, only to return to the slickest and elegant idea which represent the timeless effect.

Featured image: Mercedes Benz Logo. Image via