Logos Explained: Top 10 Logos in the World

What do some of the world’s best logos have in common, and what can we learn from them? This article explores and explains some of the finest and most renowned logos in the world. A countdown to the most highly rated logo.

This top 10 list is created according to statistical research indicating the most favourable logos in the world. So without further ado, let’s discover why…

Number 10


The Atari logo is an intriguing letterform mark that hides a deep meaning. Atari’s rise to fame was their game Pong. The logo was designed with that in mind, and the two side pieces of the ‘A’ mark represent two opposing game players, with the center line of the Pong court in the middle.

Moral: There might be a nice typographical approach to a logo that also makes it symbolic of its history, give this a try and you might make an ordinary logo to something very clever and memorable.

Number 9

McDonald’s letterform mark is one of the most recognized logo in the world. The identity was formed from an idea of the golden arches that the fast food chain had at the time at their establishment. The ‘M’ mark is clear, powerful and easily seen from a long distance.
The arches in the ‘M’ can also appear as rainbows, which symbolize joy and good times. Great feeling to convey in a fast food brand.

The typeface has an almost comic book appeal to it. This relates feelings of fantasy and notions of childhood, which also happens to be one of their top target market.

Moral: Look around your client’s surroundings to get some ideas of what might make a great and consistent logo for them. In fact, BP’s most recent and great logo was made this way, after surveying one of their old shops they had found a symbol that looked like what they have now.

Number 8

Mickey is synonymous with Hollywood and Disney, and the feeling of childhood dreams and cartoons. What makes this pictorial mark so strikingly powerful is the fact that Mickey is a hugely successful, unique and renowned cartoon design. The simplicity of the design greatly helps as people tend to remember things easier when they are simple.

Moral: When trying to make a memorable identity, always question the possibility of just let simplicity take over instead of thinking too complex.

Number 7

Major League Baseball has a pictorial mark which aims to capture a moment of excitement. Alike the logo for NBA, the colours used are from the American flag. While this isn’t entirely original, it also conveys the message across well. It is symbolic of American culture and thus is highly memorable.

It features a baseball player in the midst of hitting a baseball. This captures an exciting moment in the game and the feelings that comes with it. That of course, is one of the best feelings one can possibly associate with an identity.

Moral: Look out for cliffhanger moments in the brand you are designing for. It might bring about great feelings of excitement.

Number 6

Adidas has a clever abstract mark that uses the bars to represent progression and accomplishing the challenges and rigours of life. The bars when seen from a distance, can be interpreted as a mountain, further reinforcing the previous notion. From a short distance, they can also look like statistical bars and the progression of success in a graph.

The typeface has an elegant and contemporary feel about it, which is relevant to their target market, though I find it not visually consistent with their mark.

Moral: Logos can be more memorable if they are visually challenging your wits. In this case, the Adidas logo can be a range of different things should you choose to look at it that way.

Number 5

Ah, Nike. A logo so ridiculously good that it was designed for a ridiculous price of $35!

It’s great in so many regards and conveys deep meanings within the simple abstract mark. A swoosh like this can bring about a multitude of different emotions such as speed, direction, progress, correct tick – the right choice, and much much more. Not bad for a single tick huh?
The tagline is also ridiculously good. “Just Do It” reinforces the logo’s exact visual representations to the degree of awesomeness. Oh by the way, ironically this line was coined after a prisoner’s execution in response to requesting his last words!

The typeface has a strong and dominant character and its in italics to further emphasize the feeling of speed.

Moral: Look out for different/double meanings a symbol or tagline can convey. Just do it!

Number 4

Puma’s wordmark is great not only because it is conveying the authority, speed and dexterity of a large cat, its composition makes it really interesting. It seems as if the cat were jumping across tall skyscrapers.

The typeface used further establishes the authority and dominance the company has. All-in-all a very consistent and clever logo.

Moral: Reconsider your logo’s composition. There might be a more innovative and intriguing way to convey it.

Number 3

MTV’s logo has a few interesting aspects about it. The most important is that it’s actually designed so that the ‘M’ is interchangeable with other styles of M’s. This is relative to the music industry, which is always changing. It’s a successful design in that sense because as new trends and new generations come along, the logo will still remain great in the future.

The typeface of the ‘TV’ happens to be reminiscent of signatures that rock stars give out, further associating the music industry.

Moral: Some brands have to always revolutionize their logo when a new generation or trend comes along. It is always good to plan for this in the logo design.

Number 2

Coca-Cola’s ribbon type is actually perfect for its brand. The flow of the script typography can be symbolic of the liquid flowing and/or the feeling of celebration and presents, which is tied to ribbons. The colour Red reinforces those said notions, as it brings a feeling of celebration and energy. Very memorable of an identity because of those facts.
The typeface used also have a retro look to them, bringing feelings of the 70′s and grooviness to your mind.

Moral: If ribbons can associate so well with soft drinks, there’s got to be a ridiculously good association with what you’re designing for too!
It’s all about the brainstorm.

Number 1

*Drumroll* And the Number One Award goes to………

World Wildlife Fund, a simple Pictorial mark. Like most pictorial marks, it doesn’t have deep meanings within but what it lacks, it makes up for in terms of being a national symbol of China and evoking the emotions of people.
Its symbolism also associates warm, adorable, innocent feelings you get from seeing Panda bears to the company.
The usability is great, scalable to small sizes and the ability to be used in the form of stamps can be very handy. Black and white makes for a visually impacting logo, what better way to convey that impact than Pandas?

Moral: Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to design a literal pictorial mark and not think outside the box. Just as long as it does the job and conveys the message and symbol associated well.

Your Turn

Did I miss anything and have anything to add? Which of these do you think is the most impactful/inspiring/life-changing? Feel free to share your ideas!


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