“Some of the best logos are obvious, that’s what makes them resilient.”

Red Cross logo
Red Cross, designed by Henri Dunant, 1863

Penguin logo
Penguin, designed by Jan Tschichold, 1949

Blue Circle logo
Blue Circle, designed by F H K Henrion, 1970

Puma logo

Shell logo
Shell, designed by Raymond Loewy, 1971

Apple logo
Apple, designed by Rob Janoff, 1977 (updated 1999)

Bell logo
Bell System, designed by Saul Bass, 1969

Greyhound logo
Greyhound, designed by Raymond Loewy, mid-1950s, (updated 2010 by Ajana Green of BSSP)

Chevron logo
Chevron, designed by Lippincott Mercer, 1969 (updated 2005)

Sometimes, the design is in the name, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Logo Design Love, the book

18 thoughts on “Literally

  1. Well… It’s worth nothing they’re an obvious depiction of the name of the company, but not of the industy they’re in.

  2. No idea who designed it, but Puma’s original logo dates back to 1948. The image we recognize today, gets its backbone from a version produced in the seventies.

  3. I’d also like to point out how a simple name has played into the success of these companies. A lot of companies try to squeeze so much into a name that it becomes almost as exhausting as their ghastly logos :).

  4. “A logo is only as good as the company it represents” – Paul Rand.
    Having said that a logo needs to connect, and these surely do. Being literal representations of the name itself enhances that connect.

  5. @David – “A logo doesn’t need to say what a company does.” Of course not. First huge misconception that laymen will make tho.

  6. @Neha – “A logo is only as good as the company it represents”. That probably is grossly taken out of context. Why? Because it should read “a logo can be only as good as the company it represents”. We’ve all seen cases of a great company with awful (not only aesthetically) logos.

  7. These are examples of logos that can be presented without the logotype, which makes them even cooler. As you mention, the obviousness is what makes them. Keeping things simple, makes them more sophisticated.

  8. @CA – “A logo is only as good as the company it represents” is a quote by the GOD of Graphic Design – Paul Rand – may he rest in peace.

  9. @CA that was it, my bad :)
    i’d read this one long back.. thanks for sharing it again.

    I totally love and admire Paul Rand, I think he had this amazing quality of simplifying incredibly deep thoughts – a very difficult thing to achieve for most people.

  10. I remember studying about Jan Tschichold in school and thought he was kind of dull. I stand corrected. The penguin logo is still relevant today and a well recognized icon.

To help prevent spam, comments are closed on posts older than one year.