Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

What’s your favourite logo?

herb lubalin families logo design

I want to give back some link love, so here’s a simple chance to have your blog or website mentioned.

All you have to do is answer this double-barrelled question in a comment:

  • What’s your favourite logo, and why?

Choosing just one as a favourite isn’t easy, so feel free to mention a logo you think is great, rather than an all-time favourite.

The logo doesn’t need to be well-known, and I’ll choose the best answers for an upcoming readers’ favourites feature. If a great design is mentioned more than once, the first person to give the answers will get a shout out.

Update: 28 October 2008
Here are 30+ Logo Design Love reader favourites.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

64 appreciated comments

  1. It’s hard for to pick a favorite, but the logo that always comes to my mind is another Herb Lubalin one to compliment the one in your header. Mother & Child is such a stunning logo.

    The beauty of the ampersand that feels so delicate as it nurtures the ‘child’ just breaks my heart. Is it the best logo in the world? No. But I can’t think of any logos that hit me so hard the first time I saw it and continues to make me smile. So, emotionally at least, that one is my favorite.

    (http://38one.com/logos/mother.jpg)

    Alex Charchar’s last blog post…To Infinity and Beyond!

  2. iParasite

    I love the United Colors of Benetton logo(http://tinyurl.com/55eujl),
    because it so simple and minimalist, and i love the combination of green and white. in my opinion it also supports the idea of Benetton (minimalism, elegance and a few colors), so it does what a logo should do, so it’s perfect.

  3. So hard to choose one.

    The CNN logo. Clean, classic and very versatile.

  4. Though this seems like an easy choice, the Apple logo is a really nicely designed logo. It’s simple (only has two marks), is recognizable everywhere and has adapted to change. I really love that logo, and all of the other design choices that Apple makes (except for the MobileMe logo.)

  5. I’m originally from Mexico. Now I live in New York and work as a graphic designer and art director. In my early years as a student (here, in the U.S.), I remember “waking up” to graphic design awareness and recognizing some great pieces of graphic design from my country. There must have been some golden era of design that I never knew, but in that era if, it indeed existed, someone designed the logo for Aeromexico, a favorite of mine.

    http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/041858u3ga0kv/340x.jpg

    I like it because it refers directly to Mexico’s prehispanic history – the aztec man wearing an eagle headdress – representing the dream of flying. How wonderful is that?

  6. The Islands of the Bahamas logo is one of my favorites…bright, colorful and evocative of the location it represents. And the Island Hopping campaign that launched the new look was also so fun.

  7. The Fashion Center logo by Pentagram:
    http://pentagram.com/en/portfolio/marks/the-fashion-center-1.php
    I always loved the witty and clear message of this simple mark.

  8. Even though I am a PC fan I would have to say the Apple Logo. I have studied the whole process in detail and written an essay about it for University… it clever on so many levels.

  9. That’s what I call definitely a question with a “double difficulty” mention !
    It’s hard to choose a good logo design out there, and it’s hardest to tell why a logo is best than others … But let’s play that game :)

    I’ll talk about our city’s (Agadir) new identity, which you can have a look at it here : http://www.aosfoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/logo-agadir.jpg

    It’s designed by Hicham Lahlou, a Moroccan urban designer (http://www.hichamlahlou.com/).
    Agadir is a city in south Morocco known especially of its 360 days of sun and its kilometres of sand and beaches. So the logo, had to emphasis these things : the blue of water, the wave (it can also refer to a mountain) and the sun (the yellow dot) !

    The font used on the logo is also great. The name of the city is presented also in Arabic and Berber (the signs in the middle … we call that alphabet : Tifinaghe)

    Voilà ! Hope you appreciate my choice :)

    PS :
    And sorry … My english is not so perfect :)

    Ahmed’s last blog post…Photographie : Jeff Divine et le Surf

  10. I actually was very impressed with the Beijing Logo, typeface and overall layout. One of my favorite logos of all time.

    http://www.fivb.org/EN/Infomedia/Photos/Thumbnail/logo_beijing_400.gif

    Other than that- I would have to say Spindrift by David Pache, and WDE Engineering, were always some of my favorites and inspired me to start designing.

    -Sean

  11. Euronews – white circle

    Why? Many logos incorporate a circle somehow, for it’s powerful symbolism, but none are bold enough to leave it the way it is. It isn’t very artistic or original, it is simple and very effective.

  12. The FexEx logo is most definitely my all time favorite! It was the first logo I really studied. I was fascinated by the fact that the arrow was hidden in between the E and X – how on earth did the designer ever figure that out? I wondered.

    Every time I see it out on the road, I just get ridiculously happy. Anybody in the car gets to hear me overflow with rapturous praise of the logo & its designer :)

  13. NIKE Swoosh

    I would have to say the Nike Swoosh designed by Carolyn Davidson. Not because it is an outstanding piece of design, but rather it has achieved its goal of being one of the most recognisable brand logos on a global level.

  14. FedEx – So simple, so clever.

  15. Genia Kodash

    FedEx – not everyone can spot an arrow! Great LOGO!!!

  16. That’s a good question and I have a few that come to mind, including:
    1. Core Cider
    2. at&t
    3. onwine

  17. Alex,

    Fantastic to see Lubalin’s Mother & Child logo mentioned. It’s one of my all-time favs.

    Thanks very much, everyone. Some excellent suggestions so far.

  18. http://www.div5.com.br/aloisiomagalhaes/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/bienal.jpg
    for shure this is one of my favourite one. Its from the Bienal Foundation in São Paulo, the institution that promotes the International Biennal of Art in São Paulo.
    The logo was designed by Aloísio Magalhães, one of the best designers ever born in Brazil.

  19. The best one that I’ve seen by far, even better than Fedex, I reckon, is the Amazon Logo. It looks nothing spectacular in itself, but contains 2 subliminal elements:

    1. The Amazon smile, promoting customer satisfaction & promise
    2. The Smile/arrow, literally pointing from A-to-Z

    Brilliant.

  20. Many of those mentioned would make my top ten. However, the moment I first saw the The Islands of the Bahamas I was in awe – the colors, the shapes, the concept, etc. The fact that each graphic element can be pulled out as a separate identifier for an individual island is brilliant. It was a real treat to hear Joe Duffy explain the whole process in his presentation at the HOW Design Conference this past May. You can see the design at http://www.duffy.com/

  21. There are many logos I think are great, however I love this kingsish study here very much: http://logopond.com/gallery/detail/30155

  22. I know I will be the odd man out here, but I always loved the Cingular Wireless logo. When it was launched I was sold on its modern look, sense of fun and youth, and its fresh color usage in a field of black and red sameness. I felt there should have been a funeral held for the brand when at&t took over the company. Although, I thought the transfer was done decently. Adding the Cingular orange to at&t’s color palette helped at&t’s brand in my opinion. Still, I felt the Cingular brand was sadly short lived. It had a promising future. alltel is now the youthful upstart cell phone company in the US market. Unfortunately their logo looks a bit too much like the at&t logo. http://www.alltel.com

    Speaking of alltel, they should have centered one of their television commercials on changing out the young Cingular Wireless rep actor with an old at&t rep actor right after the official name change. I would have hated to see the young actor lose his job, but it would have been an effective commercial. (I don’t know if alltel commercials air outside of the US, but it is an effective campaign and very funny.)

    Trish

    Trish

  23. Timo

    The Fender logo. It represents rock, as well as music in general. Although it is well over 60 years old, people from all ages and regions identify with it because it represents what we all have in common: the language of music.

    Ask most musicians or regular Joes/Janes and they can tell you that Fender has been a part of them, in some way or another. For the legends it is a symbol of their achievements. For the aspiring player, it is an inspiration for excellence. Like all classics, this one will continue to go strong and will never get old.

  24. As you say, it’s impossible to mention just one, but if I have to I’d choose ‘New Man’ from Raymond Loewy.
    It is distinctive, authentic and based on a very smart graphic idea.

  25. dan

    Difficult to pick just one.

    I have read all the posts and I concur with nearly all responders. So to say something new and not be a copycat I will choose Oakley.

    The Reasoning:
    The “O” as a stand alone graphical element is instantly recognizable. I think it is incredibly simple and instantly recognizable and that is a powerful combination.

  26. My favorites are Nike(for its brand recognition), Apple (minimalism) and Olympics logo (symbolic).

  27. I would say… the Deutshe Bank logo by Anton Stankowski in 1974. Because it’s strong, it’s beautiful and it has a clever geometrical construction… besides, it makes me want to trust them my money.

    links: Deutsche Bank,logo construction, logo history (pdf), Anton Stankowski.

  28. Oh yes I knew I forgot one. The new Swisscom (Swiss telecom) is getting bashed from all sides, but I can’t stop looking at it really. I know it looks like a strange apple/pear mutant but with that voice I think it’s well done: youtube.

  29. Families is my all time favorite. I think no need to explain why. :) It shows everything it need to show in a very simple and excellent way.

    My second favorite is FedEx (with hidden arrow :)), followed by Nike Swoosh and Apple.

    The personal logo I like most is the raja sandhu’s RAJA AMAZE.

  30. Thanks very much for your continued suggestions. I’m looking forward to piecing this logo feature together, and hopefully it’ll direct a few visitors your way!

  31. One of my current top picks is the Cotton logo.

    http://www.cottoninc.com/

    Nike, FedEx, and the Bahamas logo are all great picks as well. :-)

  32. I agree FedEx, Bahamas and Apple are all winners. As for Nike, it has reached iconic status; same realm as the Coca Cola and Shell logos. I’m sure FedEx and Apple, for sure, will soon reach iconic stature as well.

    I love looking at great logo design and everyone’s picks so far have been really wonderful and some quite surprising.

    Trish

  33. fedex
    its simple great!!

  34. This is what I get for being absent from the blogosphere for a week… my two favorite logos have already been mentioned, Families (thought of it before I saw the image load) and Mother & Child (though I believe this was never actually used, right?).

    I’ve always like the curves in the Coca Cola logo; even though it is so ubiquitous these days I don’t get tired of seeing it.

    And one that I keep thinking of is Swan Song by Maggie McNab. It’s very elegant, yet simple and to me, it perfectly, completely says “Swan Song.”

  35. ehsaan

    i really like fedex

    the hidden arrow is graphical genius.

  36. Although I’m not fond of alcohol, I must say I love the new logo for the dutch Gall & Gall chain of liquor stores. They’re currently experimenting with a new format to reach a broader audience.

    It can be seen here:
    http://www.wijnpers.nl/media/editor/gall300_1.jpg

    The following article is about the opening of the third pilot-store in their new format. This page shows both the current format and design and the new one which is currently being tested.
    http://www.gall.nl/article.jsp?trg=article.actueel.nieuwewinkel

    As of now I don’t know who made it, but I’m currently researching that.

  37. Tricky as hell this one but a quality post.

    Always been a huge fan of petroleum company logos (Esso, Texaco, Shell, Mobil…etc) for their simplicity rather than deep clever meanings, pure aesthetics.

    One of my personal favourites has to be the Batman logo.

    Anyone seen the new Ford logo? Shocking!! In my opinion, that is.

  38. AzAkers

    My favorite logo design is the Google logo.

    [ http://www.google.com/intl/en_ALL/images/logo.gif ]

    Now, now… before all you high-art loving designers have an aneurysm thrashing at your keyboard desperate to ridicule my selection and educate me on the many ways Google’s logo breaks from every conceivable standard of effective and meaningful design…

    My choice of Google is not based on a misconception that it’s use of color is clever, nor is it a delusion that it’s use of embossing to produce that three dimensional is inspired, and it’s certainly not the drop shadow that does it for me.

    No, rather it’s the fact that despite employing nearly every horrible technique and design mistake in the book (notably absent are a swoosh and lens flare) the logo is still one of the most recognizable and embraced brands in the world.

    It’s one of those marks that takes everything we know about branding and design, and throws it out the window – succeeding in function in spite of our best efforts to criticize it’s form.

    Although I die a little every time I see it’s drop shadowed form, I salute one of the most powerful marks in the world – the Google logo.

  39. Jasmine

    I love the hong kong logo:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1345000/images/_1348984_hongkong300.jpg

    It’s actually got the HK in it. But moreover the other aspects of the logo make up the chinese words for hong kong.

    I love the Google logo too.

  40. There is another logo out there that has been a solid logo for a very long time. It is the Yellow Pages Walking Hand Icon logo. That walking hand logo has stood the test of time. The walking hand has been adjusted, tweaked, and updated a lot over the years, but the original still stands as the best. Overseas the logo has horizontal lines going through it. Yellow Book uses a futuristic version (which is terrible!). Today the Walking Hand logo usually stands alone instead of walking across an equally iconic open book, or it is substituted for the ‘A’ in pages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_pages

    Trish

  41. iParasite

    i forgot to mention the timberland logo! It’s a masterpiece (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/2257109773/sizes/l/) Although it’s pretty much detailed (probably wrong grammar?), it looks even good in small sizes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/212720973/sizes/o/). in germany the shop signs have a rusty look. that’s looks great and shows that you can buy outdoor things here

  42. Merrill Lynch looks like a goner today. They have a superb logo that has been around awhile (it has been updated over the years). See the latest here http://www.ml.com/index.asp?id=7695_15125

    David, you should do an article on great logos that live no longer from no fault of their own.

    Trish

  43. Nathan

    The Astra Zeneca Logo is pretty nice. Especially when animated. I reminds me of the old Windows 95 – XP screensaver with the 3D pipes mixed in with Dr. Suess.

    http://www.dosbirds.org/bird-a-thon/Astrazeneca_Logo.jpg

    In the end, it may not last through the years but it works for now. It may be better to flatten it out. Who knows though; re-marking companies is becoming a regular occurrence.

  44. Kevin,

    Nice choice with the cotton logo. What is it about the design you enjoy?

    Lauren,

    I believe you’re right. The ‘Mother & Child’ logo wasn’t used. I’m thinking something similar for the ‘families’ logo, but can’t remember right now. Maggie’s Swan Song logo is an excellent idea, well executed. Thanks for suggesting it.

    Tjeerd,

    I wasn’t familiar with the Gall & Gall logo, so I’m glad you posted a link. In your opinion, what is it about the logo that makes it effective?

    Al,

    The Batman logo is quite iconic. Good choice.

    Jayson,

    Your personal opinion on the Google logo was interesting to read. I’ll certainly reference it in the follow-up post. Thank you.

    Jasmine, iParasite, Nathan,

    Good of you to each comment on your own favourites.

    Trish,

    That’s a coincidence you mentioning the ‘walking fingers’ icon. I’ve been researching it recently. You mentioned great logos that no longer live. Are you familiar with LOGO R.I.P.? Quite a nice site.

  45. Oh my giddy gosh.

    That Logo RIP site one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen!!

    Awesome work David.

    al woods’s last blog post…Woods Creative ftw!

  46. David,

    First of all, the wine-bottle shape in the negative space of the G. Secondly, I think it appeals to the customers they’re trying to reach with the new format (younger (30+ instead of 40+) and female customers). It somehow reminds me of those lounge-café’s and lounge-discotheques which have been popping up over the last decade.

    By the way the new format is developed by the company with Millford Brand-id: http://www.millford.nl/

    What’s your opinion on it?

    I’m almost inclined to say my entries fit more with the re-branding post.

  47. i love the fedex logo, clean, clever and simple.

  48. Al,

    Glad you like that R.I.P. site. :)

    Tjeerd,

    Thanks for offering your reasoning. I’ll be sure to include it in the upcoming ‘reader favourites’ showcase. The link to the Millford Brand-id site is appreciated. I’ve not looked around it (at least not recently).

    I like the simplicity of the Gall & Gall logo, and utilising negative space effectively is good too. As with all logos, it helps to see them in context, so your mention of the article is appreciated.

    Spike,

    Cheers for dropping in. The FedEx is a popular choice.

  49. Philippe Boyrivent

    Hello everybody,

    I’m french, and FedEx seems not to be so popular in my frog’s heart.
    So, i have to confess that the first logo to impress me when i was a kid is the one of a company i hate now. It is a supermaket: Carrefour (http://www.carrefour.fr/).
    Why this one? Because of the C in it. I’m still surprise when i see someone who never see the C in the logo. I like this logo just for this reason. It’s not a good one, but…

  50. I see why you like it Philippe. There seems to be hint of a fleur de lis in it as well. As you say probably not a good logo, but it has stood the test of time.

    As an American graphic designer, I am watching our economy go down taking several companies, along with their logos and brands, down with it. It will be interesting to see what new logos pop up to deal with the mergers and acquisitions going on now.

    Trish

  51. The CBS eye.
    It says it all visually!

  52. Thanks for your ideas, Philippe, Pat.

    I’ll be publishing a round-up of your favourite logos very soon (hopefully within a week or two).

    Trish,

    Why do I have a feeling some horror logos will crop up with corporate mergers? Maybe it’s the current 3Dish trends we’re seeing more of.

  53. Hi folks.

    I have two favorites and a third that has a very interesting development.

    My main favorite logo is Mother & Child logo. The clever use of typography depicting the unborn child in its mothers womb just works perfectly.

    The second logo on my list is the FedEx logo. This again is very clever use of typography and also negative space (the arrow made by E and x).

    The third logo I would like to mention is the Shell Oil logo.
    The development and redesign of this logo just shows a very successful evolution through style and time. Each logo is right for its era.

    Thanks for reading.

    Dan

  54. Todd Bertsch

    Ok David…well here it goes…I’ve been stewing over this for two weeks now since I read this post…even though my core expertise is interactive media, my all-time favorite projects are logo design. The most challenging of all design projects, as we all know!

    I must say that I really love the “bp” logo. It’s very clean, simple, energetic, symmetrical, fresh and was WAY ahead of it’s time. Especially with the “everything is green” effort that is being crammed down our throats. Oh, and the colors are beautiful and harmonious as well. I actually don’t like bp gas, but I love the logo every time I see it. I never get sick of it. What’s weird, is the fact that I also LOVE the “Shell” logo as well. Maybe because I know the whole story of it’s creation from Mollerup’s book. I can’t believe I just voted for two GAS logos. But that’s my choice and I’m sticking with it.

  55. Thanks David for giving us the room to express our love for logos:

    i think,one of my favorite logo is NIKE….it so unique,simple and easy to identify with.i guess the mathematical sign of correctness(i.e NIKE LOGO) means :mark of quality,mark of excellence,etc
    or do you have more you want me to know about the logo?
    i will appreciate it,cheers

  56. Daniel, Todd, Yomi,

    Thanks a lot for adding your own favourites to the list. I’m looking forward to publishing the outcome of your help.

  57. LOGO DESIGN LOVE is my favorite why:? bc is simple and looks cool i just love it and my second would be myspace

  58. And now here it is, my favorite logo…!

    THE
    BEATLES

    with the large “B” and elongated “T” that appeared on Ringo Starr’s drum kit from 1963 from through 1967. Without a doubt, this is the best-know logo in rock music history.

    Fascinating history behind it ,which I wrote about in the Nov. 1997 issue of Goldmine magazine. Very classy logo, though inconsistent. There were six versions, all slightly different, with the best one appearing on Ringo’s drum kit beginning in about 1966.

    Amazingly Apple kept using various versions of it until the mid-’90s after which it has pretty consistently used the 1966 version.

  59. Rachel

    My favourite logo is the Leeds Castle, its just so elegant and appropriate. I love the way the L and C make the shape of a swan. http://www.leeds-castle.com
    I see it everyday on a banner on the way to work with the wording underneath which is different to their website version.

  60. Haldun

    The WWF logo

    Direct, simple, recognizable.


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