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Extraordinary Logos Throughout History And Why They’re So Great

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013.

If you’re thinking about how to brand yourself in the business world, then the odds are good that you’ve considered designing a winning logo a time or two. Logos are those symbols that allow our brands to be instantly recognized. With a good logo, not only can you increase your brand awareness, your reputation, and ultimately your bottom line, but a great logo can also help you to stand out historically.

Just think about some of the all-time greatest logos out there. They’re attached to businesses which have stood the test of time, rising up through the ranks and dominating the competition. Even in the most competitive markets out there, it’s no mystery why some of the best businesses around also have the best logos. It’s something that goes hand in hand.

Take a look at the five greatest logos throughout history and see what they have in common, what makes them great, and what you can possibly learn from them.

The 5 Best Logos Ever


With or without the most famous four-letter word in shoes, the Nike Swoosh is undoubtedly one of the most popular logos in history. It earns the top spot on this particular list due to its crossover appeal. Though Nike makes athletic shoes for everyone from tennis and basketball players to track stars and umpires who referee sporting events, people from housewives to executives wear these sneakers. The Swoosh is super simplistic yet as iconic as it gets.

Part of the genius in the Swoosh is that it’s a logo that fits perfectly on its intended target – a sneaker. The way it flows and the unmistakable connotation give it extreme power, and it’s been a dominant logo for over 30 years.


The saying used to be “as American as apple pie.” But these days, many put Coca-Cola in the pie’s place as the quintessential piece of Americana. Two very simple words which have remain unchanged for ages, the Coke logo was instantly iconic, evidenced by early to mid-1900s Coke machines which sell for thousands of dollars today. This logo has it all: The simplicity, the ingenious branding, the eye-catching appeal; and it’s also very easy to recognize and remember.

Even if Coca-Cola went out of business tomorrow, this classic logo would still be widely sought after for centuries by individuals looking to purchase machines, bottles, and other mementos with Coke’s logo attached to it.


Apple’s brilliant and iconic logo proves that you don’t need your company’s name anywhere near a logo. Or does it? Creating a company and naming it Apple gave the marketers a great opportunity to say it all without having to say anything. And while Apple’s apple used to be multi-colored, striped, and other variations of the same shape, it has always been a bitten apple, and it has always been a very popular, creative, simple logo.

Of course, the logo didn’t become one of the best in history until Apple started to give Windows a run for their money with Mac, and then came the i-series products, such as iPods, iTunes, iPhones and iPads. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a person in the world who didn’t recognize this logo.


The Federal Express Corporation used to be known as FDX rather than FedEx. My, what a difference a simple change can make. Since changing their name and ultimately changing their logo, FedEx has been the single most-recognized shipping company in the world. What’s amazing with this popular logo is that it was a little bit lucky.

As you’ll notice, the E and X put together form a well-placed arrow, and it’s this kind of artistic imagery that really draws the eye and makes it nearly impossible to forget the brand.


Whether it’s the classic logo, like pictured above, the golden arches standing alone, or any other of the few variations, McDonald’s logo is definitely one of the best in the history of business logos. Those arches are recognizable all over the world, and McDonald’s has restaurant in over 120 countries – over half of the planet!

So, what exactly makes this particular logo so good? One word: Simplicity. A rounded, golden letter M set against a red backdrop. It doesn’t get any simpler, and, perhaps by chance, it doesn’t get more brilliant.

Apple’s logo may have gotten a bit brighter, while McDonald’s golden arches has taken on a slightly different hue, but when it comes to the shapes and images and feel of these logos, all five listed above are truly timeless.

Attempting to create this type of timeless logo will most likely lead you down a road of failure. The fact of the matter is that these logos are truly one in a million. They all contain the classic elements of a successful logo, such as the simplicity, the creativity and the uniqueness to be memorized and recognized by millions upon millions of people. But none of these brands has this type of success in mind when dreaming up these logos.

So remember to take away some inspiration from these timeless logos, but also be cautious about trying to force success.

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Try our free logo design generator, with Logosack it's fast and easy to buy a new logo.

No design knowledge required!