Top 5 Brand Logos and Analysis

With Microsoft recently unveiling the first revamp of its brand logo in 25 years, many are left asking the question, “What actually defines an effective brand logo?”

Demonstrating a meaningful message, staying appropriate to context, and boasting distinct design choices – these are just a few elements of some of the greatest brand logos in the business world. Considering these logos are intended to identify a brand and convey some degree of trustworthiness and commitment between a brand and its customers, the elements of a logo’s design are crucial to perpetuating long-term success.

For some perspective, let’s take a look at some brand logo designs considered to be the best of the best: 

CNN. There’s a simple reason CNN hasn’t changed its logo in 32 years: Its design has already mastered the intent of the logo’s existence and visually captures the implied goals of the company. Featuring a white line running through the network’s letters that could be considered a representative “cable” of sorts, the red-colored, to-the-point logo strings together three letters to create a logo that transcends logo and borders on being a symbol. It is for this reason that CNN’s logo is so well recognized, piecing together simple design elements to create a logo that is distinct, easy to spot in a crowd of competitors, and embodies CNN’s company culture. 

Apple. Though the technology behemoth may not have overthought its logo too much (it is just an apple, after all), that may just be where its brilliance stems from. Much like the company’s products, Apple’s logo brings an edge to its otherwise straightforward design, strategically using a chic gray color and making the apple slightly angled to further represent the tech-focused aspect of the company. Apple’s understanding of its audience is what makes its logo a true stand-out.

Coca-Cola. The soda company’s timeless logo is also one of the least altered in history (the original logo appeared in 1885), particularly fitting for a company whose product will never lose its trendiness. In fact, the company’s logo has only changed once in its 127-year history, which included a subtle emboldening of the signature red font. 

The Olympics. This long-running logo finds success in simplicity by making seemingly insignificant, successive rings symbolic, implementing meaningful color usage, shape placement, and proximity. The logo intertwines rings of different colors to demonstrate unity, with the circular shape all at once representing the world, its diversity, and literal rings used in the games themselves. Making the brand even more unique, the logo has lived on through history without significant changes, making the design iconic by not tampering with a design formula that clearly works for its brand recognition. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Nike. Four decades ago, Carolyn Davidson created this now-ubiquitous logo for a mere $35. Though the design may look like a check mark, it actually represents the wing of the Greek goddess of victory’s wing, communicating a clear grasp of audience and – more importantly – exuding a degree of confidence in its brand that isn’t particularly common even amongst the most successful of companies. Nike’s logo combines a fairly standard textual logo with a symbolic accessory that puts Nike to the forefront of companies with great brand logos.

Time will tell how effective Microsoft’s new logo will be, but the computer software juggernaut has more than a few logo legacies to live up to.

About the author:
Melissa writes for ClickInks, an online retailer of printer inks and toner cartridges. Specializing in design, business, printing, and other areas.
My website is at:


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