Walk throughs

How to create a timeless logo

ThFuture Of LOGO Design

In an era defined by fleeting attention spans and an increasing need to build meaningful relationships between companies and their customers, designing a timeless logo has always been a pivotal opportunity for brands to attract new customers.

A good logo can be of any shape or size, can be a Logotype (text-based logo) or it can be a Logomark (Icon-based logo, with possible text). What it must have, though, is a style and presentation that fits the company’s image.

Does the company require a Logotype, or it can be a Logomark, or a combination of both?

Logotype

Google Nasa Coca Cola Disney Logo Types

LogoType of Google, Nasa, CocaCola and Disney

Logomark

Apple Shell Penquine and Target Logo Mark

Logomark of Apple, Shell, Penguin and Target

 

Some would say both text and icon are necessary (a combination mark), such as Starbucks. The following logos can never been defined by their name alone, as their text+icon emblems have become a cornerstone of their identity.

Combination Marks (Text + Icon Logo)

                       nfl logo burger king logo starbucks logo

                

As we shall see though, in the case of Starbucks, the simplicity of its logo design allowed the company to further evolve its design without affecting its brand image, unlike the other two.

coca cola logo 1

The logo has been considered a timeless and iconic signature for the brand for many years, and it all began with the founders of the company, Frank M. Robinson who came up with the idea for the name, noting that “the two Cs would look well in advertising”. He may have used Spencerian Script, a font that was popular in the late 1800s, but which has managed to stand the test of time.

the evolution of coca cola logo

               

 

The distinctive type and its ondulating curves, mixed in with the unbelievable success that Coca-Cola has enjoyed for the past century and beyond, would inevitably attract copycats.

A great example of logo piggybacking is the Spanish brand Cacaolat. Beyond its name itself resembling Coca-Cola, the company happens to be one of the first companies to sell bottled chocolate milk-based beverages.

coca cola copy cat logos

Apple

Apple as a brand has always emphasized its focus in creating ‘revolutionary’ products that are technologically advanced and yet simple enough for everyday consumers to use and create amazing things with.

 

Apple’s logo began defining itself with Newton’s “falling apple”, in a heavily framed, difficulty read type that belies the company Apple is today:

 

1976 – Original logo

Apple's original logo

As Apple’s momentum began to grow, the company moved away from its association to Newton and started building upon its image of the Apple:

Apple's second logo

It began refining its “Apple-bite” in the 1990s,  but continued to define itself with text.

                                      Apple's third logo Apples fourth logo

 

By the 2000s, when the strength of the brand had reached universal recognition after big hits like the iPod and the iPhone, Apple dropped all text from it’s emblem, choosing to define itself by the simple fruit illustration and in single colours, most often black on white background (predominantly in its TV commercials):

Apples logo 1

Starbucks (combination mark)

Starbucks original logo

Starbucks’ logo is synonymous with coffee culture these days. From its humble roots in Seattle, the company began with a prominent image of a Siren from  a 16th century Norse woodcut. This represented the hometown’s seafaring roots and its mixture of nautical history and mystery convinced its founders of its value as their brand image:

 

It would soon change this style to a more memorable green colour as it began selling properly brewed coffee, as well as removing its side labels (opting instead for a company ‘seal’) and simplifying its Siren’s image also. Most importantly, though, is the company removed all extraneous text and became firmly associated with coffee:Starbucks updated logo

 

Though it changed slightly to a more vibrant colour in the 1990s, it is the current logo, unveiled on the company’s 40th anniversary year (2011), which has marked the evolution of the brand:

 

       starbucks updated logo 2

As mentioned earlier, the brand began as a Combination Mark, a mix of both text and icon. The company’s decision to remove its text follows Apple, a moment in which the company’s creators felt the brand’s image was powerful enough to not require a word for it to be recognized. Thus it only retains its Green stamp with a simple Siren.

 

DEFINING TIMELESS LOGOS

From the samples above there are a few obvious similarities that have ensured the timelessness of a logo and its recognition with the public:

  • Simple shape
  • No overly complicated graphical elements
  • No gradients
  • Limited colours
  • Logo easily identifiable when scaled down

BASIC STEPS FOR DESIGNING A CLASIC TIMELESS LOGO

  1. Research the market, target customer and company
  2. Look at present trends, classic logo features, and future possibilities
  3. Sketch out ideas
  4. Look to create each part of the logo as stand alone
    1. Each font, the logo mark, the logo type. This enables each part of the logo to be individually recognised.
  5. Once you create a classic logo that is stand alone, over time the logo will get striped down into its simplest form but you have created a timeless logo.

What is the future of logo design?

The elements mentioned above are crucial in defining a successful logo that can be timeless. The companies that did it well have managed to condense their image into one defining symbol that speaks out to the larger public. What this does is not only help a customer recognize the brand immediately, but it also reminds them of the company’s ideals.

We believe it’s good for brands to follow some of these core assumptions to create a memorable logo:

  • A design that isn’t overly complex
  • Branding that captures the company’s essence
  • Avoid too many flourishes (if using text)
  • Make sure the design is purposeful (read our article on purposeful design)
  • An original design that lends itself well to subtle evolution

To learn more about great logo design and branding visit www.startteck.com

 

References

http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/stories/history/advertising/the-logo-story/]http://inkbotdesign.com/logotype-vs-logomark/
http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-ipad-air-2-vs-samsung-galaxy-tab-s-vs-surface-2014-10
http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/4/25/ipad-growth
http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coke-lore-santa-claus/
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/11/11/starbucks-cup-controversy-the-hidden-meaning-of-the-starbucks-logo/
http://www.logodesignlove.com/starbucks-logo-evolution
http://www.starbucks.com/blog/so-who-is-the-siren

 

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2 Comments
  • […] almost untouched for many years. Whether a company sells tomato soup or running shoes, there are several components that can make the company’s brand image timeless and allow it to reach a target market for years […]

  • Jan 18,2017 at 4:44 pm

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

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