The meaning behind 12+ Famous logo designs you will see today

Last year I published a post demonstrating some of the reasons why most clients will always perceive logo design as a quick and cheap task.

There’s a lot of time and more importantly thought that goes into a development of a good and functional logo.

I have collected some of the well-known logos with a creative rationale behind their design, which hopefully will inspire other graphic designers and educate clients. Chances are you will see at least one of these logos before you go to bed tonight.


creative rationale behind FedEx logo
If you concentrate your attention on the letters “E” and “x”. The negative space those 2 letters create, form an arrow pointing to the right side. This signifies forward or moving forward and this is what the company does.


creative rationale behind Adidas logo
The shape of 3 stripes on the Adidas Logo represents a mountain, pointing out towards the challenges that are seen ahead and goals that can be achieved.


creative rationale behind Amazon logo
The logo has an arrow pointing from A to Z. This signifies that they sell everything from A to Z. The arrow also forms a smile.


creative rationale behind Apple logo
The apple is a reference from the Bible story of Adam and Eve, where the apple represents the fruit of Tree of Knowledge, with a pun on ” byte/bite”. Rob Janoff, said in an interview that though he was mindful of the “byte/bite” pun (Apple’s slogan back then: “Byte into an Apple”), he designed the logo as such to “prevent the apple from looking like a cherry tomato.”


creative rationale behind Audi logo
The four rings, which make up the Audi logo, represent the four companies that were part of the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932. They were DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.


creative rationale behind BMW logo
The BMW medallion represents a propeller of a plane in motion, and the blue represents the sky. This is because BMW has built engines for the German military planes in World War II. The colors are the national colors of Bavaria, which now forms a part of Germany. (Email update by: Christoph Lauber)


creative rationale behind IBM logo
If observed closely, the IBM logo, also known as “Big Blue”, generates a message of “Equality”. The Big Blue IBM logo, with its lower right parallel lines, highlights in the shape of an “equals” sign. Furthermore, the term “BIG” in the Big Blue IBM logo refers to the company’s size in the market share, whereas, the “BLUE” is the official color of the eight-bar IBM logo.


creative rationale behind McDonalds logo
The idea of ‘arches’ was first introduced by Dick and Mac McDonald as arch shaped signs on the sides of their then ‘walk-up hamburger stand’. From an angle, those arches looked like the letter “M” and thus, were incorporated in the McDonalds logo as a merger of the two golden arches together.


creative rationale behind Mercedes-Benz logo
The star in three corners represents the Mercedes-Benz dominance on land, sea and air.


creative rationale behind Mobil logo
A simple typeface was used to attain exuberance and vitality. Red, being the intense color, evokes the strength and blue builds up a feeling of faithfulness and security for the company.


creative rationale behind Volkswagen logo
The simple logo icon contains the letters V and W: “volks” means “people” and “wagen” means “car”.


creative rationale behind Toyota logo
The Toyota logo contains three ellipses, which represent the heart of the customer, the heart of the product and the heart of technological progress and limitless opportunities of the future. In Japanese, “Toyo” signifies abundance, and “ta” means rice. In some Asian cultures, the rice represents wealth.


creative rationale behind Puma logo
The Puma logo has an image of a leaping Puma, an animal otherwise called a cougar, a panther or a mountain lion. Active both day and night, it is a powerful beast and an expert hunter that can jump to a maximum of 20 feet high in a single bounce. By incorporating the creature in the Puma logo, the company has summarized the complete meaning of its products into a powerful identity. The Puma logo itself characterizes the brand’s reliability and its products’.