Logo designs are meant to embody the very spirit of the company they represent. Some logos remain unchanged after decades of use, while many undergo periodic updates to reflect a more modern look and feel. Companies such as Pepsi and the BBC have spent fortunes trying to make their logos contemporarily appealing. E-learning site Udemy deconstructed 50 of the most successful logos and analyzed their attributes to learn what makes a great logo.
Some logos are so iconic that their color is almost as important as their content. Think about Coca-Cola and the color red, for example – the two are inseparable. With so many appealing colors to choose from, it might be surprising that 43 companies chose to use only one or two colors. Of those companies, more than half chose blue or red as the primary logo color. The emotional arousal caused by certain colors is likely the reason. Red is said to represent passion and aggression, whereas blue is said to represent comfort and trust. For example, many financial institutions use blue logos.
Another important factor in logo design is shape and flatness. Logos with a rectangular shape were by far the most common, while logos with no overall shape were rare. Regardless of the structure, there is a rapidly increasing prevalence of flat logos. To better understand the flattening trend, compare old and new logo versions for Google, Microsoft, Apple, and UPS. Flat logos look better on mobile devices (apps and websites), and with mobile web traffic now exceeding desktops, it’s no wonder why so many have made the switch. A stunning 45 of the 50 logos are completely flat.
With all the time, money, and effort that go into creating the perfect logo, designs are still subject to consumer preference. A recent survey we launched shows that the flat logo trend is spot on, representing 90 percent of the respondents’ most preferred logos. For logos that have a defined shape, round is the unanimous favorite.
The statistics show specific design trends in utilization, and in many cases, these details are meant for the target audience. They say there is no accounting for taste, a fact that is made clear by the overall top three logos in our consumer preference survey; these logos (Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks) couldn’t be more different. Perhaps in the world of corporate logos, the final product is greater than the sum of its parts.