The world's most successful brands all have something in common: a logo so iconic with the ability to generate an immediate association between consumer and organization. And just like flags, the best logos exert an overwhelming impact on people. A logo is a defining source for a brand, an element that requires precise execution. Not only are logos visual manifestations of brands, they are also a vehicle that transmits the personality, values and traits that define a brand in a powerful, succinct and memorable way. Traits that may exist within our context and surroundings and that evoke experiences that reinforce our views on a specific matter -- in some cases even implying a historical or cultural reference. Quite a task, huh?
Designer Paul Rand once said, "An ideal logo is simple, elegant, versatile, practical and unforgettable." It may not be more than an insignia, but one that acquires significance through time thanks to encounters. And even though a logo may change throughout the years, it must strive to maintain within the mind of a customer its union with the concept that originally gave meaning to it. Or as Complex.com states, "The visual identity of a logo can make or break a brand in the eyes of a discerning consumer. Throughout a single company's history, various logos serve as indicators of values, loyalty, and togetherness. "
In his book "How Brands become Icons", Douglas Holt says, "Academic research demonstrates that the extraordinary appeal of the most successful cultural products has been due to their mythic qualities. Over time, as the brand performs its myth, the audience eventually perceives that the myth resides in the brand's makers - its name, its design elements and its logo. The brand becomes a symbol, an embodiment of that myth. So as customers drink, drive or wear the product, they experience a bit of the myth. In modern societies, the most influential myths address people's identities. Iconic brands function like cultural activists, encouraging people to think differently about themselves."
According to 99designs, five essential logo design characteristics are: simplicity, originalty, memorability, clarity and brandibility. Other factors such as uniqueness, union between the brand name and aesthetics, instantaneous and visceral understanding, timelessness and scalability are also factors to bear in mind.
Danish digital agency, Inetdesign, sought out to prove the connection between logos and successful branding. In the following video, they simulate the world's most iconic logos, such as Coca - Cola, Ford, Star Wards, Google, Ikea, among others, while changing the brand name. (Bet you'll have no problem distinguishing them.) This clever exercise served as a platform in order to share the factors -- besides logo design -- that are crucial to branding.