8 Interesting stories behind great logos

Corporate logos are more than just a pretty picture designed to create a brand for a company or a product, they are something that becomes instantly associated with a brand and the designers attempt to instil trust, and loyalty and, of course, a willingness for you to part with your money, all in one simple graphic. Corporations spend millions on their brands and logos and sometimes it goes horribly wrong! The UK postal service spent £1.5 million changing their name and logo to ‘Consignia’ and then, fifteen months later, spent a further £1 million in turning it back again to ‘Royal Mail’. Lot’s of thought and effort goes into those little logos and here are the stories behind some of the logos you might recognize:

1. Dreamworks


Stephen Spielberg wanted a logo for his production company ‘DreamWorks’ that would remind people of the golden era of Hollywood movies. Originally, the logo was computer generated, but Dennis Muren, of Industrial Light and Magic, who had worked on many of Spielberg’s films thought a hand painted logo would be better. Murens friend, Robert Hunt painted the picture and the little boy fishing is actually Hunts’ son, William.

2. Amazon

Amazon logo

Probably one of the best known logos on the internet is the Amazon logo. If it weren’t for the arrow, the logo would be a pretty boring one and that arrow has meaning behind it. The idea is that the arrow represents both a smile and it shows that you can buy anything from Amazon: from A to Z.

3. Sony Vaio

Sony logo

A bit geeky this one, but the logo for the Sony Vaio is pretty clever. The left hand side of the symbol of a wave which represents analogue technology and the right hand side is a 1 and 0 to represent the binary code used by computers. The name itself, Vaio, is an acronym for Video Audio Intelligent Organizer.

4. FedEx

Fedex logo

The FedEx logo has a hidden meaning that is so hidden, that we doubt that you have ever noticed it. The design makes use of something called negative space to convey the company’s core values in the logo, speed and precision. Take another look at the logo and you will see the hidden arrow between the E and the x.

5. Toblerone 

Toblerone logo

The Toblerone Mountain is a depiction of the Matterhorn, which is located between Switzerland and Italy and, if you look carefully, you will see that there is the shape of a bear in the snow. The bear is the official symbol of the town of Bern, which is where the chocolate was first made.

6. Starbucks


The name of the biggest coffee shop company in the world comes from the novel Moby Dick and picture in the middle began life as a fishtailed siren of the sea. Originally the logo caused controversy because the siren was topless, so the company have toned the image down over the years to the more acceptable one that we know now with her hair tastefully protecting her modesty.

7. Sharp


The Japanese electronics giant, sharp, have used the same simple logo since it was founded in 1912. Apart from a very few minor tweaks, the logo remains the same as the day that the Sharps originally founder drew it. And why are they called sharp? Because the company began by selling a mechanical pencil called the ‘Ever Sharp’.

8. The Computer Doctors


And finally, just to prove that logo designers can get it very wrong, take another look at the logo above. Quite what was on the mind of the designer of this logo for a company called the Computer Doctors, is anyone’s guess.

Stay happy!

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