Most Iconic Brand Logos of All Time






















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. 

Oftentimes, a logo signifies the presence of a product or movement we know all too while. When you see a McDonald’s golden arch, you think of big macs and french fries. When you see the BMW logo, you think of a slick car. When you see the Google logo, you think of searching for answers online. Beyond that, though, seeing a logo triggers how you feel about a company and what they provide.

It wasn’t easy, but we picked what we believe are The 50 Most Iconic Brand Logos and have provided histories for each. In some cases, the designer is undisclosed, and in other cases, there are multiple designers and founders. For some, we couldn’t include every single logo they’ve had throughout their existence, but we gave highlights. Nuances aside, the history of your favorite brand’s logo is an adventure in a much greater visual history that we are all involuntarily a part of. Enjoy.



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50. Goodyear





50. Goodyear

Year Company Founded: 1898

Year Logo Introduced: 1901

Logo Designer: Undisclosed

Company Founder: Frank Seiberling

In 1900, the Wingfoot symbol for the Goodyear company was chosen after the founder, Frank Seiberling, was inspired by a statue of the Greek god, Hermes. The idea of speed had a lot to do with Goodyear’s selection of the symbol, as well as the embodiment of many of the characteristics that Goodwill would be known for. The logo remains the same throughout the years, with the occasional color or font change.

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49. Mastercard





49. Mastercard

Year Company Founded: 1966

Year Logo Introduced: 1966

Logo Designer: Future Brand (2005)

Company Founders: United California Bank, Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank, Bank of California

Born in 1966 as Master Charge, the first MasterCard logo featured a logotype of “We Honor Master Charge: The Interbank Card” layered over two overlapping circles, one bright orange and the other a burnt orange. In 1979, Master Charge: the Interbank Card was renamed MasterCard, and the change was accompanied by a new logo for the company that featured brighter colors and a bolder logotype. In 1996, the logo was redesigned into the now iconic logo, which features a 3D logotype. The overlaying circles are depicted through stripes of each color rather than a third orange color.

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48. Michelin





48. Michelin

Year Company Founded: 1888

Year Logo Introduced: 1888

Logo Designer: Undisclosed

Company Founders: Edouard and Andre Michelin

The logo for the Michelin company has always been the Michelin tire man, who’s shape, level of intensity, and size originated from the company’s early days. The tire man was inspired by a pile of tires that Édouard Michelin imagined to be a man when they were attending the Lyon Universal Exhibition. In 1989, the Michelin man was created by O’Galop.

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47. Mobil





47. Mobil

Year Company Founded: 1911

Year Logo Introduced: 1911

Logo Designer: Chermayeff & Geismar (1965)

Company Founder: Vacuum Oil

Mobil Oil company began in 1911 but has roots in several oil companies that preceded it, such as Aladdin Standard Oil Co. and Gargoyle, a Mobil product line of lubricants for industrial refrigeration systems. In 1911, the pegasus was introduced with the founding of the company and has been modified slightly over time, until 1964, when Mobil simplified the logo to only include the company name with the signature red “O.”

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46. Volvo





46. Volvo

Year Company Founded: 1927

Year Logo Introduced: 1927

Logo Designer: Karl-Erik Forsberg (1950)

Company Founders: Assar Gabrielsson, Gustaf Larson

When Volvo was reactivated by financial backer Svenska Kullagerfabriken in 1927, the company adopted the ancient chemical symbol for iron—a circle with an arrow pointing diagonally upwards to the right. The logotype was updated in 1959 by Karl-Erik Forsberg and is the same logo used today.

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45. Target





45. Target

Year Company Founded: 1902

Year Logo Introduced: 1962

Logo Designer: Undisclosed

Company Founder: George Dayton

The logo for Target has always been a red target, but when the store was just a small retail store in Minneapolis, the design was a bit more pronounced. The iconic red target logo is recognized almost everywhere, but in the earlier days of the brand, it had a bolded black “Target” across the entirely of the circle, to create a distinctive image in customers’ minds. The next logo introduced in 1980 consisted of a single ring and inner core, still in red, and the design on stores today is basically the same, with the retail chain’s name under it.

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44. Fisher-Price





44. Fisher-Price

Year Company Founded: 1930

Year Logo Introduced: 1931

Logo Designer: Undisclosed

Company Founders: Herman Guy Fisher, Irving R. Price, Margaret Evans Price, Helen M. Schelle

Fisher-Price was founded in 1930 following a successful reception to their products at the American International Toy Fair in 1931. The first logo, which had text within an orange box with the company’s location, was used until 1955. In 1956, The FP was added (Fisher Price Toys shortened to Fisher Price), and the FP lasted until 1984, when the full name was brought back inside of a red banner.

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43. Bayer





43. Bayer

Year Company Founded: 1863

Year Logo Introduced: 1881

Logo Designer: Hans Schneider (1904)

Company Founders: Friedrich Bayer, Johann Friedrich Weskott

With humble beginnings as a company manufacturing synthetic dyestuffs, Bayer did not develop a logo until 1881 when it became a joint stock company with greater distribution. The first Bayer logo centered around an illustration of a lion and was based off of the coat of arms of Elberfeld, the city where the company was headquartered at the time. After a series of revisionings from 1886 to 1895, the Bayer logo became an intricate drawing of a winged lion half-perched on a globe. However, after Bayer’s invention of synthetically-produced aspirin, and the introduction of the “drug of the century” onto the world market in 1899, Bayer had to simplify its logo in order to achieve recognizability around the world. Thus, in 1904, Bayer introduced the now iconic “Bayer Cross” logo. Designed by a Bayer employee, Hans Schneider, the logo of “Bayer” was written horizontally and vertically with an intersection at the “Y.” Initially, the logo was only imprinted on the aspirin tablets produced by the company, rather than being used in marketing or packaging, but it remains in use to this day and is still a key element in the brand’s image.

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42. 3M





42. 3M

Year Company Founded: 1902

Year Logo Introduced: 1906

Logo Designer: Gerald Stahl & Associates (1961), Siegel &Gale (1978)

Company Founders: Henry S. Bryan, Harmon W. Cable, John Dawn, William A. McGonagle, J. Danley Budd

The first 3M logo was introduced in 1906, and it featured a black diamond shape inside two rings. The outer band read “Minnesota Mining and MFG Co.” while the black diamond shape had “3M co” written diagonally and horizontally. The next evolution of the 3M logo occured in 1950, when it was reduced to a logotype of “3M Company.” The 1950 design kept the black-on-white design and the circular outline around the brand name, but this logo was much more distinctive and pushed the 3M brand name as the focus.

In 1961, 3M hired Gerald Stahl Associates to modernize their logo. The lettering became more angular, a common approach to modernization, but the company moved away from the black to a light blue. The brand name stayed distinctive, but the design was updated. In 1978, 3M introduced the red bold logo which remains in use to this day. “Company” was removed, and only “3M” remained to represent the brand. Developed by Siegel & Gale, the 1978 design is the most distinctive, with no elements distracting from the brand which plays a part in the iconic nature of the logo.

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41. AT&T





41. AT&T

Year Company Founded: 1877

Year Logo Introduced: 1889

Logo Designer: Saul Bass (1969, 1983), Interbrand (2005)

Company Founder: Gardiner Greene Hubbard

AT&T originated as the Bell Telephone Company in 1877, becoming American Telephone & Telegraph in 1885 after a number of mergers. Nonetheless, the telephone service covering the United States was known as the Bell system and was operated by a number of companies collectively known as the Bell Operating Companies. Thus, from 1889 to 1964, the AT&T logo incorporated an illustration of a bell. When the Bell system was broken up in 1983, the AT&T bell logo was replaced with an illustration of a layered globe by Saul Bass. The globe went through another transoformation in 2000 before becoming the current iconic 3D transparent globe with the accompanying lowercase “at&t” in 2005.

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40. Audi





40. Audi

Year Company Founded: 1909

Year Logo Introduced: 1909

Logo Designer: Lucian Bernhard (1919), Prof. Arno Dresscher (1923), Meta Design (1994, 2009)

Company Founder: August Horch

Audi’s first logo was designed in the Art Nouveau style and has remained in use from the company’s foundation to 1919, when Lucian Bernhard re-invisioned the logo. Bernhard’s modern design went on to define the brand through 2009, when the company again updated the print of its name. The iconic four interlaced rings, which are now symbolic of Audi, did not come into existence until 1932, when Audi merges with DKW, Horch, and Wanderer to cut costs in reaction to the depression. The rings were meant to symbolize the unity of the companies, which also comprised the new Auto Union AG. In 1965, the company was rebranded under the name Audi, following an acquisition by the Volkswagen Group. Even though between 1978 and 1992 the rings were removed from the logo, they were still featured on the front grill of all Audi cars. For its centennial celebration in 2009, Audi redesigned its logotype for the first time in 90 years for a sleeker, more modern image.

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39. Barbie





39. Barbie

Year Company Founded: 1959 (Barbie is a subset of Mattel, Inc. which was founded in 1945)

Year Logo Introduced: 1959

Logo Designer: Undisclosed

Company Founder: Ruth Handler

This is the doll that has sold over a billion units and continues to sell three units every second. Such success has brought the Barbie logo recognizability worldwide. The Barbie logo was introduced alongside the doll in March 1959 at the New York Toy Show and gets its name from Ruth Handler’s daughter, whose name is Barbara. Barbie was marketed as a “teenage fashion model,” filling in the gap of adult-aged dolls for kids. The bright pink Barbie logo has never strayed far from its original design, with only slight alterations to shading and shape in the past 50 years to adjust to trends. In 2009, Barbie returned to its original logo in celebration of its 50 year anniversary, adding a roundel incorporating the profile of Barbie with a ponytail.

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38. BMW





38. BMW

Year Company Founded: 1916

Year Logo Introduced: 1917

Logo Designer: Franz Josef Popp (1917)

Company Founder: Franz Josef Popp

Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH (Bavarian Motor Works, aka BMW) came to be as a result of a merge between the aircraft engine manufacturer Gustav Flugmaschinenfabrik and Rapp-Motorenwerke in 1916. The iconic BMW roundel developed from a combination of the Rapp-Motor roundel, which featured a black silhouette of a horse and the Bovarian state flag, which has a characteristic checkered blue and white design. Thus, the BMW logo emerged as a roundel of a black circle enclosing white and blue quadrants. After World War I, following the Treaty of Versailles, BMW discontinued the production of aircraft engines and shifted to motorcycles and automobiles. The BMW roundel has not changed drastically since its first appearance in 1917, though the most defining alteration occured in 2000 when the design was reinvisioned to give a 3D effect to the logo.

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37. Chiquita





37. Chiquita

Year Company Founded: 1899

Year Logo Introduced: 1944

Logo Designer: Dik Browne (1944)

Company Founders: Minor C. Keith, Boston Fruit Company

Miss Chiquita was introduced as the logo and mascot for the banana company in 1944 and was drawn by artist Dik Browne. In the early years, Miss Chiquita appeared on radio shows and made many guest appearances in movies, commercials, and even the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra. The banana, Miss Chiquita, was changed into a woman with a fruit hat in 1987. The current logo features a rough rendering of the woman above the brand name on a blue seal.

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