The purpose of any logo is to be instantly recognisable and unique.
A compelling logo will help customers to not only remember your brand but understand its values and personality. A logo should be a combination of simplicity, relevance, adaptability and uniqueness.
All these brands we’re looking at have memorable logos, and each is successful because they’ve tailored their designs, styles, colours and typography to suit their brand ideals and relate to their product.
Here, we explore the UK’s most popular and recognizable logos and inspect elements that you could draw inspiration from in your own logo design.
image source: Coca-Cola/
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this list opens with Coca Cola. The recognisable typeface and dominating red and white colour scheme combine in an unforgettable logo.
Unlike many of the long-standing brands we explore on this list, the logo hasn’t succumbed to trends and fashion.
This consistency in the logo will have fed into the UK’s minds that the Coca Cola brand is timeless.
The exceptionally simple Golden Arches. By integrating the letter ‘M’ into the shape of the Golden Arches, this logo is unforgettable.
McDonald’s confidence in its universal recognition is emphasised by the choice to remove the name from the logo.
This effortless, bright yellow M is all the company needs to be one of the most famous logos around.
3) Mickey Mouse (Disney)
Image source:The Walt Disney Company
Disney’s Mickey Mouse is another great example of how logos can become iconic and popular with everyone.
An autographic style typeface offers authenticity and reminds customers of the company’s roots. Combining this with the use of Disney’s most famous character allows this logo to be a great symbol of the company values: fun, familiar, and a promise of new adventures.
The most recognisable aspect of Cadbury’s logo and overall branding is the purple.
This specific and now trademarked Pantone 2685c is central to Cadbury’s branding and has been for 100 years.
This royalty-inspired, high-quality purple, the ‘glass and a half’ symbol and smooth golden font all amount to a very popular and very impressive logo design.
The Apple logo has often updated throughout the years in line with the company’s products, from early on with the Rainbow Apple representing the first colourised computer to now a crisp and stripped-down modern design which is incredibly appealing and very unique.
A consistent element in the logo is the smooth silhouette with a bite in, cleverly representing consumers receiving a bite of knowledge when using the company.
There’s a lot to appreciate about this logo, from the simple shape that sticks in customers minds to the hidden meaning behind the design, and the ability to adapt to represent the company’s products through colour.
The Nike Swoosh is effective at representing the brand’s principles by facilitating feelings of speed, acceleration and positivity, given it also looks like a tick. What’s even more interesting about this logo, is it only cost $35 from a graphic design student and is based off of the Greek God Nike’s wings.
A great model of simple imagery from a logo providing a strong, clear meaning of a brand.
As you would expect with a company founded in 1759, Guinness’s logo has evolved. However, the logo does incorporate aspects from its past, in particular the Golden Harp, which is also a symbol of Ireland. The rich 3D shape of the Harp compliments the simple, old-style font, to tie in with the company’s long history.
As a brand associated with childhood, Lego’s logo is successful at reinforcing a feeling of fun and creativity. The brand known for interlocking bricks has a logo with a playful font, standing out against the fittingly bright red background.
The bright colours, bouncy font and bold shapes all combine in a lively design.
As the true original mascot focussed logo, the Michelin Man provides a recognisable cuddly and trustworthy face to the brand. This symbol made of tyres has become so popular that it now features in pop culture, emphasising how a strong creative logo can make even a tyre manufacturer have a lasting brand experience.
Once voted the best logo of the century in 2000, this logo has surpassed a simple logo into an internationally recognised mascot.
10) PG Tips
Image source:PG Tips
With Britain’s renowned love of tea, it’s unsurprising a tea brand has featured on this list.
The contrasting green and red stand out against the white background, giving the brand a clean, memorable look to compete against other tea brands.
Both colours evoke a sense of calm and nature, and the overlap in letters almost creates the shape of a leaf too.
As a household staple for over 100 years, Oxo’s logo has evolved and is modern and recognised throughout Britain.
The bold, playful and unique font helps consumers to identify the brand and contrasts nicely against the red background. Oxo’s logo shines when the packaging is on shelves, through maintaining the bold font and using different colours for each flavour, the logo remains consistent, easy to read and recognisable.
With a reputation for being the luxury car brand, the Mercedes-Benz logo manages to contribute to this perception. The simple silver signifies professionalism, quality and strength.
The three-pointed star illustrates the companies past involvement in land, air and sea. These elements are combined with the modern, thin and elegant typeface to successfully represent the brand’s luxury image.
Google has kept a similar and simple logo style for years. But there’s more than what initially meets the eye as the logo colours have a subtle meaning to them. The green ‘L’ doesn’t fit with the rest of the primary colours, symbolising Google’s values of not following the rules.
This logo is so simple, and with the colour scheme and clear sans-serif typeface, it’s unsurprisingly a memorable and popular logo.
Although Levi’s has been around for 150 years, the iconic ‘batwing’ first appeared in 1967. This batwing represents the signature pocket shape, creating a visual tie to their product.
The bold modern font compliments the Batwing, creating an impactful logo without being dated.
Known for its iconic three stripes, Adidas has a very popular logo.
With the three stripes staggered to look like a mountain, this logo signifies the challenges athletes can overcome with its products. These stripes are extremely adaptable and appear on different products in unique ways, helping the brand’s success of remaining in customers minds.
As probably the closest rival to Coca Cola, Pepsi’s logo also has some great features. The logo maintains strong connections to its past visual identity through the circular shape and colour scheme. However, Pepsi has produced a modern-looking logo, with intriguing aspects within such as the unique ‘E’ shape and the circular shape’s reference to the globe.
17) British Airways
Image source:British Airways
The ‘Speedmark’ ribbon references the British flag colours, whilst the shape indicates the company’s values of speed and power. The elegant, balanced typeface uses all capitals to help promote the professional and impressive standards of the company.
With a logo comprised of the initials of Volkswagen, the design is clear, simple and seamless. The font used for ‘VW’ is tidy and just slightly thicker than the surrounding border to emphasise these letters. The blue background shows class and a trustworthy approachable brand.
By being so uncluttered, this logo is very versatile and can effortlessly represent the brand in any media.
Shell’s logo has evolved over time, from an intricate mussel shell to now a dominant, minimalistic and bright Pecten shell. As with Apple and Nike, the brand is such a large household name that it is instantly recognisable so has removed its name from the logo.
Although Amazon’s logo appears simple, it actually reveals the company’s slogan. The yellow arrow is stylised into a smile, and points from A to Z, indicating Amazon makes you smile for A to Z. This logo’s use of shape creates far more value than words and is an exciting piece of design.
Wall’s is an interesting logo to inspect, as it is universally recognisable, despite having individual names in different countries such as Algida in Italy and Kibon in Brazil.
It’s the Heartbrand logo that successfully creates a common visual identity, making the Wall’s brand instantly recognisable, regardless of the name used. The simple use of red on a white background makes this logo extremely versatile for any media, helping maintain consistency and a loyal customer base.
Taking inspiration from the Roman God, Mercury, Goodyear’s ‘Wingfoot’ is instantly recognisable. It symbolises speed, moving forward and openness to new experiences, even after being in their logo for 120 years.
The bold yellow is very clear, with the italic style font giving the perception of movement, whilst still being subtle enough to allow the focus to be on the Wingfoot.
Instantly recognised for the chocolate bar’s unusual triangular shape, Toblerone’s logo is well thought out and very impactful.
This logo is an amazing example of using negative space within the design. Within the Matterhorn mountain, a white bear pays tribute to the location of Toblerone’s creation; Bern, which is known as the city of bears.
Having opened in 1855, Colman’s logo actually retains some old features, appreciating the company’s long history. From the iconic yellow and red colours, the bull, and distinctive font, Colman’s logo has a less modern style than some of the others on the list. However, this is very deliberate and harmonises with the brand’s values perfectly.
The handwritten red writing of Virgin’s logo with the large ‘V’ is instantly recognised in the UK. What’s interesting about the Virgin logo is its ability to be universally adaptable, as Virgin embodies a great variety of products from aeroplanes to media and credit cards. The logo cannot have the product visuals other brands may rely on, so the use of the name as the logo is a smart choice here.
All 25 of these recognisable logos are great examples of how an appropriate and well-designed logo can impact a brand’s success. All these brands will have some of their success from being so recognisable, so it’s important not to underestimate the importance of a great logo.