Iconic logos: the 7 most renowned brands in the world
The prestige of a brand lies not only in its products, but in the intangible values with which it is associated in collective imagination.
The bitten apple, the yellow "M", the four circles together or the crocodile. Surely you have immediately brought to mind the brands that these logos refer to. But the fact is that these icons that serve to identify companies, are much more than just that. They represent innovation, flavour, speed or elegance; technology, speed, effort, courage, or youth. We rapidly link a brand to a bag of values that is inevitably found in collective imagination.
The universe with which we associate certain logos causes us to add abstract concepts to the functions of a product. This is the power of brands. It is not a casual association, but the result of the communication work that passes through the choice of name and packaging and ends in the design of the distribution spaces.
The best brands in the world
But, what are the most renowned brands in the world? The Best Global Brands report, a study conducted by Interbrand for 18 years, in a ranking identifies the 100 most valuable global brands in the world.
Although traditionally the top positions were held by consumer product companies (such as Coca-Cola or McDonald's), in recent years technology companies and service companies have climbed positions.
At the top of the best global brands we find from Apple with its iPhone that paved the way to smartphone design, to Google that has become little less than our hard drive. Only the consumer product brand par excellence, Coca-Cola, keeps its place in the Olympus of the most valued and famous brands.
The brand has one of today’s most distinguishable (and prized) logos. Though now associated with its ubiquitous iPhone, it was born as a brand of computers and along the way has created all kinds of devices, software and even its own payment system.
The first image, back in the 70s, of the new-born Apple Computer was an engraving by Isaac Newton under an apple tree. Steve Jobs intervened quickly to simplify it into an apple with a silhouette very similar to the present one but with a rainbow inside.
Incredibly long-lived, this logo lasted more than two decades almost intact, from 1976 to 1998. This was the time of the rebirth of the firm with the return of Jobs and the launch of the iMacs.
At this time a monochrome apple was chosen that, in its metallic version launched in 2007, has lasted until today. An example of this evolution can be seen through the films Steve Jobs or Jobs.
Has been able to position itself as a company that generates fans more than users, thanks to strategies similar to those used by Apple.
“Google” has already become a verb in English to refer to “search for something on the Internet” and has been in the Oxford and Merriam-Webster English-speaking dictionaries for 12 years.
The story of this great and well-known search engine can be discovered in the book Googled: The End of the World As We Know it.
The image of the giant of Mountain View, like all iconic logos, has undergone small changes throughout its 20 years of history to rejuvenate it and adapt it to the times.
In fact, it has retained the same colour combination since 1998. The initial logo was accompanied by an exclamation mark - emulating the giant of the time Yahoo!
The colours have been flattened over time, eliminating shadows and three-dimensional effects. In 2015 the logo already appeared as we see it now although with a different typeface (it went from a typography with serif to a dry type).
Its image seems to reflect the prevailing styles at every time, from its “disco” birth in the 70s to the "heavy shirt" typography that premiered in the early 80s.
It would be at the end of that decade when they would release the so-called Pacman logo (in reference to how the 'O' seemed to 'eat' the 'S'). This logo would accompany the company's golden age, with the success of the launch of the successive Windows during the 90s.
The film Pirates of Silicon Valley narrates the moment of the creation of the first personal computer, and the importance that Microsoft had at that moment in history.
The current image was launched with great fanfare in 2012 coinciding with a new batch of products (new Xbox console, new Office package, new Windows ...) and was accompanied for the first time by a geometric detail in the form of four squares in different colours.
Although Microsoft wanted to symbolise the firm’s “diversity of products” of the firm, many see a stylised version of the classic Windows logo.
Its logo has been updated, it retains the same character and is equally recognisable. It was the accountant of Dr. Pemberton (the inventor of his formula) who designed the firm’s first logo. Despite suffering some somewhat baroque changes in 1890, it would remain the same until 1941.
1947 it would be the first time that the logo was inserted in white on a red background.
At the end of the 60s, the so-called “ribbon” would come, the white bow or wave, which would become part of the image of the drink and which was recently lost in the redesign of its brand, where the historical logo is prioritised on the corporate red background.
The book Within Coca-Cola, written by the person who was CEO for more than 30 years, explains the history of one of the most recognised brands worldwide.
The last of the technological companies, which is at the top of the ranking, was born as an online bookstore. The biography Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, about its founder, Jeff Bezos, explains its creation.
At that time, in 1995, the logo referred to the Amazon River. At the end of the decade the firm began selling other cultural products and the logo was born in bold and with the gold line.
With the new millennium would come the logo that we all know, in which the line becomes an arrow that points from the 'A' to the 'Z' of Amazon to symbolise that the user will find everything in this online store.
The arrow can also look like a smile that appeals to the ease of purchase. Today, Amazon, which retains the same logo since 2002, is a store for any need.
The popularity of the Inditex brand and its ability to detect and serve trends in just hours has not gone unnoticed by experts.
The Zara logo has hardly changed since its birth. It was the year 75 and that first Zara had a red logo of wide letters that would accompany it in the early 80's.
With the international expansion would come the logo that everyone recognises, from New York to Dubai passing through Tokyo. It has been stylized over the years but has hardly changed.
The Spanish bank owns one of the strongest brands in the financial sector. It is internationally recognised for the trust and credibility it conveys.
Its famous symbol of the flame evokes progress, warmth and humanity. However, the Spanish group is immersed in a digital transformation that also involves renewing its brand.
Santander is launching a new logo, with a more stylised flame and a typography that transmits modernity. Of course, the entity will remain true to its red colour. A change of brand that aims to strengthen the group's digital strategy.