Businesses come and go with predictable regularity, but there are logos that just seem to stick in our heads, even long after the company itself has disappeared.
And for those companies that manage to survive and even thrive, a memorable logo is a must-have.
But not all logo types are created equal, and there are plenty of examples out there of logos which are hopelessly out of date, or which were truly uninspired, to begin with.
On the other hand, there are examples of logo designs that age extremely well and continue to represent their brand with freshness and appeal.
If you’re on the hunt for a type of logo that will serve you well on into the future, here are five logo designs that have been around for a long time, and which will always be in vogue.
Image credit: istock.com/hocus-focus
An iconic logo is a logo that is designed around an icon. This can be an abstract or symbolic pictorial, or even a direct representation of the company or goods that it offers — there’s a lot of leeway here, and what icon you settle on depends a great deal on the type of company you’re designing for.
Iconic logos can also be referred to as symbolic logos, pictorial marks, or even brand marks.
A great example of a famous iconic logo is the Apple apple. This logo has gone through some morphs, changes, and adaptations over the years, most of which involved alterations in color rather than shape or form. That helped this iconic logo to become iconic in all senses of the word — it is one of the most easily recognized icons in the world.
A lettermark logo is a typography-based logo which lets the chosen typeface take the center spot in creating a face for the company.
Lettermarks (and their longer cousins wordmarks) are popular choices because they are such a clear representation of the company. And they lend themselves very well to adaptability, scalability, and a variety of backgrounds.
Lettermarks are simple. They can be a single letter, or they can be two or three, such as found in a monogram logo.
The key to a good lettermark logo (https://www.logodesign.net/logos/alphabets) is the wise choice of font. A typeface can make or break this type of logo; it needs to be user-friendly and easy to read while still being unique, interesting, and memorable.
Well known lettermark logos include examples such as HBO, NASA, and CNN.
If you want to create the impression that your company is made up of deep thinkers, an abstract logo might be the way to go.
Abstract logos are generally shapes which are, appropriately enough, qualified as abstract. This means that, though they may have inspiration in a particular real-world object, they aren’t always immediately identifiable as such.
Alternatively, an abstract logo could be based on the feeling behind a brand, or the emotions evoked by the brand. A classic example is the Nike swoosh: it would be hard to explain exactly why that swoosh is so evocative, but Nike’s abstract example has truly come to embody the “get up and go” attitude reflected by the brand’s tagline, “Just do it.”
On the other hand, if you’re concerned about expressing dignity, a “cutting edge” feel, glamour, or sophistication, or any combination of those, then a black and white logo may be perfect for the brand you’re designing for.
Black and white logos are often combined with other types, most famously logotypes — lettermark, wordmark, or monogram logos.
Color is an important consideration for any piece of graphic design, and a black and white color scheme can be just as striking as something in bright colors like reds and yellows. Sometimes, even more, striking, depending on the design and the circumstances.
Classic, classy black and white logo examples include such fashion houses as Gucci and Prada, and sports designers like Puma and Adidas.
As a final enduring logotype to consider for your long-lasting logo, mascot logos also bring something different to the table. Mascot logos provide a “face” for a brand, which gives the audience something to connect with and identify with.
Mascot logos are often quite colorful and family-friendly. They’re designed to appeal to a wide variety of customers and are frequently tied to brands like food products and sports teams. The fact that they’re used by every sports team out there, in fact, should well illustrate how good mascots are at engaging the audience and getting potential customers to “root” for the brand.
Famous and enduring mascots include Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes and Colonel Sanders for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
One thing to note, especially considering these five logo types, is that a logo which never goes out of style does not necessarily mean that you won’t want to upgrade, update, or re-brand at some point down the line.
Often, logos which are still perfectly functional and helpful for a brand are given a “facelift.” This usually happens due to changes within the brand, and the need to bring the logo up to speed with those changes, rather than because the logo itself is “out of style.”
Logo design is an ever-changing, constantly shifting thing. Which isn’t bad, in itself, because art of any kind should not be static.
At the same time, while we expect more hot takes on these logo categories with each brand that is launched, we’re confident that these enduring logo designs will be just as popular ten years from now as they are today.
Olivia Harris is a freelance writer who loves coffee, cats and churros, not in any particular order. She travels to write, writes to travel. Work with her by contacting her here.