Bang-On Branding

The Stories Behind the Logos of Our Favourite Companies

Bang-On Branding

Brands across the world aim to have that iconic logo that everyone instantly recognises. The purpose of a logo is to create a single visual element that allows consumers to familiarise with a brand or product. It takes just 10 seconds for the public to form an impression of your brand, so an eye-catching logo is crucial. According to studies, a signature colour for your brand can boost its recognition by 80 per cent, while consistent branding increases revenues by up to 23 per cent. While there are many aspects to factor in when it comes to branding, the logo is the most crucial. So, what companies have hit the nail on the head with their brand logo, and what is the story behind their creation?


When you see a tick nowadays, your brain may automatically think of the huge fashion brand. It’s synonymous with the sports clothing label and is commonly known as ‘the swoosh’. The design, which was created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, was thought to represent the wing of the Greek goddess named Nike. The goddess is said to personify victory and the tick is meant to represent her speed and movement ability. Astonishingly, Davidson was only paid $35 dollars for the design.


The golden arches are distinctive throughout the world. Fast food logos are hugely influential, with the likes of the colonel for KFC also widely recognised across the globe However, the yellow ‘M’ for McDonald’s is the most influential — even though it has gone through many changes throughout its history. In the 1940s, the company used a simple black and white sketch of a chef. The winking tubby chef was next to make an appearance for the brand which began in California when brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their first establishment.

As the company grew, so too did their branding. In 1952, a sign-maker was hired to create two golden arches on the side of their building. This, when viewed at an angle, was to resemble a big letter ‘M’. By 1961, following Ray Kroc’s acquisition of the company, these arches became the corporate logo for McDonald’s that we’ve all grown to love. Since then, the design has been tweaked several times, with slogans including ‘I’m lovin’ it’ going hand in hand with the ‘M’ for branding.


The British car manufacturer was founded in 1857 and one in four Brits have owned or driven a Vauxhall model. The brand is hugely popular with motorists, with the likes of the Vauxhall Corsa often in the UK’s top 10-sold cars of the year. The logo is a distinctive griffin — and now models such as the Astra Griffin have even taken the design and incorporated it into its name! However, while the griffin has always been used on the logo, the manufacturer has changed the design a staggering nine times since the 1920s.

The original griffin logo was introduced as the animal was believed to be a majestic and powerful creature. This image has stayed an ever present for the company as different owners didn’t want to break tradition. This has led to the image being instantly recognisable, even if it has been altered to be the more modern design which was first introduced in 2009.


Mark Zuckerberg’s social media phenomenon now has 1.59 billion active users and 2.41 billion monthly active users. The white ‘F’ in a blue square represents the company as its logo these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. Originally, using the same colour scheme, Facebook was written out in all lower-case letters. This format is meant to represent the company’s casual and laid-back approach — people use the site as an entertainment and connection service. While the word ‘facebook’ is still often used as a logo, it is the ‘f’ that users have grown to recognise due to the app. This logo has only undergone minor tweaks since its introduction, but the company have been reluctant to implement too much change as it sees its simplicity as being key to its approach.

The above companies are all examples of designs gone right. Of course, the are many other examples, such as Kellogg’s and Chanel. For any big company to truly crack their sector, an eye-catching and noticeable logo is crucial.


Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
James Patefield
See all posts by James Patefield