25 iconic corporate logo tutorials to challenge your skills
A logo is a graphic mark or an emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization. A brand, on the other hand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. A legally protected brand name is called a trademark. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity – in effect the personality of a product, company or service.
When we talk about a famous brand, the first thing that comes to our mind is its logo. The logo is the most essential component of any brand and also the hardest part to execute. A lot of thought process and brainstorming sessions goes into conceptualizing a logo. A Logo must be appropriate, aesthetically pleasing and a reflection of the company’s credibility.
Logo designers must be very careful while imbibing the credibility of the brand into the logo such that it should be able to express itself in a very simplistic yet crisp manner. An amateurish logo design can more likely make your business fail for a number of reasons. A logo is of great importance in creating brand identity, and you should be very careful in selecting one for your business. An effective logo not only reflects the brand identity, but also resonates with its customers
I have selected a few tutorials on how to create the famous corporate logos. This list is just a resuource for your future reference, in case you want to learn some quick tips in Photoshop and Illustrator. I have also added a few lines about the history of the logo and the brand so that this article becomes interesting to read. Click on the images to visit the tutorials.
1) Mozilla Firefox
The release of Firefox 0.8 in February 2004 saw the introduction of the new branding efforts, including new icons designed by Jon Hicks, who had previously worked on Camino. The logo was revised and updated later, fixing some flaws found when the logo was enlarged.
The animal shown in the logo is a stylized fox, although “firefox” is considered to be a common name for the Red Panda. The logo was chosen for the purpose of making an impression, while not shouting out with overdone artwork. The logo had to stand out in the user’s mind, be easy for others to remember and not cause too much distractions when viewed among other icons.
The current Toyota Mark consists of three ovals: the two perpendicular center ovals represent a relationship of mutual trust between the customer and Toyota. These ovals combine to symbolize the letter “T” for Toyota. The space in the background implies a global expansion of Toyota’s technology and unlimited potential for the future. The toyota logo perfectly symbolizes quality, reliability and the spirit of innovation.
Want to know more, visit the official history page of the company : Toyota Traditions
The Audi logo comprises of the ‘Four Rings’ which is also the emblem of one of the oldest car manufacturers in Germany. It symbolises the 1932 merger of the four independent motor-vehicle manufacturers: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. Together with the NSU brand, which joined in 1969, these companies are the roots of the present-day AUDI AG.
It’s pretty obvious what the Volkwagen logo is (a V over a W in a blue background, surrounded by a circle). It’s origin is rather mundane though. The logo was the result of an office competition to see who comes up with the best logo. The winner of the competition was an engineer named Franz Reimspiess (the same man who perfected the engine for the Beetle in the 1930′s)
More information about the history of the Volkswagen logo can be found in this amazing article
The above logo was created using Photoshop which is quite a cumbersome procedure. The following tutorial uses Illustrator for creating the logo which is rather quite easy and interesting.
WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is modern software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. There is not much known about the origins of the WordPress logo, however you can read about the organisation’s history here
The Pepsi logo has made a remarkable evolution over the years into the three-dimensional globe against an ice blue background that’s become synonymous with Pepsi products. Check out a recap of the Pepsi logo over the years in their official history page
There is no denying that the Chrome logo reflects the logo of the company which created it, Google. Fondled by the primary colors, it looks more of a capsule inspired design than anything else. If you have watched the cartoon series, Pokemon you will know what I’m saying.
However the case may be, there are some people who speculate that the Chrome logo was derived from a set of other logos. Philipp Lenssen and Flickr members have come up with a few illustrations to hint that the inspiration for Google Chrome logo may have come from Simon(game) and Pokemon. Read more about the “inspirational” story over at labnol.
8 ) Apple
Apple’s first logo, designed by Jobs and Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Almost immediately, though, this was replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow Apple”, the now-familiar rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. Janoff presented Jobs with several different monochromatic themes for the “bitten” logo, and Jobs immediately took a liking to it. While Jobs liked the logo, he insisted it be in color to humanize the company.
The Apple logo was designed with a bite so that it would be recognized as an apple rather than a cherry. The colored stripes were conceived to make the logo more accessible, and to represent the fact the monitor could reproduce images in color.
However, as they say. all good things must come to an end and so did the colorful logo, which was followed by the monochromatic version. Recently, the apple logo evolved into a much better and simplistic appearance which reflects the company as a whole and their products. Yes, you guessed it right. It is SHINY!!
I’m sure even if you aren’t into racing, you will be quite familiar with the famous Ferrari “prancing horse” symbol. The famous symbol of Ferrari is a black prancing horse on yellow background, usually with the letters S F for Scuderia Ferrari. The horse was originally the symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, a legendary ace of the Italian air force during World War I, who painted it on the side of his planes. For more information, please visit this article.
However, we won’t be doing the original logo here but we will try to simulate a shiny version of the typeface used by the majestic car company.
10) Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson Logo is a symbol well known not only to motor cycle fans but also to millions of motor cycle racing enthusiasts in particular and generally among other people across the globe. The Logo of Harley Davidson extends macho image and represents strength and ruggedness.
The Harley Davidson company started using the ever famous Bar and Shield Logo in the year 1910. Till today every Harley Davidson motorcycle that rolls out of the production plant bears the Bar and Shield Logo.
11) President Obama’s political campaign logo
After a series of bad attempts, the circular logo with its vibrant colors reflecting the American flag, was designed. The blue O and the red stripes represent the American flag. The red stripes represent the plains, the American farmland. The O’s whitespace represents the sun, shining over the plains. Because it’s white, it evokes sunrise, not sunset. Basically, the logo signifies that there’s a new morning sun (a hope, change) rising over America.
Although the Škoda logo is viewed as one of the most original and stylistically clean manufacturing company trademarks in the world, the author is not yet known. The black and green logo, which has been used since 1994, gives the Škoda brand a greater degree of originality – black symbolises the hundred-year tradition, green signalises environmental production. Read more about the evolution of the Skoda logo here.
13) Sony Ericsson
I’m not sure how the logo came into being but the best we can get to know about it is that, it looks as if the letters ‘S’ and ‘E’ depicting Sony and Ericsson respectively are embedded into the logo.
14) Microsoft Windows Vista
On November 10, 1983, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Microsoft Corporation formally announced Microsoft Windows, a next-generation operating system that would provide a graphical user interface (GUI) and a multitasking environment for IBM computers. Since then, the Operating System has evolved to become the most widely used on every desktop computer, one would argue that this was the ‘dream’ of Bill Gates.
According to Microsoft, “the XP in Windows XP stands for experience, symbolizing the innovative experiences that Windows can offer to personal computer users.” Windows XP was released in October 2001 and offered better multi-media support and increased performance.
To read more about the evolution of Windows, visit this article
Also known less popularly as Really Simple Syndication, is one of the rapidly growing news aggregator on the web today. RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure your privacy, by not needing to join each site’s email newsletter.
The original icon and several conceptual icons created by the Microsoft RSS Team, were not as impressive as the one we see today. It has been picked from a plethora of orange icons. The choice of what icon to use was pretty challenging because it was aimed to be universally symbolic, but at that time, there was not a single icon that represented feed. Instead there was a variety of mostly orange rectangles with the words “XML”, “RSS”, “ATOM”, “FEED”, or “Subscribe.”
Their goal was to make sure that the icon is something that is understandable by all of the users: novice, advanced, developer, business, international, etc. There were several principles that were used while selecting an icon:
- It should convey the important attributes of feeds: newness, activity, subscription, and continual information.
- It should build on the most consistent and identifiable element used to represent feeds: the orange rectangle.
- It should avoid the use of text. Icons that have text do not generally work well for a global audience. For example, an icon with the text “FEED” may be cryptic to users whose primary language is non-Latin based.
As a result, they met the people from Mozilla to discuss the design of the icon and the result is what we see everyday on our feeds today.
Alexa Internet was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. The company’s name was chosen in homage to the Library of Alexandria, drawing a parallel between the largest repository of knowledge in the ancient world to the potential of the Internet.
They claimed it would improve internet searching by tracking user decisions and using that data to aid future searches. ALEXA was originally an abbreviationfor Address Lookup EXperts Authority. That’s how they came up with this company name. As the years passed by, the company grew stronger and become one of the most favourite among the public, especially in the blogosphere. The Growing internet users helped Alexa to achieve what they wanted.
On March 31, 2009 Alexa.com got a complete redesign and new metrics including: Pageviews per User, Bounce Rate, and Time on Site. In the following weeks they added new features including Demographics, Clickstream and Search Traffic stats. (source)
17) EURO 2008
The UEFA EURO 2008™ brand comprises a variety of logo formats, a visual identity made of six individual and collective graphic icons, including three dimensional perspectives. The visual identity is produced in ten different colour palettes. The mountains signify the love for nature and football is symbolised by the mountain embracing it. The mountains’ stunning backdrop are central to the host nations, Austria and Switzerland.
18) XBOX 360
The glowing green X is an instantly recognizable symbol of the Xbox, so it is no surprise that Microsoft didn’t mess with the logo too much. The green X is embedded in a silver ball with green and gray Xbox 360 text underneath, thus symbolizing the evolution of the earlier XBOX.
More details on the evolution of gaming consoles can be found here
Digg started out as an experiment in November 2004 by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky, and Jay Adelson. Only Kevin and Ron still play an active role in the management of the site. The original design was free of advertisements, and was designed by Dan Ries. As Digg became more popular, Google AdSense was added to the website.
Digg has grown large enough that submissions sometimes create a sudden increase of traffic to the “dugg” website. This is referred to by some Digg users as the “Digg effect” and by some others as the site being “dugg to death.” However, in many cases stories are linked simultaneously on several popular bookmarking sites. In such cases, the impact of the “digg effect” is difficult to isolate and assess.
Skype was developed by Estonian developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn, who had also originally developed the peer-to-peer file sharing software Kazaa. eBay acquired Skype Limited in September 2005 and in fall of 2009 sold a majority stake to an investor group.
One of the initial names for the project was “Sky peer-to-peer”, which was then abbreviated to “Skyper”. However, some of the domain names associated with “Skyper” were already taken. Dropping the final “r” left the current title “Skype”, for which domain names were available.
21) Spider Man
The spiderman logo is one of the most famous and fantasized comic character symbols in the world. A very prominent part of the Spider Man costume, the spiderman logo has been widely adapted as an image for wallpapers, tattoos, jewelry, and is engraved on many accessories etc. The spiderman logo can individually and uniquely represent the spiderman character. It is an artistic representation of spiderman’s superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes and his ability to produce spider webbing.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did compiling it. This is just a small list of tutorials in logo design. There are hundreds of other tutorials, which have already been covered in many other blogs so there is no fun in adding them here again. However, here are a few tutorials which will help you design logos with a corporate touch. Click on the images to follow the link to the tutorials.
23) Transformers Logo
24) Electric Ink Logo
25) iShift 3D Logo
Sources and References:
Other useful Links and Inspiration:
1) 60 beautiful logo design tutorials and resources – Smashing Mag -One of the best resources on the web