Some people underestimate the power of a Logo and what effect it can have on their business. Many Graphic designers have a hard time explaining their clients why it would cost anywhere from a few hundreds to a few thousands of dollars to design a logo for them. The final result of a cleverly designed logo often appears to be very simple and some clients have a hard time justifying the high cost of their uncomplicated with no-frills logo.

But if you look at other famous logos, you’ll notice that the simpler the company’s logo is the more recognizable it becomes. Of course, besides the apparent simplicity it must be unique, with ingeniously hidden message that distinctively describes the company’s branding.

As usual, the best way to master the exceptional logo design is to learn from the best. So I present you the 8 most cleverly designed logos, these are my favourites.

  1. ibmThe famous blue IBM logo was designed by a renowned graphic artist Paul Rand, who created other prominent logos like ABC and UPS. Did you notice that there are exactly 8 horisontal stripes on IBM letters? I’m assuming that they represent the 8 bits, what do you think? IBM says that the horizontal stripes represent “speed and dynamism”.
  2. sunSUN’s logo is a classic example of an Ambigram (“a graphical figure that spells out a word not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation”). It was designed by Stanford University’s professor Vaughan Pratt, who skillfully noticed that the adjacent U and N letters form an S. How brilliant!
  3. fedexThe original name of the company was Federal Express, but they’ve re-branded it as FedEx with a new logo designed by Lindon Leader. I think that by now everyone can see the hidden white arrow between “e” and “x” letters, symbolizing the “movement”. I found an interesting interview with the artist.
  4. amazonAmazon’s logo is super clean and simple: plain black font with a yellow arrow. But two little details make this logo clever: the arrow starts at “a” and ends at “z”, indicating that you can find anything on, from A to Z; the cute brush stroke makes the arrow look like a smile with a hidden message – shopping on Amazon will bring a smile to your face.
  5. familiesThe Families logo, as well as the Marriage logo below, was designed by Herb Lubalin, one of the founders of ITC and a creator of several well-known fonts like ITC Avant Garde Gothic, ITC Lubalin Graph, ITC Ronda, ITC Serif Gothic. Notice how the second “i” is shorter than the first one? Ingenious!
  6. marriageWhat can better symbolize a marriage of two people than the two mirrored “R”s in the middle? No frills, no shadows, no Web 2.0 reflections, yet so powerful and meaningful.
  7. lafayetteEven if you’ve never visited one of the famous stores in Paris – Galeries Lafayette, you’d still feel that this logo represents Paris with its joined “t” letters that form Eiffel Tower. C’est magnificique!
  8. eightThis is the only logo in my collection that’s relatively unknown, but it is very cleverly designed with a typeface where every letter is a variation of a number 8. Very smart font choice indeed.

If you liked my clever logo collection, then you’ll also enjoy 38one’s Clever Blog that showcases nothing but cleverly designed logos. And just for fun, you can play this Famous Logos Guessing game, see if you remember all those popular logos correctly :-)

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19 Insightful Bits in response to “8 Clever Logos”

  1. Wow! Great things behind logos! Good Post. Digging It

  2. LGR

    I love the simple logos. They really stand the test of time, plus they are great on more than one mediem. The only one I would include is Google.

  3. ibit

    thanks for Digging, Shankar :-)

    LGR, I agree that Google is a simple but great logo. Although there are no subliminal messages in its design, that’s why I didn’t include it in this collection.

  4. Jess

    Wow! Now those are neat! I really like the SUN and eight logo, very clever. I agree that Google’s logo is very nice too, especially when they design it for a special day/holiday.

  5. I’d missed the arrow in the FedEx logo! 38one is a great resource, too!

  6. Vivien

    yes, 38one is an excellent resource. Thanks for reminding about it, haven’t been checking it out lately.

  7. Nice article. I had never thought of looking at Amazon’s logo in “a to z” sort of way. Hope you cover some more logos in future.

  8. Vivien

    Thanks, Jatinder. Yes, I’m planning on covering more topics on logos. So stay tuned and subscribed :-)

  9. ya very good.. i am struck with an idea now on my logo… thnx dude !

  10. I’am very amused, look behind the logo to find his secrets.

  11. These Logos clearly shows that they speak more than
    anything else does. Simple yet the conquer.

  12. I agree with you Paintworkz. These logos prove the saying the less is more.

  13. Thanks for the information… Really amazing logo ideas..I’d missed the arrow in the FedEx logo! Great information article.

  14. You’re welcome Aswathi. I’ve seen many other logos “imitating” the subliminal graphical element in the FedEx logo.

  15. I have FedEx envelopes in my office and never noticed the arrow till now! A good reason reading the interesting interview with Mr. Leader.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on