The History of Famous Logos

The logos of some of the world’s biggest brands, like Google and Apple, are so easily recognizable today that you can just see a fraction of them and know what brand you’re looking at. Sometimes, even just the colors of a brand and its logo let you instantly recognize them.

How did they reach this level? Was it sheer luck? Or the genius of their logo designers? Well, if you look back through the history of these logos, you’ll see that the images we know so well today weren’t just happened upon. They have evolved throughout the years to become more memorable and to suit the trends and sensibilities of the times.

Let’s look at a couple of examples to show you what we mean…




Overall, the changes to Google’s logo across more than 20 years aren’t particularly dramatic – the colors are the same and it’s always been straightforward text (give or take an exclamation mark). Yet, somehow, the personality and energy of the logo change a lot with each iteration.

Today’s logo is much sleeker and more straightforward, which makes it more memorable. The extra details in the early logos, like the 3D effect and drop shadow, looked great at the time, but now almost seems tacky. Google were certainly smart about updating their logo to reflect the modern, fun, and simple-to-use brand they want to reflect.



As you can see (other than the early, alternative design that shows a lot more complexity), Apple followed a similar route to Google. Over time, it dropped the extra details and embellishments to end up at the simple, sleek, and easily memorable design we have today. Apple experimented with color, 3D effects, shading, and other details before returning to the basic, geometric design they used earlier.

What can we learn from these logo evolutions?

First of all, we can see from the brands above that change is good. Even for your brand. We know that branding is all about being consistent, but rebranding is sometimes necessary to keep up with the times or to reflect the new direction or personality of your company.

If you need to rebrand, then take a page out of Apple and Google’s books and go for simplicity. Don’t try to overcomplicate things as this could leave you with a logo that’s cluttered, confusing, and forgettable.

Once you’ve designed your new logo and brand identity, it’s all about spreading awareness and getting this image out there. This is where promotional products come in. After a rebranding is the perfect time to print lots of advertising products with your logo on and giving these out to current, past, and prospective customers. Get in touch with Custom Advertising or browse our range of products to get the perfect custom gifts for your brand.