Here’s a look at the logo’s of some of the world’s most successful companies, all of which were once start-ups. As 90% of our purchase-making process is made on color alone, attention to detail in every logo is crucial. Here are the stories behind the logos – take note and learn from the masters because ultimately they must have done something right.
There is more than meets the eye in Facebook’s signature blue and white colour scheme. Not only is blue supposedly our most favoured colour, it happens to be the only primary colour that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, can actually see. Why? Because he is red-green colour blind. Luckily for Zuckerberg, blue is perceived to be the colour of communication, making it particularly appropriate for a social media behemoth.
Alibaba.com is China’s biggest e-commerce company, and holds the record for the largest US-listed initial public offering at US$25 billion. To some critics, however, the logo is not up to par, and the happy faced customer embedded in the letter ‘a’ just isn’t enough. However, founder Jack Ma’s choice of orange, whether deliberate or inadvertent, may have contributed to Alibaba’s success. According to colour psychology theories orange is engaging, fun, and can stimulate our senses and even encourage us to impulse buy.
If you are not a regular visitor to the Airbnb website, then check it out, things have changed. Roommates Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky designed their bubble-lettered logo when they launched the brand in 2008 after turning the sitting room of their San Francisco apartment into a B&B in order to make ends meet. The bubble letters they chose, albeit unintentionally, managed to communicate a sense of comfort and casualness, right on target for a company offering a good night’s sleep. The rebrand is driven by their global expansion and a desire to create something that transcends all languages, cultures and locations. Known as the Bélo sign, it combines four different symbols, which represent people, place, love and Airbnb itself.
Uber represents the chauffeur-driven limo that you never had. Formerly known as UberCab, the company received a cease-and-desist notice from the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority on the grounds that they were marketing themselves as a cab company. Within 24 hours they became Uber. In 2011 the founder, Travis Kalanick, replaced the big red U in their logo with the sleek black design of today. Black is the colour of luxury, sophistication, and the blacked-out Mercedes that will take you home in style.
Luckily for Mailchimp, they have a mascot to do all the hard work for them. A character can help to give a company personality but beware, you can just as easily offend your audience as you can draw them in, so stick for something that is universally loved, like the chimp. His large smile is meant to evoke how happy and accessible the brand is. Critics believe that their marketing strategy to use a character could lose momentum as the company grows up and becomes more corporate. In those instances humour might be come less appropriate.
When it comes to LinkedIn you are either in or you are out. The co-founders of LinkedIn wanted to create a logo that speaks of the importance of being in the know and involved, hence the emphasis on ‘in’. Power and success are key themes in their branding thus the logo is strong and clear to reflect this. The colour blue is associated with networking and communication and has an air of authority. Several of the cofounders are also leading figures at PayPal which is also why blue was the colour of choice. If it worked once, then why not do it again?
The Amazon logo is more interesting than you might think. Like its namesake, the rainforest, it is meant to evoke the idea of being extremely diverse. The yellow swish under the name has a dual meaning. Firstly, it symbolises the smiling customer, therefore addressing the customer satisfaction aspect of their brand and, secondly, it links the letters A and Z, alluding to the fact that their site has anything and everything.