Logos - What they hide?

Thought behind designing the greatest logos:

'1' is in the negative space and red lines represents speed
Most difficult thing is to keep it simple. May it be technology, expression or design. Its difficult because most of the minds are not tuned to think in simplest possible way. Approach and attitude are hurdles from thinkers side, while inability to accept the simplest is the problem of user/viewer.

Design elements:
According to Lee Newham there are about five important design elements when it comes to brand identities. Iconic logos are [1]:
  1. Describable
  2. Memorable
  3. Effective without color
  4. Scalable i.e. work when just an inch in size
  5. Relevant to the industry in question

I would add one more to it - Simplicity. It takes time to introduce above said six skills. However viewer perspective is far different:

" Its too simple "
" Why I haven't thought of it? "
" Why it costs so much " (applicable for all art forms)

"Never knew !"

Some great logos as I understand them:

Great logos generally use negative space wisely. Obviously detected on close observation, logo reveals an element embedded inside using negative space. This element is often related to the function of the company, history of the company or strong point. e.g. Fedex, baskin robins etc.

Between E and X, there is white arrow, indicting the ideology of company

Represents the 31 flavors introduced by the company

The four rings, which make up the Audi logo, represent the four companies that were part of the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932. They were DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.

Another element is symmetry e.g. sun microsystems. It makes the logo memorable.

Symmetry in the elements and combination of U and N making letter S

Typography for graphic adds description of the company objective to logo. e.g. LG electronics.

Alphabets L and G constitutes the happy face

yellow arrow connects a and Z, meaning company delivers a-to-z items and adds smile to customer face

Abstract ideas - adds description to the logo - may be about technology, social message etc.

V and A represents analog signal while I and O represents digital signal
5 circles - 5 continents of the world
For explanation of some logos related to photography companies, read this article: Logos of photography companies.

Logos of Indian Companies explained:

The Tata logo stands for fluidity. It may also signify a fountain of knowledge, or a tree of trust under which people can seek shelter. The blue color in the emblem represents prosperity, reliability and strength [2].

Again use of negative space to represent R. Its drafted with use of flame (reliance is energy company) and broadening path around it (protection, aiming higher). 

Multiple color (rainbow) represents diversity in the product range. The strategy behind design was 'emotional surplus'.

By Paresh Kale

[2] http://www.famouslogos.us/tata-logo/
Disclaimer: All the logos are regd. trademarks. Used here for no commercial gain of any sort. Its purely to explain the concept of logo design.

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