12 Things Winning Brand Icons Have in Common

Each year, Interbrand releases a list of the top 100 brands, and brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, McDonald’s, Toyota, and Walt Disney appear on the list again and again. From color to brand name and shape, these brand icons share many traits. The good news is that your brand can use those design secrets, too! You just need to know what they are and make sure they accurately reflect your brand image and message.

Here are a dozen things top brands and their logo designs have in common to get you started thinking like a big brand without the big budget requirements:

  1. Most top brand logo designs use one color (other than black and white).
  2. Blue is the most popular color.
  3. Most are wordmarks and don’t include a symbol or graphic icon of any kind.
  4. Most top brands do not include their taglines in their marks.
  5. Most are rectangular shapes with a landscape orientation.
  6. Many brand icons include a solid, filled background color.
  7. Many include the registered trademark symbol.
  8. Sans serif typefaces are most popular but serif is not uncommon.
  9. Most of the brand names do not describe the product (or products) sold under the brand umbrella.
  10. Most of the top brands use names that were made up or are acronyms.
  11. Many of the top brands use a single word in their marks.
  12. Most of the top brands use only uppercase letters in their icons.

Read through the list and think about some of the biggest brands like Google, Ford, IBM, and the brands mentioned earlier in this article. Place their logos next to each other and many of these similarities will become obvious to you.

Remember, if the big brands can do it, so can you. However, your goal should always be to create the best logo to represent your brand to your target customer audience. Don’t feel like you have to do the same things that big brands do, but don’t ignore the lessons they can teach either.

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