October 28, 2019

A lot of the most famous logos designs which stand the test of time use geometric shapes at their core which makes them easy to remember and recognise without a wordmark and in a lot of cases even without color!

Don't have time to read? Pin it for later!

Everyday we see hundreds of logo designs on everything from our cereal packets to phone screens or on our favourite shoes. A lot of the time you may not stop to really think about what shapes they use and why. 

The shapes which are used in a logo design have a big influence over the opinion an audience has about a brand/company. In extension they help us decide if we want to work with, buy or support the brand.

Different types of shapes communicate different messages to a viewer. That is why it's important to understand the target audience you want to appeal to before you start designing any kind of logo.

Geometric shapes are great because they can help create balanced, even and consistent designs. These shapes are easy to recognise and remember plus a lot of people (without even knowing) think of them as trust worthy. They are probably the easiest and most reliable shapes to work with in Adobe Illustrator.


Famous Logo Designs

What makes them great?

1. Adidas

Original logo from 1971

Newer logo from 1997 

No doubt you have seen both of these logos used on Adidas products and they are both still used by the brand. The original design quickly became more than just a sportswear logo but a lifestyle symbol. 

That is when the logo on the right was introduced. This version of their logo is used on sport focused products.

The three stripes of the newer logo represent the mountain athletes need to climb to become the best at what they do. A lot of the time geometric shapes can be used to hint at wider ideas without being to literal.

Do you think the design would be as successful if they had gone for a mountain illustration? Not sure we would all want to wear that at the gym.


2. Adobe

Current Logo

Original Logo

Here is one we all know and love!

Adobe is a software giant and they have only changed logo design once! The current design is credited to Marva Warnok and it was derived from their original logo.

Adobe have many products, events and partners. This means a more 'generic' logo is necessary. It acts as a kind of umbrella for all business ventures. 

The simplicity and timelessness of geometric shapes can come in really handy for brands who need a strong symbol which they can stick with.


3. Red Cross

The Red Cross is an international organisation present across America, Britain & Australia. The logo was designed in 1863 by Henri Dunant and is a sign of protection and safety.

The design is an emblem of a red cross with arms of equal length. This is probably one of the few examples of a logo which should be easy to replicate because it's used as a symbol of help and safety. 

Probably not a challenge you are likely to come up against anytime soon but it's useful to know logo design is not all about complexity or individuality. 


4. Twitter

Pre-launch Logo 

Current Logo 

If you're ever worried you have not hit the mark with a logo design first time, just look at Twitters first try. I'm sure you'll feel much better. 

This logo was never launched (probably for the best) but the idea was to create something which 'inspired youthfulness'. It didn't quite hit the mark but everything is a work in progress and it's a great example of the fact 'less is usually more'. 

To reach its current logo Twitter has cycled through a few minimal designs with each stage the logo has become more minimal.

Logo designs can become too complex but try to keep it simple. You can be experimental with your marketing and advertising. The logo does not need to say it all.


MINI TUTORIAL

Did you know the Twitter logo is actually made entirely from circles? Yup pretty cool right and we have this one-miuntutorial below which will show you how to recreate it yourself! 


5. Spotify

Spotifys logo made this list because of its softer approach to using geometric shapes.

The rounded corners and arch in the lines give the design a softer more friendly and very modern feel which works perfectly for the streaming service which needs to appeal to a very broad audience!

Don't feel restricted to using harsh corners or feel like geometric shapes can't feel more relaxed and fun if they need to. It's all about experimentation. 


6. HSBC 

Previous Logo

Current Logo

HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking organisations, with customers in 67 countries. They updated their look last year and dropped the classic Serif we were all used to seeing for a more modern San Serif.

The geometric logo is used in more playful and experimental ways across their marketing materials.

HSBC's hexagon logo is so easy to recognise that a quick glance at one of these advertisements is all you need to recognise the brand. 


7. Target

Original Logo

Current Logo

We could not leave off the iconic Target logo! Check out the retro and original version on the left. I have to say I think I might prefer their original design. Vintage typography is back and in a big way. Should they take a step back in time and bring this version back? 


8. YouTube

This has to be one of the most famous logos in the whole world. Do you agree?

The original marque was designed to resemble a TV screen which echoed the idea that YouTube was created to 'broadcast yourself'.

This concept has stayed with the brand as it has evolved since 2005. 

The most recent update is the biggest change they have ever gone though it now means the simple TV element can be used separately across marketing materials etc.

This makes the logo easier to work with and even more iconic!


To sum up geometric shapes are likely to make memorable logos which will last. They are often used for tech and forward-thinking companies because their simple, smooth shapes make for a slick-looking logo.


Creating Logo Designs

Feeling inspired by our list? Get stuck in to this tutorial. It will teach you to start working with simple shapes to create a Celtic Knot design!

This tutorial is the perfect way to improve your Adobe Illustrator skills. Then you will be ready to get stuck into new Logo Design projects! Remember it is all about practise so once you have watched the video try the exercise a few times so the technique really sinks in.


UP NEXT

In this post we will share 5 inspiring dog logos of this year and discuss how to to nail your next logo design project!

Click here.

About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

Related topics you might be interested in

Learn how to create original and creative designs layouts!

Continue reading

We will introduce you to some very successful Designers and explore their use of Typography as image to inspire you and your own work.

Continue reading

We put together this step by step guide so you can feel confident when approaching new Logo Design projects.

Continue reading

Learn all about Contrast and how to master it like a pro!

Continue reading

A collection of the best resources for your next design project!

Continue reading

Create typography posters using applications such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop!

Continue reading

We share 10 Books that will help you improve your drawing skills!

Continue reading

We will cover color harmonies, the 60-30-10 rule, perception of color and so much more!

Continue reading