By Alec Lynch

Simple logos are the best kind of logos - if you want proof of this, all you need do is look through the top 100 brands of the world.

In the universe of logos there are 5 main types: wordmark, lettermark, pictorial, abstract and emblem. By far and away, wordmark and lettermark logos are the simplest - these are pure text or character based logos.  This article analyses the top 100 most famous logos and brands of the world and proves simple logos (wordmark or lettermark logos) are also the best logos.

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Fact #1:
8 of the top 10 brands - from 'Interbrand's Top 100 brands of the world 2009' - use a simple wordmark or lettermark logo. 

The Top 10 Global Brands - Logos by Type

Wordmark or lettermark logos:

Coca-Cola  IBM  Microsoft  Nokia McDonald'sGoogleDisney Intel
Emblem, pictorial or abstract logos: GEToyota

Fact #2: 51 of the top 100 brands of the world use a wordmark or lettermark logo (see the logos).  That is, their logos are simple, text-only and free from icons, pictures or emblems.

Top 100 brands of the world by logo type - chart 1

Fact #3: the top 50 global brands contain 16% more wordmark/lettermark logos than the next 50famous brands (48% of the top 50 brands are wordmark/lettermark logos while out of the 'next' 50 brands 32% arewordmark/lettermark logos). Thus, when you analyse the 'best of the best' when it comes to brands - more of them use wordmark or lettermark logos. 

Wordmark logos within Top 100 brands of the world - chart 2


1) simple logos work well 2) brands are more than a fancy logo.  While most designers, brand gurus and marketers know this already, business owners often don't.  Either way, the above should provide factual evidence that simple logos are the best logos!  Whether you're a growing brand or a new starter - think big and keep your logo simple!

The 51 wordmark / lettermark logos within the Top 100 brands of the world

From the Top 50:
Coca-Cola  IBM Microsoft

Nokia GoogleIntel

Disney Gillette Louis

Marlboro  Oracle Nescafé

IKEA Sony Canon

Kellogg's Samsung H

Gucci Philips L'Oréal

Accenture eBay Siemens

From the 'Next' 50:

Morgan Yahoo! Avon

Panasonic Tiffany Cartier

Johnson Duracell  Nivea

Prada Ferrari Armani


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Written by DesignCrowd on Friday, April 9, 2010

DesignCrowd is an online marketplace providing logo, website, print and graphic design services by providing access to freelance graphic designers and design studios around the world.