When it comes to branding, a logo is everything. Create a good one, and you have a recognizable icon for your company or organization that will be immediately identifiable. Fall short on the design, though, and you may be subjected to ridicule and derision—or worse, apathy.
It happens time and time again. Take fast-fashion company Zara's recent rebrand: Even though the brand's overall style remained the same, customers almost universally hated the new, tightly kerned logo. And that's just the most recent example. Other losing logos include Slack's controversial rebrand, the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Pepsi's less-than-successful redesign, and Sherwin-Williams' ominous “Cover the World” logo. Redesigns aren't only a PR move, either—they can be big business, with some of the most expensive ringing in at well over $1 million.
But enough with the negativity. What about those logos that are so brilliant you know them in a flash?
Stacker compiled the following list of 50 of the most famous logos of companies, corporations, and organizations for this slideshow quiz. As you click through each slide, see if you can correctly identify the logo. Getting a high score isn't just an accomplishment for you, though—it's also a sign that the graphic designers, advertising executives, and marketers behind these 50 icons did their jobs incredibly well.
Read on to find out how well you know your logos.
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Known for unique packaging and signature stacking, Pringles' logo features a cartoon gentleman known as Julius Pringle. Look closer at the word Pringles on the can, and you'll also see that the dot on top of the letter 'I' is actually a chip!
Although Delta has gone through 20 iterations of its logo since the company was founded in 1928, they have all featured the triangular delta symbol. The brand's signature colors—blue and red—have also never changed.
In 1876, John Deere filed a trademark on its leaping deer that has since become an iconic part of the company's logo. Customers might also be surprised to learn that the vibrant John Deere green wasn't used until 2000.
First created in 2006, the original Twitter bird looked slightly different than today's streamlined version. The company bought the original logo from British designer Simon Oxley for just $15.
Asics was originally founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka as ONITSUKA Shokai, but later changed the name to ASICS, which is an acronym for the Latin expression "anima sana in corpore sano" meaning “you should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body." The roots of the present-day logo didn't appear until 1987, however.
For more than 100 years, AT&T adopted the logo of its parent company, Southwestern Bell. During a restructuring in 1983, AT&T created its recognizable globe logo—a version of which is still in use today.
The Rock of Gibraltar has been Prudential's symbol since 1885. Even after all these years, the company still uses the rock on its logo to project strength and security to its customers.
The Warner Bros. logo has more variation than almost any other brand logo, partially because the company actually encourages filmmakers to tweak its style to fit each individual movie. The basic design—the company's initials on a floating shield—appear in the vast majority of the logos, although Warner Bros. did use a stylized white W on a black shield with a red background for a short time in the 1970s.
With so many brands in its universe, Unilever needed a logo that would represent them all equally, from Lipton to Dove. Look closely at the U, and you'll see icons like an ice cream cone, lips, a fish, and laundry.
The Nestlé logo might seem a little odd at first—what does a bird in a nest have to do with their products? It actually comes from Swiss founder Henri Nestlé's family coat of arms. His family name means “little nest” in German, after all.
Although it was founded when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the Dublin brewery in 1759, Guinness didn't adopt its trademark harp symbol until nearly 100 years later.
The stylized American flag logo that has come to represent Bank of America first appeared in 1998 when NationsBank and BankAmerica merged to become the biggest bank in the country. The bank refreshed the typography of the logo in 2018, but it has otherwise remained the same.
Coco Chanel became inspired to create Chanel's iconic interlocking C logo when she visited the Chateau de Cremat in Nice, France. It adorns everything from the brand's handbags to earrings to clothing.
The Greek god Mercury—a messenger known for his speed and carrying good news—was the inspiration for Goodyear's logo. Founder Frank Seiberling got the idea from a statue of Mercury that stood in his home.
Well, that was an easy one! There is, however, an interesting story behind it. When psychedelic artist Rick Griffin gave publisher Jann Wenner the first sketch of the Rolling Stone magazine logo, he didn't realize Wenner would send it directly to the presses. Still, the character of his pencil sketch set the foundation for the magazine's now legendary logo.
Wikipedia's logo—an unfinished jigsaw puzzle shaped like a globe with characters from several languages on the pieces—actually has a few errors in it. Though Wikipedia knows about the errors, it has chosen not to correct them: After all, it's fitting that the logo for the open-source online encyclopedia would sometimes have inaccuracies.
It's not surprising that a company named Target chose a bullseye for its logo. Target first adopted the bullseye in 1962, and today, 96% of Americans know what it represents.
General Electric gets its knack for invention from its founder, Thomas Edison, who invented both the light bulb and the electrical grid. The scripted GE letters in the logo date back to the 1890s, although they've been streamlined a bit over the years.
The World Wildlife Fund has featured a giant panda on its logo since its founding in 1961. And it's not just any panda: The founders were inspired in particular by Chi-Chi, a panda living at the London Zoo.
Founder Hans Waldorf didn't get the name Rolex from his family, ancient history, or any other source—he made it up. Waldorf knew that he needed a short, snappy name that the public would easily remember and said “a genie whispered Rolex in my ear” while riding in a horse-drawn omnibus in London.
The world's largest aerospace company, Boeing produces everything from the commercial airplanes you might fly on to vacation to communications aircraft that go into space. Its history dates back to 1916 when timber merchant William E. Boeing developed a single-engine, two-seat seaplane.
In 2017, General Mills added a red cartoon heart to its signature cursive G to symbolize that it produces food people love. It's the sixth logo change in the company's nearly 90-year history.
This massive beer producer is named after its two founders, Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch, who owned a German-style brewery in St. Louis together in the late 1800s. One of their first beers? An American-style lager they named Budweiser to appeal to German immigrants.
You probably recognize the unusual figure on the Michelin logo: the jolly Michelin Man made out of tires. What you might not realize is that he has another name—Bibendum—which founder Andre Michelin borrowed from a poster drawn for a Munich brewery.
Paul Julius Reuter founded the company that would one day become Thomson Reuters in London in the 1850s. He used the telegraph and a 200-strong fleet of carrier pigeons to transmit stock market information and news at an impressively fast pace, establishing the brand's long-standing reputation for accuracy and speed.
Originally named Toyoda after its founder's family name, Toyota's first emblems used wings to convey the cars' speed and an iconic symbol of the Japanese city of Nagoya to represent its origin city.
Though it has since been denationalized, Volkswagen was originally founded by the German government as a way to provide affordable, low-priced cars to the masses. The company's name means “people's car” in German.
CBS creative director Bill Golden got his inspiration for the eye on the CBS logo when he was driving through Pennsylvania Dutch Country in 1951. After seeing the hex symbols meant to ward off evil on barns, he found the eye that would become a national symbol for the network in a Shaker art book.
Toblerone had a viral moment recently when fans discovered that if you look closely, you can spot a hidden image in the mountain on the logo: a white bear. The image of the bear is a nod to the town of Bern, Switzerland—the birthplace of the candy.
The Nike swoosh has truly become iconic. The company's first employee, Jeff Johnson, came up with the name, which comes from the Greek goddess of victory.
The so-called Quaker Man has appeared on the Quaker Oats logo since 1877, but that's not to say he hasn't received a few makeovers through the years. In 2012 the company gave him a two-toned background and appeared to thin out his face.
The Spotify logo has included some form of sound bars since the company's founding, but it became more sleek and streamlined in 2013. The streaming service's bright green color has remained the same, though.
In 2018, Goodwill's “smiling G” logo turned 50. Depending on how you look at it, you can find two different images: either half of a smiling cartoon face or a block letter G on a blue background.
When Conrad Hilton bought The Mobley hotel in Cisco, Texas in 1919, he laid the foundation for a global hotel empire. Today, Hilton boasts more than 5,200 hotels around the world.
As one of the first energy drinks to hit the market, Red Bull needed a flashy logo to make its mark in a new category. The first ad depicted a red bull with a polka dot tie holding a tray of Red Bull, and the caption said the drink was “so awesome that polka dots will literally fly off your tie.”
This insurance company's logo is a visual depiction of its slogan: “you're in good hands.” Founded by Sears president and chairman Gen. Robert E. Wood in 1931, Allstate has since become the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer.
When United Airlines and Continental Airlines merged in 2010, United adopted the blue branding and globe logo of Continental. Before the merger, United's logo featured a stylized icon meant to look like the tail of the plane in red, blue, and orange.
A topless mermaid might not seem like a natural mascot for a coffee brand, but it has worked well for Starbucks ever since the first store opened its doors in Seattle in 1971. CEO Howard Schultz said the original mermaid on the logo came from a 16th-century Norse woodcut of a two-tailed mermaid.
Mastercard's logo has featured one red and one gold circle since 1968 when the company was known as Master Charge. Today, the circles look a little more minimal and modern, but the underlying idea remains the same.
In 1953, the iconic Playboy logo was designed in just 10 minutes by the company's first art director, Art Paul. The Playboy bunny appeared on cufflinks in 1955 and soon appeared on many more pieces of merchandise.
In 2017, Formula One rebranded to a futuristic FI logo made of flowing, streamlined strokes. The prior logo—the original “flying one” logo that showed the “one” seemingly blowing away in the wind—had been in place for 23 years.
The very first Baskin Robbins logo appeared in 1953. It featured the number 31 to represent a different flavor for every day of the month, pink and brown polka dots to evoke the flavors of cherry and chocolate, and the same bright blue background that you see on the logo today.
In 1854, Louis Vuitton set up his now famous luggage business in Paris. Even then, his bags were a status symbol; the waterproof trunks meant that your items were safe while traveling. The LV monogram pattern first appeared in 1896.
Travel booking platform Expedia's first logo incorporated a plane flying around a simple blue globe to symbolize the company's mission. Today, it's now known as Expedia Group and uses a simple E on a cobalt blue background as its logo.
This leading U.S. supermarket chain has roots in American Falls, Idaho, where founder S.M. Skaggs opened his first grocery store in 1915. In 1926, Skaggs bought the Safeway brand and 332 stores from Sam Seelig, and the chain was born.
The globe on UNICEF's logo symbolizes the organization's work on behalf of children around the world: Today, it operates programs in 192 countries. The UN established this organization in 1946 to take care of children in postwar regions like Europe and China. The organization's mission has since expanded to address the needs of children and women in developing countries.