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Simple Logo Design: We tend to focus more on logos with a lot of frills because there is simply more to talk about. However, few consumers think about how the simple, iconic logo designs and minimalistic logos around them have a huge effect. You may not spend a lot of time thinking about the Nike mark, but it nonetheless has a very powerful subconscious effect. Here are the top ten simple logo designs, along with what exactly makes this style of logos so effective.

1. Nike Logo Icon

Nike simple logo design
This may look like a basic swoosh, but it says so much about the brand. This simple shape communicates movement, change, and innovation in a single, wordless shape. As a bonus, it also resembles a rounded version of a checkmark. Because the swoosh is different from every other shape and image used in logo design, it is highly recognizable and easy to identify. This mark likely has had a huge part in the success of this company as well as its ability to expand seamlessly to new markets.

2. Apple Logo Mark

Apple Logo Design
The bitten apple will always be indelibly related to this company, which means it is a complete identity design success. Although the image has been used in a variety of colors, from a self-contained rainbow to basic, shiny silver, it is still associated with Apple. The bite out of the apple is the secret to this equation. It arouses enough interest to keep people looking, although it certainly does not complicate the design or detract from its simplicity.

3. WWF Logo Design

WWF Logo Design
This nonprofit organization has a simple design that has changed very little over the decades, in part because there is no reason to make a substantial change away from this simple, effective image. The initials are rounded and friendly, but bold enough to have a definite presence. This gentle rounding is reflected in the circular panda bear. Because a panda bear is an easily recognizable animal that needs protection from organizations such as this, it is a very appropriate spokesperson indeed.

4. London Underground Logo

London Underground Logo Design
This well-known ‘Roundel’ features a red circle with a blue bar intersecting it. While this seems simple, it actually says a lot. Circles are inclusive shapes, which makes them appropriate for any type of public service. They also are roughly the shape of a subway tube. The red and blue are the colors of the British flag, while the rounded white writing in the blue crossbar makes it easy for people to read. This design is easy to recognize at a distance, which is crucial for subway signs. However, it is also distinctively British in color and very appropriate for its industry, which makes it relevant as well.

5. FedEx Mark

FedEx Logo Design
This simple logo design is all about hidden messages. The deep blue is relaxing and trustworthy, while the orange is youthful and fun. The combination is high contrast and very eye-catching. Although this is usually perceived as a text-based mark, it, in fact, has the image of an arrow hidden inside the letters. Can you see it?

6. USA Network Design

USA Network Logo Design
Television networks have a tall order when it comes to logo design. First, they must have a brand design that communicates exactly what makes them and their programming different from the competition. Second, they must have a simple logo design that is simple enough to be recognizable while crammed into the corner of a television screen. The USA Network’s design meets both requirements. The way the ‘S’ is created from negative space is interesting and intelligent, which says nothing but good about the network. The boldness of the letters implies that this is a ‘big’ network, which in this case is accurate. Last, the use of lower case letters adds a friendly touch that is so important in entertainment.

7. Coca-Cola Mark

Coca-Cola Logo Design
Few companies have achieved quite the level of success that Coca-Cola enjoys, and this eminence is shown in the logo design itself. Instead of a busy image, the logo design is simple the name of the company written in its signature, cursive font. The way the letters end in swirling shapes is very relevant to refreshing liquids and also gives a feeling of movement. The red color is often seen in food and beverage icons, and this appropriate here.

8. BBC Logo Mark

BBC Logo Design
The BBC is a classic, dependable company with a long history, which makes the traditional square an ideal shape for this logo design. The letters are thin and unimposing, which creates a sense of balance against the heavy black shapes. There isn’t a lot to say about this logo design, but everyone recognizes it and associates it with the company it represents.

9. Mercedes Benz Design

Pathos Logo Design
The logo design for this upscale company is seen and envied on streets all over the world, which is a testimony to its simplicity and high recognition. The circular shape is friendly, but there is actually a story behind this simple logo design. Mercedes once manufactured airplanes, and their logo design is a rough representation of airplane propellers when looking straight on. This relationship to the company history is not well known but definitely, creates an attractive image.

10. Shell Design

Shell Logo Design
This is another logo design that has aged well, needing only the occasional ‘facelift’ to remain relevant in an ever-changing market. The shell shape obviously relates directly to the name, while the red and yellow provide high contrast and are also associated with fast food. The rays in the shell combined with its bright yellow color create a subtle resemblance to a dawning sun as well, which is positive and friendly.
When looking for ten simple and effective logo designs, the challenge isn’t so much finding them as narrowing down the long list of contenders. Why do simple logo designs work so well? First, because they are easy to remember. Second, they tend to be more attractive simply because they are less overwhelming. While there are certainly cases where a more complicated mark has been equally effective, nothing can touch the timeless appeal of these works of art.
Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.