Simple is best and people don’t like new identities – logo insights revealed

A report from consultancy Siegel + Gale has surveyed 3,000 people about the the logos they find most memorable and aims to find out what makes for a memorable identity.

Nike, Apple, McDonalds and Coca-Cola – the world's most memorable logos
Nike, Apple, McDonalds and Coca-Cola – the world’s most memorable logos

“Simple” logos are the most memorable, while consumers are more like to react negatively to identities that are new or that they don’t recognise, according to new research.

For its Logos Now report, consultancy Siegel + Gale surveyed 3,000 people across the UK and the USA. Those quizzed were asked which logos they found most memorable and the study tried to ascertain what makes for a memorable logo.

The four most memorable logos, according to the survey, are Nike, Apple, McDonalds and Coca-Cola.

Nike is “world’s most recognised logo”

Respondents were asked to name and describe the logos they found most memorable, with 16% saying Nike, 15.6% saying Apple, 11.1% saying McDonalds and 9.7% saying Coca-Cola.

Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, Amazon, Target and Adidas were also named, but came considerably further down the ranking.

The research also showed that people are more likely to react positively to a brand that they recognise than to one that they don’t.

People prefer logos they know

While 71.6% of people said that logos they recognised would get their attention, just 47.7% said the same about logos they didn’t recognise.

In its study, Siegel + Gale says: “Consumers are more likely to ascribe a logo they recognise with positive attributes, namely Trusted, Respected, Reliable and Premium.

“These are attributes that typically require a consumer to have interactions and experiences with a brand over time.”

New logos perform worse than existing ones

It adds: “Consumers who are viewing a new logo, or one that they don’t remember seeing previously, are more likely to assign negative attributes to the logo such as Boring, Pretentious and Tacky.

“The familiarity bias is a powerful occurrence that may inform why new logos tend to test worse than an existing logo from the same company.”

In its bid to discover which “style” of logo is the most memorable, Siegel + Gale quizzed people about nine logo treatments – including serif wordmarks, holding shapes and initials, to find out which ones were most frequently remembered.

According to this part of the research, the most memorable “logo types” are the illustrative custom wordmark – such as Instagram’s logo – and the organic shape – such as BP’s logo.

Simple is best

Siegel + Gale also said that the overwhelming attribute for a memorable logo was that it is simple. In its report, the consultancy says: “Respondents described the logos they found most memorable to be Simple.

“The other descriptors of a memorable logo were: Everywhere, Design, Name, Shape and Colours. However, Simple significantly outweighed the others.

“Brands that use a clear and simple logo design will stand out and be more memorable for the general public.”

You can read the full Logos Now report at

Hide Comments (5)Show Comments (5)
  • Ry Coleman October 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Is this for real?

  • Paul Saint October 9, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    They’re kidding right? Talk about stating the bloody obvious.

  • Paul Johnson October 12, 2015 at 10:31 am

    “Consumers are more likely to ascribe a logo they recognise with positive attributes, namely Trusted, Respected, Reliable and Premium.”
    Like that recognisable logo with a V and a W.

  • Ricky Johal October 12, 2015 at 10:51 am


  • Stephanie Girard October 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve just downloaded and read the entire report. 10 minutes of my life I will never get back…

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