The Top 250 Logos
June 6, 2003 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Nice Logo, Dude, But Not On My T-Shirt, Thank You Very Much: 250 of those we hated, got sick of, been utterly indifferent to...and still love. Many missing. Which one(s) would you wear for free? [Via geisha asobi and oink.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (37 comments total)
My favourite has to be the Yellow Pages logo. It's probably way too literal but coupled with the slogan "Let your fingers do the walking" it describes the product beautifully.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:47 PM on June 6, 2003

Okay, I don't know if I'll be showing my age, my ignorance, or just my parochialism with this comment, but ...

wtf is "stussy"?
posted by yhbc at 7:04 PM on June 6, 2003

wtf is "stussy"?

...about 10 years out of date.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:20 PM on June 6, 2003

"Ben een logo?????"

What is it, I wonder, and why, more pertinently, is it considered good design!? (((boggle)))
posted by Blue Stone at 7:22 PM on June 6, 2003

Something's a little screwy here -- the Stüssy logo, described as "One of your webmaster's alltime favorites," doesn't register any votes below 9. (stussy is a clothing line that peaked in the mid-80's, no?)

Except for the vote rigging, this is a brilliant variation on the 'hot or not' theme. Interesting how the whole generation of internet-enabled 'swoosh' logos seems to have missed the top rankings entirely...
posted by ook at 7:28 PM on June 6, 2003

vote rigging ballot stuffing
posted by ook at 7:32 PM on June 6, 2003

Too bad nobody ever did a parody of the Stüssy logo as "Spuffy"; I'd have bought a t-shirt with that, but now it's a little late...

(I know: Take it to
posted by wendell at 7:38 PM on June 6, 2003

I thought the old BP logo was pretty stylin'.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 7:54 PM on June 6, 2003

Most of the first 100 are are top notch.

I think Dialog (98th) is pretty clever.

Puma (12th) is waaay overrated. "Hey, our company is called Pumu so who can come up with a logo? What? Have the word puma written in upper case with a picture of a puma leaping over it?! Absolutely insane!!! Let's go with it."

I reckon LG (146th) is pretty bad. I've hated it from the word go.

Peavey (244th) is another one I've always disliked.

Carry on then.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:14 PM on June 6, 2003

I'd wear this one, though slightly off-topic.

This one conjures some nice "shaken not stirred" imagery too, however, with a smart design to boot.
posted by hama7 at 8:50 PM on June 6, 2003

I would wear the Atari logo.
posted by a3matrix at 9:18 PM on June 6, 2003

I have an Atari shirt. All the cool 80s kids do.
posted by MiG at 9:21 PM on June 6, 2003

I'll see to it that the NeXT Computer logo appears there shortly. Paul Rand is already represented by IBM and Westinghouse, but I think the NeXT logo is better than either of those.

Yeah, I have the shirt, too.
posted by tss at 9:31 PM on June 6, 2003

Cool resource Miguel - here are some other good logo resources:
Logo Type has more than 75,000 logos listed.
Logo Lounge has quarterly picks, trends and essays on design.

For me, it's difficult to simply just look at a logo or mark and judge its merit without considering how well it carries out its purpose: serving as a symbol, shorthand or embodiment of an organizational or corporate brand. This is an interesting article on logos, their purpose, and an approach to's an excerpt:

To be successful, a trademark must be visually complex enough to be unique, simple enough to be reproduced consistently over all media, from silk screen to memory stitching, and also web appropriate. It must be interesting enough to attract attention and memorable enough to live
beyond the moment or the decade.

posted by madamjujujive at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2003

I saw a display of brand new Atari t shirts at the bon marche (macy's department store) a couple years ago. It was eerie to see them in their bright unworn glory.
posted by Wood at 10:25 PM on June 6, 2003

Juju: In an ideal state of affairs, your comment would be the post - and an excellent one - and my post would be a comment. Talk about generosity! Thanks! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:44 PM on June 6, 2003

Nonsense, Miguel - I had entirely forgotten about those resources until you brought up the topic with your fun link!

It's a community here - hopefully the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For me, the delight in posting often lies in the resulting pointers that expand on a theme, or the unusual trajectories that a post can take.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:14 PM on June 6, 2003

vote rigging
ballot stuffing

ballot stussing!

Migs, juju, please stop being so nice to each other; remember you're at MetaFilter!

One more observation about the goodlogo! site. The UPS logo you're asked to rate is the OLD one.
posted by wendell at 12:23 AM on June 7, 2003

It's probably way too literal but coupled with the slogan "Let your fingers do the walking" it describes the product beautifully.

I was actually thinking about that logo recently. When the slogan was introduced, of course, people often walked to stores to find what they were looking for. But today, if you're going to visit a bunch of bookstores or hi-fi shops or whatever, you're going to be driving. The next generation probably won't get this slogan at all. "What does walking have to do with shopping?"
posted by kindall at 12:40 AM on June 7, 2003

Suddenly I want to go out and buy stuff....
posted by salmacis at 12:44 AM on June 7, 2003

Funny, Stussy was by far the logo I practiced drawing the most in schoolbooks as a teenager. I think I liked it so much because it was (almost) one continuous line which made pulling off an accurate replication of it all the more satisfying. I am surprised to see it's the most highly rated - depends on who is voting I guess.
posted by Onanist at 12:46 AM on June 7, 2003

Bluestone: Ben is a dutch mobile phone company. The logo is designed by Kesselskramer a hip agency in Holland. "Ik ben Ben" means I am Ben so the name of the company is a pun. It's one of those logo's where I guess you had to be there when the first campaign launched and that blue three letter word got hammered into the dutch subconscious.
posted by dabitch at 3:04 AM on June 7, 2003

(eeh, so "ben een logo" means "is a logo" - another logo-pun)
posted by dabitch at 3:05 AM on June 7, 2003

If you look at the Fedex logo (which may not be at the linked site - I didn't look), you may notice that the negative space before the x makes a perfect arrow. I never cottoned on to this until it was pointed out to me, but once you see it, you can't unsee it. Very clever, in a marketronically evil way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:08 AM on June 7, 2003

I just hope that Cayce Pollard is not reading Mefi this weekend, for God's sake

I have an Atari shirt. All the cool 80s kids do.
I agree. but if you just stick to obscure band t-shirts you can't really go wrong, can you?

it's also interesting to consider Muji's business plan, i.e. to commodify the idea of "no logo" itself
posted by matteo at 7:31 AM on June 7, 2003

Arrrrgh! Bibendum! Aieeeeee!
posted by GrahamVM at 8:03 AM on June 7, 2003

Actually the logo that bothered me most as a kid was the HMV one. I was always scared that the dog would get its head stuck in the horn.
posted by GrahamVM at 8:05 AM on June 7, 2003

let's just hope the Russians don't burgle your therapist's office, too
posted by matteo at 9:32 AM on June 7, 2003

On 56k so didn't make it the whole way through, but amazed that AT&T's Death Star logo didn't finish in the top 100.

And Ferrari half way down the top 100? Surely one of the most evocative, memorable and plagiarised logos of all time?
posted by dmt at 9:40 AM on June 7, 2003

What's the story behind The Athlete's Foot? It's a footwear store named after a foot fungus? Marketing genius! The logo looks like a foot with fungus smell floating away from it.
posted by MiG at 9:43 AM on June 7, 2003

The Batman logo is cool, and yes, I have the t-shirt and wear it frequently.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:47 AM on June 7, 2003

I have an Atari shirt. All the cool 80s kids do.

Y'all know they're owned by the french these days?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:47 PM on June 7, 2003

Boeing's planet-and-plane logo was inherited when the company bought McDonnell-Douglas, which took on Douglas's logo when McDonnell and Dougals Aircraft merged. I like the old one a bit better, though.

Also, I'd like to see the site put the new UPS logo in and see how it stacks up against the old.
posted by zsazsa at 5:56 PM on June 7, 2003

i'd wear the atari logo if it came without the text
i have a soft spot for the batman logo, but i prefer the plain black one without the yellow.
posted by juv3nal at 11:40 PM on June 7, 2003

I like the logo for But then I would say that, because I designed it...
posted by rikabel at 1:42 PM on June 8, 2003

I always see big yellow teeth whenever I look at the Batman logo.
posted by Vidiot at 6:16 PM on June 8, 2003

The most clever logo I've ever seen (and I do this for a living for a living) is SUN's logo (as in, Sun Microsystems). The way the U and N combine to create a sideways S, which then reiterates 3 times in a square -- just genius. This is one of those things that's so clever you wonder if the founders didn't first recognize this cool alpha-stunt and say, "Hey, let's just call our company Sun, because damn, that's a neat effect."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:57 AM on June 9, 2003

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