A logo is more than just a neat little graphic mark that represents your company. It can shape the way potential customers view and interact with your brand.
But what makes a logo great? What makes a logo iconic, memorable and just awesome? In this blog we take a look at 10 of Australia’s best logos and we’ll let you in on some tips for great logo design.
Arguably one of the most iconic airline logos in the world, Qantas’ flying kangaroo is a true Australian icon. The Qantas logo has gone through significant changes since its introduction in 1944, with its original design adapted from the Australian one-dollar coin. Continual adaptations of the logo have occurred throughout the decades, with the most current logo unveiled by designer Hans Hulsbosch in July 2007, coming with a hefty $100 million price tag.
The use of Australia’s native kangaroo and bold red colour in the design ensures this logo remains an unforgettable and iconic symbol of not only a brand, but also the Australian nation. Furthermore, the logo’s simplicity and consistency is integral to the overall success of the design remaining synonymous with the Qantas business.
A staple on Australian television for the last 47 years, the ABC logo is an excellent example of achieving timeless design. Submitted in 1965 by Bill Kennard, a staff member at ABC at the time, the design is based on the waveform of an oscilloscope (laboratory instrument used to display and analyse the waveform of electronic signals) and has only been slightly tweaked over the years to adapt to changing technologies in television. The ABC logo’s strengths lie in not only the simplicity of the design, but is also perfectly balanced while at the same time suggesting movement.
3. Commonwealth Bank
Introduced in 1991, the Commonwealth Bank’s current logo is bold, modern and strongly recognisable. The bank’s corporate identity was designed by Ken Cato in 1989 and created a memorable shape. Featuring a geometric design set inside a yellow diamond, the logo’s strong and bold colours proudly differentiate itself from other banks’ corporate identities. The Commonwealth Bank logo is an example of a design going against the grain – and succeeding.
Landcare began in Victoria in 1986 with a group of farmers forming the first of the organisation’s groups. The idea of local people making a difference to the land is directly visible in the Landcare logo, which features two hands cupped, with the negative space in the middle forming the outline of Australia. This use of negative space is one of the best features of the design, which is also outlined in a soft grass green. The universal use of the hands suggests that anyone can be a part of the Landcare group and increases the brand’s public appeal.
5. Triple J logo
Designed as an identity that “symbolises the free spirit and energy of youth” by its creator Andrew Hoynes, the Triple J logo has become the embodiment of Australian youth culture. The logo was designed in 1991 when the radio station shifted from Double J to what it is now currently known as Triple J; with the designer using the three drum sticks as a symbol for the station. The logo has been slightly refreshed since its inception with the changes made only to enhance the logo’s presence online.
6. Sydney 2000 Olympics Logo
The logo design for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games started out seven years earlier as a competition for several hand picked Australian designers. The winning design, by Michael Bryce, features a running athlete, a reference to the Sydney opera house and three boomerangs sketched in a simple hand drawn style. By using icons in the logo that are strong symbols of Australia, the logo is imaginative, clever and truly representative of Australian culture.
7. Australia Post
The Australia Post logo is iconic and instantly recognisable within the nation’s popular culture. Designed by graphic artist Pieter Huveneers in 1975, this logo utilises the letter ‘P’ to symbolise the postal horn found on traditional English post bikes. The circle around the ‘P’ symbol is said to symbolise the service that Australia Post provides all around the world. The use of a pictogram is one of the strengths of the Australia Post logo, along with the vibrant choice of colour and the easy to read accompanying typeface.
8. The Cat Empire Logo
A staple on the Australian music scene for nearly 11 years, gypsy-folk band, The Cat Empire has a strong visual identity. Designed by artist Ian McGill, the logo plays on the idea of using a cat’s eye (a reference to Jazz Cat imagery) within a crown depicted with simple bold, black strokes. As a result, the logo has become synonymous with the band and according to the designer can be applied to marketing collateral without any text. This shows the power and success an instantly recognisable logo can have.
Based on an opened, two-dimensional form of drawing the world, the SBS logo visually represents the multicultural vision of the television station. The logo was created by Ken Cato and was carefully designed so that the angle of the logo reflects the angle on which the earth tilts. The logo was updated in 2008 to be slightly more streamlined and the SBS text was removed from inside the logo, to sit outside so that the icon can exist with or without the text. The SBS logo is yet another example of great Australian design as it is one colour, simple and uses symbolism to represent the station’s overall vision.
Quiksilver are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of surf wear and are kingpins in the outdoor sports industry. The Quiksilver logo was designed by Alan Green and John Law who started the brand out of the backyard shed in Torquay. By combining a breaking wave over a snow-capped mountain, the logo is said to symbolise excellence and authenticity. Quiksilver’s women’s line, Roxy, cleverly incorporated a mirrored image of the Quiksilver logo that creates a heart shape. The Quiksilver logo is a simple yet clever design and beautifully symbolises the brand’s roots and ideals.
Tips for Logo Design
1. Keep your design to one or two colours: this ensures your logo will be impactful and memorable.
2. Use simplified shapes and forms: remember a logo is an icon that needs to be easily remembered and preferably not an illustration that can hard to replicate.
3. Keep it interesting: suggest movement or use negative space to your advantage.
4. Make it suitable for both print and digital: select colours and shapes that will work well both on and off screen. Keep your logo simplified so that when viewed on platforms like smartphones or tablets it won’t lose its form and impact.