The minimalist approach can go a long way, especially when you have a text only logo, meaning that it is free of any emblem or other distinct pictorial element. Text only logos can also include a lettermark. A good example would be the McDonald’s “M”. According to DesignCrowd, 8 of the top 10 brands – from Interbrand’s Top 100 brands of the world 2009 – use a simple wordmark or lettermark logo. Also 51 of the top 100 brands of the world use a wordmark or lettermark logo that is, their logos are simple, text-only and free from icons, pictures or emblems.
Also it’s worth noting that the top 50 global brands contain 16% more wordmark/lettermark logos than the next 50 famous brands (48% of the top 50 brands are wordmark/lettermark logos while out of the ‘next’ 50 brands 32% are wordmark/lettermark logos). Thus, when you analyze the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to brands – more of them use wordmark or lettermark logos.
In my opinion a successful text only logo is so simple and memorable that you take it for granted. Here are my top 10 favorite text only logos of all time, what are yours?
CNN / Designed By: Anthony Guy Bost, 1980
The design of the CNN logo has been virtually untouched since 1980 when the late Bost designed it on a small budget. He wanted $5000 but settled for the discounted price of $2800. When the logo was unveiled it was exactly what CNN wanted, something simple. On a side note, The Canadian National Railway expressed their concern that they thought the logo was a little too close for comfort to their mark.
Brandiose /Designed By: Ken Barber, 2012
The creative collaborative heads Jason Klein and Casey white, behind the former Plan B Branding unveiled this beautiful new brand mark this year along with a new name. This mark screams excitement and flows with grace while remaining completely text based. It’s amazing that they kept the in-the-box previous logo so long considering the amazing work that they’ve produced over the years.
In glorious Bello Script, the Pinterest logo comes together in perfect harmony as an icon, while remaining strictly type based. The subtle point on the P is just enough to make it extra iconic, yet still remain a letter.
Not much needs to be said about this Saul Bass masterpiece. It’s warm, catchy and inviting. The round lettering flows smoothly together to form one solid mark.
CocaCola / Designed By: Frank Mason Robinson, 1885
Would you believe that the Coca-Cola logo was designed by a Book Keeper? The original Coca-Cola logo was in a simple type-writer like font. Robinson not only came to the table with the idea that the logo needed a cursive script, he came up with what is now known as Spencerian Script.
DreamWorks / Designed By: Steven Spielberg, 1994
With the creation of DreamWorks, Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen became the first people in sixty years to start a new film studio. The DreamWorks logo shows a young boy fishing while sitting on a crescent moon. Steven Spielberg designed the logo, wanting to represent the idea of a simple company where dreams come to life., What really sticks in my head is the bold font that sits below that is also used as a mark by itself. I mainly chose this logo because in all reality it shouldn’t work. It’s heavily kerned and very crowded. Also it is not an ideal font in my opinion but for some reason along with the line underneath and the subtle SKG below, this type somehow sticks in your head.
Creative director Benjamen Purvis, together with legendary type designer Jim Parkinson, who drew the new logo, took their inspiration from 1930s European auto-racing posters — rugged, elegant, unadorned. “It’s handcrafted, masculine, and authoritative,” Purvis says. “I think it perfectly expresses the spirit of our magazine.”
Design By: Various Sources
Sure the Nestle logo also involves an icon of birds in a nest, but the type alone is worth mentioning. The custom typeface used in the logo has been derived from Helvetica, a font which has stood strong into modern times as a neutral font face. This is one of the reasons this type has been untouched over the years and still feels new and refreshing.
Designed By: Wolff Olins, 2012
The type for the Adani logo is in Rubrik (designed by Miles Newlyn) and is covered in a beautiful multi-toned gradient. The font was then customized into a Adani Medium, Adani Regular and Adani Thin resulting in a breathtaking application playing off of bright colors, clean typography and white space.
HBO / Designed By: Bemis Balkind, 1975
Sporting a simple wordmark with a circle inside the “O”, the early logo had the “O” overlapping the “B.”
In 1980, the logo was revised and the “O”, a major reason for the change was that the partially obscured “B” gave people the impression it was actually an “E.”
Standing the test of time, HBO’s brand has looked been practically untouched since then
Here are some more great text only script style logos to feast your eyes on: