Can You Beat My Son at This Game?


When my phone contract expired last month, I decided to hop aboard the Apple band wagon and get an iphone. Within minutes, my ten-year-old was downloading ‘must have’ apps, including “LogosQuiz” by AticoD.

I just checked my phone and he is on level 1, with a score of 1487, and has guessed 15/34 logos correctly. Not surprisingly, he has correctly identified McDonalds, Starbucks, Pringles (which I thought was Mr. Monopoly), Nike, Twitter, and Kellogg’s from the partial logo they show on the game; he’ll never guess Calvin Klein or Louis Vuitton without his sister’s help.
What this game shows is that from a very young age, we are conditioned to recognize a company by its logo mark. Is there a three-year-old (that is allowed to watch TV) who doesn’t recognize the golden arches?

This got me thinking…enormous marketing budgets aside, is there a common denominator that helps make for a good logo?

A logo is one element of a branding strategy. When a company’s logo strongly represents its history, its goals or its values, it is much easier to connect with and remember. Think of the Twitter bird. Does it not immediately say “tweet”?

Some of the strongest logos were created to graphically represent a story. Here are some of the logo stories I uncovered — some from the game, some not. Did you know that…

  • McDonald’s® golden arches were originally an architectural detail that was part of the restaurant’s design. In 1962, the arches were used to create the logo in the shape of an “M” with the red roof serving as the background.
  • Starbuck’s siren represents the seafaring history of coffee. And, according to its website, also ties to Seattle’s strong seaport roots.
  • Mr. Monopoly, the current name of the MONOPOLY® man, started off as rich Uncle Pennybags. The character originated in the 1930s; in 2012, he was ranked as the 10th richest fictional character in the Forbes Fictional 15. Mr. Pringles didn’t make the list.
  • The Nike “swoosh,” which cost $35 to design in 1971, represents the spirit of Nike, the winged, Greek Goddess of Victory; apparently, one of Nike’s strengths was that she was a very fast runner!
  • MasterCard’s overlapping circles, first introduced in 1969, symbolized the interbank trade of liabilities and debts. The logo mark has evolved over the years, but still retains the circles.

Although your company may not have the billions McDonald’s spends on advertising, you can still create a strong logo, by making it meaningful, representative and appealing. But keep in mind that it takes time, reinforcement and consistent usage, to make a logo memorable. I don’t know what it takes to make it into the LogosQuiz game.

Image Source: Screenshot of Logos Quiz by AticoD