Yellow, the color of the sun, inspires joy, energy and optimism, which is why top brands across the globe have chosen the color as their brand identity. I have curated a list of top 15 famous yellow logos, and explain why they truly stand out from the crowd.
Yellow Logo Inspiration
A smiley makes you feel happy – it allows you to express various emotions. Have you ever imagined why a smiley is always yellow? Yellow evokes various feelings such as optimism, joy, energy, warmth, playfulness, light, brightness, sunshine, innovation and cheerfulness. If you want your brand to inspire these feelings, go for a yellow logo. Yellow can be a great choice not only for modern brands but also classic and rustic ones.
So, without any further ado, let us take a look at the top 15 famous yellow logos:
1. National Geographic
Brain Games, Air Crash Investigation or Jailed Abroad, Nat geo programmes leave the viewers breathless. Did you know that Nat Geo was founded in 1888? Yes, that is true! The National Geographic society was founded in 1888 and published its first magazine nine months later on September 22, 1888.
Chermayeff & Geismar, New York based design agency, developed the logotype. The challenge with designing these kinds of logos is to bring out the diversity of the brand. From dealing with various ethnic groups on the planet to historical events and from forest conservation to dealing with parallel universes, Nat Geo dabbles with diverse subjects. Bringing out this diversity was really a challenge: however, the yellow rectangle perfectly fit the brand. Yellow in the logo represents light and the rectangle, a window. The logo symbolizes how Nat Geo throws light and shows newer worlds through its window. Truly a fantastic and timeless logo!
The savior and protector of Gotham City, Batman, stands for justice and righteousness. Batman has no superpowers like Superman, Captain America or Hulk, but is capable of defeating an army single handedly through his superior fighting skills and brainpower. The owner of Wayne Enterprises first made his debut in the 27th issue of Detective Comics on March 30, 1939.
The black and yellow combination in the logo is symbolic of justice, light and righteousness. Batman’s attitude of never taking the wrong path to do what is morally right is brilliantly portrayed through the famous logo. The logo is also symbolic of man’s inner battles and his ability to be victorious.
“Come as you are, as you were, as a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy…” This song rocked the world in the 90s and had the fans scream the name of the great rock band from Washington – Nirvana. The band changed the music scene not only in America but the entire world. Winner of a Grammy Award and seven MTV Video Music Awards, Nirvana will never be forgotten by rock worshippers.
The energetic contrast of black and yellow can be seen in this logo. The smiley was first seen in the “Nevermind” album and stayed with the band ever since. Nobody is sure what the logo means but according to some, this was the picture drawn on the bridge Kurt Cobain, the frontman of Nirvana, slept under.
4. Chupa Chups
I am sure many of you have wondered what chupa chups really means? I will let you in on a secret today! The brand gets its name from the Spanish word ‘chupar’ which means ‘to suck’. Founded in 1958 by Enric Bernat, the Spanish brand is sold in over 150 countries worldwide.
Trivia – Enric Bernat got the idea of lollipops from getting his fingers sticky from melting sweets!
The iconic Chupa Chups logo looks like a daisy flower and is extremely eye-catchy. The combination of yellow and red evokes the feeling of joy, fun and excitement. The touch of white provides a sense of reliability.
Created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, Pokémon is the highest grossing media franchise of all time. With over 1 billion mobile downloads and 368 million copies of the original videogame series sold, Pokémon is the second-best-selling video franchise just behind Mario. Joseph Tobin, Professor of Education at the University of Georgia, believes that success of Pokémon is due to the names that could easily be memorized by children.
The logo is a wordmark and very well depicts the fun characters in the game such as Misty, Red, May, Pikachu and Mew. The comic typeface along with the playful mix of blue and yellow is extremely appealing to children. Yellow depicts joy and youthful energy while blue portrays excellence.
Who doesn’t love cheeseburgers, hamburgers or French fries from McDonald’s? The world’s largest restaurant by revenue, McDonald’s serves more than 69 million hungry customers in over 100 countries daily. Founded in 1940, the American fast food company has the ninth-highest brand valuation. Due to changing consumer taste and alleged unhealthiness of their food, the American fast food giant has added salads, smoothies and fruits to their menu!
The minimalist logo of McDonald’s has remained almost constant since the 1960s. The yellow arches together form the letter “M” and signify the first letter of the brand – McDonald’s. The McDonald’s logo is a great example of logos with yellow and red. The logo adds a childlike energy while the red adds the element of joy.
Created in 1907 through the merging of two rival companies, namely the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the Shell Transport and Trading Company, Shell is the fifth-largest company in the world measured by 2020 revenues. The oil and gas giant was ranked first in the 2013 Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies.
The current visual identity was designed by Raymond Loewy in 1971. The yellow image with thick red outline looks like a gas mushroom being formed which represents power and energy- perfect for a company dealing with oil and gas. The color scheme also emphasizes its connection to California and Spain.
Ferrari, one of the most popular luxury sports car manufacturers, is known for having the oldest and the most successful racing teams in Formula One. Seen as a symbol of luxury and wealth, Ferrari cars are the most expensive in the world.
The visual identity of the legendary car company has been very consistent through the years. The black horse symbolizes power and speed and color yellow adds the element of brightness. The iconic logo is as famous as the car itself the world over.
Whether it is jotting a quick piece of information or attaching notes to documents, post-it notes are your best friend. The entire credit for discovering the reusable low-tack pressure-sensitive adhesive goes to Dr.Spencer Silver.
The shades of yellow gives the Post-it logo a fun and energetic vibe while the black adds the element of seriousness. Just like the brand, the Post-it logo has turned out to be an iconic one.
Lay’s, the potato chip brand from America is famous for the variety of flavours it makes. Be it Sour Cream & Onion or Salt & Vinegar; people across the globe love this American brand. You cannot think of a party without Lay’s chips! WOW! Doesn’t that sound like a great one-liner?
The current logo was redesigned in 2019 and is more dynamic in nature. The combination of yellow and red evokes the feeling of energy and passion while white adds the element of reliability.
DHL, the German logistic firm, delivers over 1.5 billion parcels every year. The company was founded in the US 1969 and has been growing at a rapid pace since then. Prompted by the success of FedEx, DHL started its own intra-US expansion in 1983.
The structure of the logo has been pretty consistent since its creation. The original logo was designed in 1969; however, yellow was added only in 2002 by Nitsch Design. The combination of red and yellow conveys passion, speed, energy and reliability.
If you are a photographer or a documentary filmmaker your obvious choice would be a Nikon camera. The Japanese company is not only famous for its amazing line of cameras but also camera lenses, binoculars and spotting scopes.
The 2003 version of the logo has become synonymous with high-quality photography. The iconic logo has several gradients of yellow and white stripes which evokes the feeling of youthful energy and elegance.
Submarine sandwiches, salads and a whole range of healthy fast food is what the American franchise deals with. One of the fastest growing franchises in the world, Subway serves healthy food in over 100 countries!
The current logo of Subway was designed in 2016 and is a modernized version of previous emblems. The minimalist logo is a combination of yellow and green, signifying the energy of nature.
14. John Deere
John Deere, an American company that deals with agricultural and forestry machinery, is among top 100 companies in the US according to Fortune 500 America’s ranking. The company also provides financial services.
The green and yellow were added in 2000 and have been in use since then. Green is nature’s color and the yellow deer signifies energy and passion: perfect for the company.
Established in 1913 in Los Angeles, the actual history of Pennzoil began sometime during 1889 when South Penn Oil Co. began commercial oil production. The company was transformed into Penn’s Oil in 1960 and in 1963 the company was renamed to Pennzoil.
The logo is connected to American history. The cracked bell is symbolic of the liberty bell which cracked a few times in its history. The bell also signifies America’s independence. Yellow signifies energy, which is perfect for the oil company, and red is symbolic of freedom and passion.
Yellow has the power to make instant connections and evoke the feeling of energy and joy. If you want your brand to make instant connections with the audience and convey the feeling of joy and youthful energy, yellow is your best choice.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.