Never has the cliche been more meaningful when it comes to designing a company's logo. The two best logos for big companies have to be Coca Cola and Google, and they both cost the company $0 because it was done in house.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight purchased the famous swoosh logo from graphic design student Carolyn Davidson in 1971. Knight was teaching an accounting class at Portland State University, and he heard Davidson talking about not being able to afford oil paints in the halls. That's when he offered her $2/hour to do charts, graphs, and finally a logo. "I don't love it, but maybe it will grow on me," Knight said, after doling out $35 for the swoosh. I mean, seriously Phil, the company has grown so big, if it was me I would have offered the designer $1m bonus when your net worth started surging past $500m. The swoosh was a great design, its cool, signify speed and upward mobility and agility.
Paul Rand was paid $33,000 for creating the Enron logo in the 1990s. I think any feng shui master will be able to tell you this is a doomed design. Its tilted and does not inspire confidence.
OK, this did not cost that much but certainly it wasn't inspiring or snazzy at all. Designed by Wolff Olins. The funniest comment was that it looked like Lisa Simpson performing oral sex.
OK, the logo is pretty cool but Arnell Group which came up with the logo also came up with a 27-page document, titled "Breathtaking," was full of pop-culture buzz words explaining Arnell's methodology for the redesign. The report was mocked using phrases like: "Emotive forces shape the gestalt of the brand identity." How to b.s. for $1m.
Simple, professional and conservative, but did it have to cost $1.8m?
cost: $211 million
Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather worked with BP's changing logo, tagline, and image in 2001 “to reinvent itself as an energy company people can have faith in and inspire a campaign that gives voice to people’s concerns, while providing evidence of BP’s commitment, if not all the answers.” Well after the carnage from the oil spill, the brand image did not help one bit.