Top ten most valuable logo properties

Nothing illustrates success more than success itself. Accordingly, here’s a look at the corporate logos of the top 10 companies in the 2010 Fortune 500 lineup (plus a couple that dropped out this year). Let’s see what we can learn…

fortune 500 magazine coverIt’s been said that is the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. The design corollary to that might be, if you’re a logo designer, everything starts looking like a logo. Or at least how things look through the prism of logo design. So, while running the risk of posting yet another worthless “Best Of” post, let’s do just that and take a look at the top ten companies in the 2010 Fortune 500. This CNN Money logowas originally intended as a 2009 Fortune 500 corporate logo round-up, but minutes before I hit publish, I realized that the 2010 list was already out on the CNN Money website (the actual magazine version doesn’t hit the stands until May). Luckily, there were few changes (other than two companies getting ‘knocked out’) so after a few quick additions and edits, here is the 2010 version. We’ll try and interpret the design side of things after the jump.

10. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett Packard logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 114,552

9. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

JP Morgan Chase logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 115,632

8. Ford Motor

Ford logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 118,308

7. AT&T

AT&T logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 123,018

6. ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 139,515

5. Bank of America Corp.

Bank of America logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 150,450

4. General Electric

General Electric GE logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 156,779

3. Chevron

Chevron logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 163,527

2. Exxon Mobil

Exxonmobil logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 284,650

1. Wal Mart

Walmart logo
Revenue (in $ millions) 408,214

Missing from last years Fortune 500 top 10:

General Motors (GM) logo

15. General Motors

Revenue (in $ millions) 104,589 Dropped from #6 in 2009.

Valero Energy logo

26. Valero Energy

Revenue (in $ millions) 70,035 Dropped from #10 in 2009.

What can we learn?

As it’s highly unlikely that the company logos featured above had anything to do with their rise, or fall, on the Fortune 500 list, we probably can’t garner too much ‘let’s do this on our logo’ kind of information. We can however, for interest’s sake, analyze the ten logos and present a completely unscientific set of data that may, or may not, be factored into your next design project. To whit:

• 80% use blue.
• 90% use a sans-serif font.
• Only 2 use an acronym of the full company name.
• 40% only use one color.
• 40% use two spot colors.
• Out of the four logos that employ spot colors, 3 of them use red.
• Only two (AT&T and Ford) are even vaguely realistic or Illustrative.
• Only two use a script font.
• 40% use iconic portions that can be ‘free standing’.
• Only one uses a text only approach.
• We’ve only designed logos for one of the top ten.
• Absolutely no cartoon characters. None.
• None of this overused crap either.
• One looks suspiciously like the symbol from The Empire in Star Wars.
• I have no idea what the ConocoPhillips red squiggly thing is (a plane?).
• Can’t say I’m sad to see the Valero logo get bumped out.

And thus concludes our completely meaningless look at the Top 10 Most Valuable Logo Properties of the Fortune 500 list. Sorry, but somebody had to do it.




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5 Comments to “2010 Fortune 500: The top 10 most valuable corporate logo properties”

  1. “Absolutely no cartoon characters. None.”

    Hahahhaha, great!

  2. Mariusz says:

    And one of them (AT&T) looks a bit like Death Star.

  3. bubak says:

    I am not surprised at all. Logotypes MUST be simple and easy to remember by customer or prospect.
    IMHO this is one of the golden rules of marketing.
    Because they are “the anchors” in the customer’s mind connected to the company and/or to its product(s) or service(s) provided, quality etc.
    A great many logotypes of today are too complex with more than 2+ colors, fountain fills and gradients, dropped shadows, mirrors – at the expense of being easily perceived and recognized
    Logotypes mentioned above are really THE MASTERPIECES.
    And btw why blue color seems to be such a popular one in business? Because of the power of colors, their meaning, symbolism and psychology.
    Blue color inspires not only trust and confidence, but stability, harmony, order, loyalty and security etc as well.

  4. Prof says:

    I believe in simple and readable logo, either illustrative or not… it just must be simple and understandable.
    The collection of “the Fortune 500 Logos” here are pretty within that class and will suffice with me any day.

  5. When I had to design my company’s logo, I went for a simple circle with an ! inscribed over it using negative space, it looks awesome.