According to Forbes, these are the top hundred most valuable brands on the planet. We’ve assembled their logos to see what we can learn. There’s a bar graph and everything..

According to Forbes‘ annual list, the following logos represent the world’s most valuable brands (there’s a few left off that we’ll quibble about afterwards) but here’s the Forbes list. Here’s the methodology they used to determine who got on the list (and who didn’t.) Here’s a jumbo sized chart of all the logos on said list:
No real surprises. Apple is the most valuable, weighing it at at an incredible $124 billion evaluation (interestingly, their advertising budget is $1.1 billion, about half of runner up MIcrosoft.) Interesting to note is that only one of the top 100 brands (Nestcafe) redesigned last year. But what can we learn about these corporate giant’s logos? Let’s break it down, using some standard logo design parameters to see what, if any, trends we can see. We last did this exercise way back in 2011 and like then, our conclusions are arbitrary and admittedly non-scientific. Off the top of my head kind of thing:

Totally unscientific observations:

30% of the top brand logos use red.
35% use blue.
23% are black & white or without a set color scheme.
14% use a color field or bounding box background.
20% feature yellow or gold.
51% use one color.
27% use two colors.
26% use a wordmark only.
7% don’t refer to the company name at all.
13% use acronyms rather than the full company name.
4% use an illustrative or hand-drawn style.
9% use animals or people.
28% feature a square (ish) aspect ratio.
57% feature a horizontal (ish) aspect ratio.
Only one features purple.
Number of swooshes: 4

We got your bar graph..

Did somebody mention “bar graph?” Who doesn’t like a bar graph? Here ya go:
According to these numbers, and if you want to imitate success with your own logo, it should be a horizontal aspect ratio, one color (preferably blue,) text only wordmark. Do not, under any circumstances, use purple (alas, our official corporate color for years.) Or maybe you can spot some more trends that I missed? Feel free to drop them in the comments if you’re so inclined.

Notable omissions.

In closing, and not to quibble with Forbes’ list or anything, but they required companies to have a US presence in order to qualify at all. That’s kinda weird in this global environment and it meant, for example, that two of the world’s biggest brands were left off entirely. That would be European telecom Vodafone and China Mobile, just the biggest cell phone provider on the planet. For what it’s worth, their logos are here:
vodafone china mobile
FWIW 2.0, we discussed (albeit briefly) Vodafone’s new logo when it was first rolled out in 2006.