The 9 Best Smiles in Corporate LogosAug 05, 2015, by
A great smile makes a great first impression, and nobody is more conscious of the connection between first impressions and the bottom line than big corporations, so it’s not an accident that dozens of corporations have incorporated smiles into their logos.
Before you say these smiles don’t count the same as a person’s smile, consider this: research shows that emoticons stimulate the same parts of the brain as facial smiles. This fact was recently illuminated in a clever ad campaign showing that smiles change everything by presenting text messages that read very differently with or without a smiley emoticon. Besides, corporations are people too–they just want to be loved. Is that so wrong? 😉
People point to the Apple logo as one of the most iconic and recognizable in the world, but it would be wrong to discount this secondary logo for the Mac brand. The smile that crosses two faces (or is it one?–it’s got kind of a cubist vibe going on) evokes the emotive and touchable design central to Apple products, including the Mac. This logo serves as the Ur-type an entire subset of logos for designers working on Mac-related products, such as Smile, which designs software for the Mac. The smiling logos bring these companies together as one big, happy family.
The smiles in Heineken’s logo are a little less obvious than most of the others in the list, but if you look at the “e”s, you’ll see them. And, really, what is more smile-inducing than beer? (For men, at least.) What’s nice about the Heineken logo is that there are three smiles, which makes a party, right?
The LG Electronics logo is simple and iconic, Utilizing the company’s initials on a red backdrop, the “L” as the nose, and the “G” to define the curve of the face, with a single dot to suggest an eye and complete the impression of a smiling face. The LG logo loses points because the lack of a second eye gives the impression that it isn’t a smiling human, but some kind of cyborg creation. I suppose if we are going to be oppressed by cybernetic organisms (and I for one welcome our new robot overlords), it’s better if they’re smiling.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! I know this is supposed to be about the logo, but I just had to get that out. There’s a lot to love about the Gü Puds logo (Chocolate!–sorry, that just slipped out there.). It’s simple and the high contrast black and white combined with the simple font makes it very clear. It uses the fact that an umlaut over a “u” looks like a smiling face to convey the fact that the “puds” (puddings) they sell are really, really delicious. And they come in flavors like cheesecake, key lime pie, and–I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this–chocolate.
Colourbox is a British branding agency. When they first designed their logo, they were not sure whether it should have the smile or not, but the “overwhelming majority” preferred it with the smile–and it’s not hard to see why. The script font they use is nice, but without the smile, it’s a little bland. With the smile, the logo becomes a really friendly one, and it evokes a kidlike wonder at the world, which enhances the company’s identity as a conversational, friendly, but passionate and results-oriented agency. The company quotes Winnie the Pooh on their “Our Approach” page, and their name evokes a box of crayons–this is unified branding at its finest.
While we’re on the subject of childlike glee, Hasbro’s logo does this amazingly well, which is only fitting for a toy and game company. With IPs as diverse as Transformers and My Little Pony, Hasbro’s design department clearly knows what appeals to kids–and their parents (bronies stand tall-ain’t no shame in that!) The smile in this logo is so unbalanced, unhinged, and gleeful, it skirts the edge of madness, just like the wonderful, glorious freedom of a child at play, completely unaware and uncaring of the rules and limits of the grown-up world.
Smile: The Internet Bank
Another British entry onto the list is this logo for Smile, a bank designed for the Internet age, and a front for stodgy, established institution the Co-Operative Bank. A simple black smile on a bright pink background, this company infuses its entire site with this color and its message of happy banking. For a country not known for its smiles, they sure are killing the smile logos. (Though it should be noted that the notion of the British smile is changing, with the spread of cosmetic dentistry in the country.)
The “Smiling G” logo of Goodwill Industries is the oldest smiling logo on this list, and clearly influenced many of the others. The logo was originally designed in 1968 for a single store, but it came to be adopted by the entire company because of its power and effectiveness. According to the company, the smile represents not just their name, but also their central mission: the joy of helping people help themselves.
Amazon has grown dramatically since its introduction as an online bookseller to become one of the biggest powerhouses in the book industry, even using its weight to push around small publishers, flaunt labor laws, and potentially change the way we read and write. And on top of it all is that rakish smile, so charming and delightfully off-balance that it’s hard to stay mad at them. It’s like the corporate Clark Gable–they may not give a d–n, but we love ‘em anyway.
It’s really a brilliant design, conveying not only the smile, but also the fact that the company is offering everything from A to Z and a notion of speed that makes its brand the apotheosis of the Internet zeitgeist.
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