Have you ever spilled a drink on your computer?

It’s a pretty miserable experience, and requires a trip to the Apple store (we’re a mac team) to get it fixed.

Anyway, an interesting thing happens when you go to the Apple Store. Chances are it is in a mall, and malls are interesting places.

When walking into a mall you get slammed headfirst into the sites and sounds of capitalism. In other words you walk into a building filled with nothing but brands and forced to find the one brand that you are there to see out of the hundreds of logos and colors that populate the mall.

If you think about it, walking into a mall and finding and identifying the exact logo you are there for should be like finding a needle in a haystack.

However, look around for about 10 seconds and you will immediately see the Apple Store you are there to find.

It isn’t like finding a needle in a haystack at all but rather like finding a beacon at sea. Instead of being hard to find, it’s the easiest thing to spot. But why? Because it’s a iconic logo. Legendary even.

The Apple logo is a great logo.

Here is what makes a logo great.

Iconic logos are stunning in their simplicity. This is not the place for complex images and layers of detail. Iconic logos are the visual representation of a brand boiled down to its most basic essence.

Iconic of course comes from the word icon, meaning a representative symbol of something. Iconic logos aren’t confused with anything other than the brands they represent.

It takes more than great design for a logo to become iconic. You need to see it again and again before it can become a stand alone symbol.

Great logos are designed to intentionally communicate the conceptual foundation of their brand. FedEx has an arrow to communicate “delivering peace of mind.” Gillette has an italicized font and sharp edge that signify the sharpness of their blades.

Iconic logos get better with age. So commit to it. Don’t tinker to stay hip. Iconic IS hip.

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