The success of the Apple logo, and why your startup needs to copy it.

Written on March 24, 2011

The icon or the logo of any startup define the business and define it’s products to a much greater extent than many founders realize. The logo of any company characterizes the visual presence of the business throughout it’s lifespan, and the Apple logo is a great example of this done very well.

Apple isn’t the only company to succeed with the assistance of a great logo, the Reddit alien helped popularize the service initially, MailChimp based an entire business around it’s logo and Twitter spread their bird logo and associated, well, noises throughout the service.

The Apple logo is, in many respects, painfully simple. It is, after all, just the silhouette of an apple with a bite out of it right? Perhaps fittingly, that is exactly what makes it so successful: the logo is instantly recognizable, and its simplicity separates it from other products on the market. Similarly, the Dropbox logo is just a blue box, the Quora logo is just a red rectangle with text in it, the Facebook logo is just text, and the Instagram logo is simply a camera face-on. Forget complex logos or corny slogans, just stick with a simple icon and your startup will have immediately differentiated itself.

On the iPhone, the most popular apps are almost always those with the best icons: and there is a distinct reason for that. The icon of your application is located on the homescreen of your user’s phone or tablet, and if it doesn’t fit in well with an otherwise beautiful interface you can be sure it will be hidden deep within a folder before you know it. Your icon doesn’t have to be fancy or clever, just simple and beautiful. Additionally, the logo of a company can give a personal face to a business which is otherwise separated from its users, and that is a very important distinction for a startup to have in an increasingly crowded market. So employ a real designer, and make sure you spend as much cash as is required on creating the best logo possible for your startup.

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