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The Most Famous Trademarks and Their History

Reading time
3 min

Trademarks are one of the best ways of distinguishing products and services from the competition. They can include words, phrases, symbols, designs, or even combinations of these things - anything that will allow the customers to identify the goods of certain brands. However, developing them is not an easy task and often can take decades. Read on and explore the histories of some of the most famous corporate logos trademarks in the world.



Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, so it’s not a surprise they own a famous trademark logo. The company was founded in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton, who created a syrup made from coca leaves and kola nuts that he believed had medicinal properties. The name "Coca-Cola" was chosen because it reflected the two main ingredients of the drink. The first logo featured the words "Coca-Cola" in the Spencerian script, a popular style of handwriting at the time. Over the years, the design has undergone several revisions, and in 1893 it gained its distinctive red color, however the basics remained the same.



The list of famous symbols used as trademarks includes the Nike logo as well. The "swoosh” was designed by graphic designer Carolyn Davidson in 1971, and originally she was paid only $35 for her work. However, later she received stock options in the company that made her a millionaire. In 1995 the brand decided to remove its name from the logo and left the just “swoosh” that quickly became easily recognizable around the world. Of course, the Nike logo is not the only trademark that Nike has. In the late 1980s, the brand also introduced its now famous “Just Do It” slogan and registered it in October 1989.



Apple is among the most valuable companies in the world, and it has one of the most famous trademark examples. Many theories circulate about the name of the company, but in reality, it was simply chosen because Steve Jobs liked this fruit. Apple’s original logo featured a detailed drawing of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, but this design was quickly replaced by the iconic bitten apple that we know today. The bite was added so the logo wouldn’t be mistaken for a cherry. The new design combined everything Steve Jobs wanted: it was modern, easy to print, and tied to the company name.



When talking about the most famous trademarks, we have to mention Netflix’s iconic “ta-dum” sound. According to the brand's VP of Product Todd Yellin, it had to be short, crisp, and evoke the feeling of suspense related to the cinematic experience. Academy Award-winning sound designer Lon Bender worked on these few seconds of intro sound for about a year and went through about 20-30 versions in different styles. In 2015, Netflix finally found what it was looking for, and focus groups instantly described the sound as dramatic, interesting, and beginning. All of these qualities made the trademarks famous really quickly.

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