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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Which is world's most expensive logo ever?

by Archie D'Cruz, Design studio owner, from Quora.com+

The most expensive logo ever created might also be among the cheapest.

I’ll explain why in a moment. First, though, let’s understand why this is a difficult question to answer.

Contrary to popular misconception, logos are not created in isolation. At the major corporate level, they almost always form part of a complete branding exercise that includes research, logo concepts and design, complementary design assets, a brand identity system that showcases implementation of the logo in every possible use (including stationery, web, signage and packaging), colour palettes, typeface guidelines, and an exhaustive style guide that provides in-depth rules about how the logo should be used in various scenarios.

The brand identity/style guide alone can be a pretty sizeable document…I have worked with clients whose style guides run well over a hundred pages.

Then there’s also the research cost involved with ensuring the logo doesn’t infringe any existing trademarks. There have been numerous instances when corporations have had to fight legal battles or been forced to pull a logo after it has been implemented. In the most recent high-profile instance, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo had to be scrapped over charges of plagiarism.
Tokyo Olympics logo
So if the question was “Which is the most expensive branding project ever undertaken?”, to my knowledge the answer would be British Petroleum, which shelled out £4.6 million (approx $7 million) for the work surrounding this logo:
BP logo
Incidentally, you should take popular internet tales about the Symantec logo costing $1.2 billion as well as others said to be in the hundreds of millions with a handful of salt. There are no sources I have seen that confirm the Symantec story, and when companies have spent hundreds of millions, that includes costs related to rebranding of plants, vehicles, company stationery, advertising and the like.

So which is the most expensive logo ever created?

I believe it is the Nike logo, which was famously designed for the princely sum of $35. That was the amount that Nike paid then student Carolyn Davidson in 1971 to create “a stripe that would look good on a shoe".
Nike logo
So why do I say this is also the most expensive logo ever created? In 1983, when Nike went public, the company honoured Davidson with a surprise gift for creating the famous mark. It included a gold ring with a diamond-encrusted swoosh, and 500 shares of the company. After six stock splits over the years, those 500 shares have multiplied to 32,000.

At today's stock price of $110.73, those shares are worth a cool $3.5 million.

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