The 16 best startup logos

Tech startups have for several years now placed a very strong focus on design. From the product that they're building to the marketing page that promotes it, all the way through to the logo design on their business cards, design is seen as something to be proud of in the global tech hubs. And there's a very good reason for that. Quite simply, great design improves the chance that the company will succeed.

New startups are up against big industry titans – so to get noticed, they have to look good. The product and brand has to look its best if it's to withstand the scrutiny of potential customers who've only just discovered you. And a well-designed logo is all part of this.

A beautiful logo can help to make sure you look professional, smart and interesting, and it can help to give an insight into your company's personality too.

01. Cheddar

This logo might not scream 'business news' to you, but it's definitely memorable

Quite why anyone would decide to name their business news for millennials startup after one of the most popular and recognisable cheeses in the world is just a little beyond us. We'd hate to be its SEO executive, but top marks to Cheddar for fully embracing the cheesiness in its fun and unforgettable logo.

02. Zipline

Zipline's logo cleverly summarises its life-saving business model

Drones don't really get a good press; most of them tend to rank somewhere between Annoying and Downright Evil. Zipline, a startup specialising in fast drone delivery of vaccines, medicine and blood across Rwanda, neatly avoids the D-word and instead refers to its fleet of Zips as small robot airplanes. It's a fantastic life-saving enterprise, and its logo - forming the letter Z out of a pair of paper planes - is one more thing to love about it.

03. Dropbox

The Dropbox logo shows what it does

File storage site Dropbox has become immensely popular as a way to store and share files, and has more or less removed the need to carry around USB sticks for many of us. Its logo is simple yet recognisable, and a clear visual clue as to what their service offers.

04. Jelly

Jelly's logo is quirky. We like quirky

Jelly is the new startup from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. It's a question and answers platform designed for mobile devices that heavily integrates with social networks, and allows users to ask questions and get answers from their friends (and friends of friends). Like Dropbox, the logo is ultra-clean, simple and stylish, with a quirky hint of personality.

05. Lumi

A hand-written logo for a handcraft-style startup

Lumi is a startup that helps you turn your photos into designs that can be printed onto fabric at home. The concept behind their company is one of craftsmanship, and the logo's hand-written style is a nod to that ethos.

06. Mention

Mention's logo is a mix of fun and serious

Mention is a French social media monitoring company that makes it easier for companies to track mentions of their brand name across sites like Twitter and Facebook. They've decided to combine a logotype that's fairly straightforward and serious with a logomark that injects some fun and personality into the design.

07. Snapchat

Snapchat's logo cleverly hints at the app's apparition-like messaging

Snapchat, the hugely popular social network, uses a mascot for their logo. The premise behind Snapchat is that messages between users disappear after viewing, and as such the logo makes use of a ghost, and interestingly they have two variants of the logo – one with a face, and one as the blank ghost shown above.

08. Estimote

It's unconventional but it works

Estimote create “beacons” - small, colourful devices designed for retailers to attach to walls in their shops and broadcast out coupon codes and marketing messages to customers when they arrive in store. Estimote's bold and quirky logo is made up of beacons, and makes for a creative, unconventional logo design.

09. 42Floors

42Floor's logo communicates its purpose with simple elegance

42Floors is a startup that helps other startups and small companies find and rent office space. Their logo makes use of the vertical lines in the “4” to add small windows, representing an office block.

10. Zerply

A cool custom typeface conveys the brand values of Zerply

Zerply is a company that aims to make it easier for creative professionals to be hired by production teams working in the TV, film and games industries. Their logo makes use of a custom typeface that's professional but also has a noticeable element of handcrafted design to it.

11. Simple

Simple's logo is, er, pleasingly simple

Simple was created out of a bold idea – to replace the high street bank. Complete with their own credit cards, Simple use beautiful design to make it easier to see how you're spending and saving money. Their logotype is entirely uppercase, stern and professional – and yet their logomark is clean and simple, but also colourful and playful.

12. Squarespace

A beautifully elegant, yet quirky design

Squarespace provide easy-to-build websites for designers, musicians and other creative types. Their logo is a beautifully elegant design that's immediately recognisable, and that's also slightly unexpected and quirky.

13. GitHub

Half cat, half octopus, why not?

GitHub provide an immensely popular service – code storage in the cloud. They make it easier for developers to share code with each other, work on projects together and are the number one choice when it comes to working on open-source software. They're partly loved because of their interesting and quirky company personality – one that's symbolised best by their choice of logo: a half cat, half octopus mascot that they've named “The Octocat”.

14. Mailchimp

The newsletter's service is playful and engaging

MailChimp is a company that makes it easy to collect email addresses for things like newsletters, and then handles the complex task of emailing lists. Their logotype does a fantastic job of carefully balancing elegance with playfulness.

15. Populr

Populr's logo is beautifully crafted

Populr is a service that makes setting up a one-page website easy and painless. Their logo is beautifully crafted and makes use of a hand-drawn style and is accompanied by a playful swoosh of colour underlining it.

16. Ghost

The three lines indicate the text at the heart of this service

Ghost is a free, open source blogging platform that aims to rival Wordpress, and is becoming very popular very quickly. Their logo is simple, but shows off three horizontal bars to indicate text, while their logotype is legible, readable and beautiful.