Skip to main content

Creative Bloq is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Original sketches of famous logos revealed

Logo sketches
The sketches behind some of the world's most famous logos (Image credit: Arek Dvornechuck)

Every great logo design has to start somewhere. Many of the world's most instantly recognisable designs started life as a simple sketch, often scrawled on anything from scrap paper to the back of a napkin (because you never know when logo design inspiration will strike). 

It can be fascinating to compare the finished product with the original drawing. Sometimes the idea seems to have arrived to the designer fully formed, while other examples reveal that the initial concept went through varying degrees of tweaking. Branding expert Arek Dvornechuck has recently put together a blog post highlighting several sketches that became famous logos – some even joining our best logos of all time list. 

I Love NY logo

Milton Glaser's I Love NY logo (Image credit: Milton Glaser/Arek Dvornechuck)

The list include Milton Glaser's I Love New York symbol (above), which was used to build an entire advertising campaign for the city. While the formation of the letters changed, the abbreviation and heart symbol remained from the original sketch. Milton Glaser sadly passed away this year – but his final unseen logo could in fact be his best. 

Nike logo

The famous Nike 'swoosh' (Image credit: Nike/Arek Dvornechuck)

Whether you call it a tick or a swoosh (Dvornechuck says it is also meant to resemble a wing), there's no denying that Nike's is one of the most famous logos of all time. Design student Carolyn Davidson created the logo for just $35, and although Nike founder Phil Knight wasn't originally enamoured, he decided it would grow on him. Good call. 

WWF logo

WWF's panda logo (Image credit: WWF/Arek Dvornechuck)

One example that reveals a little more of the design process is WWF's emotive panda logo. Design director Jerry Kuyper tried several different Panda designs, and initially experimented with adding more detail (such as eyes) before realising the cleanest and simplest designs were the most effective. The sketch (above) reveals three potential designs, one of which resembles the final version. 

Image 1 of 3

Virgin logo

(Image credit: Virgin/Arek Dvornechuck)
Image 2 of 3

Exxon logo

(Image credit: Exxon/Arek Dvornechuck)
Image 3 of 3

Mobil logo

(Image credit: Mobil/Arek Dvornechuck)

Above are a few more of our favourite examples from Dvornechuck's blog post. If you're ready to start creating your own masterpiece, head over to our logo design guide (and don't forget to bring a napkin). 

Read more: