Brand Identities: 3 Brilliant Logos That Work

Here at TOTEM, we pick three brilliant brand identities. And it’s not just a little apple that springs to mind.


What is innovative brand design? Is it genuine problem solving, or just the coolest thing you can get the client to buy? A memorable logo is essential to brand and company identity.

Clients set the parameters and designers must innovate and provide a solution to the problem. Good designers use this as an opportunity to explore the problem a little further, to find that extra twist that adds the magic to the design of the logo. Magic that makes a design truly memorable.

Identities form the cornerstone of any company or organisation’s brand. They must distil an organisation’s ethos, culture, values, goals and aspirations into a simplified mark. One that not only has to stand the test of time, but also has to work in every conceivable medium (web, TV, print), often in three dimensions as well as two, and be as aesthetically pleasing as a 20 foot high sign or in an 85mm wide business card.

Here at TOTEM, we selected three brand identities we love:


Airbnb (DesignStudio)



With over 15 million guests, Airbnb is revolutionising travel as we know it. It’s by far the market leader in this developing sharing community. It offers a more personalised, niche travel experience – no more stuffy hotels, just stays with that ‘home from home’ experience. Take your pick: Manhattan lofts, thatched country cottages in Ireland or pool condos in sunny Singapore.

DesignStudio took on the redesign project and it took a year to complete Belo, the ‘symbol of belonging’ to reflect the core message. The new red colour is warmer and is said to represent ‘a sense of love and emotion’. The Airbnb story is equally as compelling so its identity should match that. People have become very aware of Airbnb throughout the world, and this has happened at a phenomenal pace.




Two versions were designed – so Belo, for official communications, and a looser version which internet users can share and control. Airbnb also launched an interactive tool Create to allow users to draw unique illustrations using the mark.
The new identity needed to be a clean one; stark, on-trend and universal. The customised typeface stands out and works perfectly from billboard to mobile – an important factor in digital times.




Of course, there was some controversy over the design… but all PR is good PR, right?


Unilever (Wolff Olins)



The perfectly crafted Unilever logo features 25 different icons that represent the giant’s many brand interests. The bold U-shaped logo is simple, striking and memorable at first glance; but when you get up close you discover the beauty of its intricate design – the U is filled with tiny symbols represent different aspects of Unilever’s business. There’s a lock of hair that symbolises their shampoo brands, and a spoon to represent their food brands.


Unilever_Image2 Unilever_Image3


It stands the test of time because it’s true to the brand and completely encompasses what the business is about. The clever logo keeps the Unilever brand fresh and recognisable and is representative of a company that has such a diverse portfolio of brands across the world.


Tourism Australia (Interbrand)


It’s hard to forget the Tourism Australia brand identity; that little kangaroo captures the essence of Australia. It’s an iconic national emblem of Australia and all things Australian – nature, wildlife, beaches and adventure. The new brand identity keeps the ‘roo’ but updated it with a vibrant colour palette and a more contemporary design. It was a case of evolution not revolution. The cost? A mere $200,000.

Through the use of colour and shapes it conveys the diverse experiences to be had in Australia; and while the style is contemporary it also has hints of aboriginal art. The typeface was changed to a Sans Serif font to compliment the kangaroo motif and complete the identity design. This simple yet powerful logo says “There’s nothing like Australia”.