Logos are made to be memorable, but the majority are forgotten. So what's the secret sauce? Let's take a look at the 10 most memorable logos of all time.

The Fab Four

According to a study by brand strategy and design firm Siegel+Gale, the most memorable logos in the U.S. and U.K. include:

·       Nike

·       Apple

·       McDonald's

·       Coca-Cola

But the reason may not be as simple as brand power, and may revolve around the type of logo treatment.

The study looked at more than 100 logos comprised of the world's top brands, and found that even though the top four brands had star power (and some of the biggest ad budgets), "many similar and notable brands that also possess large media budgets were not as memorable in comparison."

What does it boil down to? Respondents cited that the most memorable logos were simple in nature, and they shared the same type of logo treatments. Those treatments included "organic" and "illustrative custom wordmark."

Here are a couple examples of those logos:

Unfamiliar Brand Logos: Boring and Tacky

Let's not entirely deduct star power from the equation. The study did find that logos of familiar brands were more frequently assigned positive attributes by study participants than logos of unrecognized brands.

Lesser-known brand logos were more likely to be called "boring," "tacky" or even "pretentious" to name a few. The study cited this familiarity bias might be "why new logos tend to test worse than an existing logo from the same company."

The Top 10 Most Memorable Logos

U.S. study participants cited the Top 10 most memorable logos were:

1.      Nike

2.     Apple

3.     McDonald's

4.     Coca-Cola

5.     Google

6.     Microsoft

7.     Pepsi

8.     Amazon

9.     Target

10.  Starbucks

But in the U.K., they had a slightly different take on the Top 10:

1.     Apple

2.     McDonald's

3.     Nike

4.     Coca-Cola

5.     Google

6.     Virgin

7.     Adidas

8.     Microsoft

9.     Amazon

10.  BMW

What Personality Does Your Logo Have?

The top logos have a lot of personality, but convey very different traits. The most memorable logo types, organic and illustrative custom wordmark, speak to consumers in distinctive ways.

Here's what organic type logos say about a brand:

·       Warm

·       Caring

·       Fresh

·       Innovative

·       Fun

·       Friendly

And here's what the illustrative custom wordmark logos say about a brand:

·       Trendy

·       Cool

·       Stylish

·       Fun

·       Friendly

There's no doubt a logo experience is subjective, but this study shows there may be certain ingredients in the magic formula when it comes to making a lasting impression on the consumer.