17. Pirelli (1908)

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From the school of idiosyncratic design comes the Pirelli logo that first appeared in 1908. According to Pirelli, the logo came about after the company’s US representative requested a symbol that he could use on advertising. Its overstretched P almost makes a ‘varoom’ sound as it accelerates across the page, forming a roof over the other letters in the tyre brand’s name.

Early versions of the Pirelli logo were more flowery, reflecting the calligraphic trends of the day but, after 1945, a standardised version was adopted which is still used today and went on to appear on some of Italy’s best-known advertising, especially the work of Armando Testa.

The Pirelli logo in use

We can only imagine the online outrage such a treatment would be greeted with today but its character earns it a place on our list.

The Pirelli logo in use

More on our Top 20 logos here

BRAND MANAGER

Bristol but would consider flexible working for the right candidate

DESIGN DIRECTOR

Leeds or London with travel to Leeds Min 3 days a week