Breaking logo design rulesDesign rules are meant to be broken now and again, and logo design is no exception. We spend so much time developing rules and guidelines for our logos, and yet there are exceptionally large businesses out there who are throwing the rules of branding and logo design right out the window. Here are some of the businesses that are guilty/awesome enough to pull it off.

Google – Our logo is your artwork.

The now-frequent Google Doodle breaks every law of logo design ever written. Google decided to ignore a million experts saying that you shouldn’t create any interfering designs. Why it works for Google: Who DOESN’T use Google? It has some of the strongest brand recognition in the industry. Not only has Google strengthened their brand by ignoring logo design laws, but they have attracted users who are curious as to what that Google Doodle is all about. Brilliant.

Harley Davidson – Copyright? What copyright?

Most tattooed logo in America. It’s technically possible to get sued for having someone else’s logo tattooed on your body, but you probably won’t find anyone complaining at Harley Davidson’s corporate headquarters. It’s the most perfect form of brand loyalty when your customer is willing to permanently etch your logo into their skin. For Harley Davidson, it’s free advertising.

Another issue you will see with Harley Davidson’s logo is the lack of consistency on apparel. You will see the outline of the logo beveled. Sometimes it is in flames. Sometimes it has a pair of chrome wings extending from either side. Regardless of the fact that Harley Davidson has thrown logo laws out the window, their logo is one of the most well-respected in the design community. Keep it up, Harley Davidson.

Android – Logo design isn’t good unless it’s fun.

Most specifically the Android robot. We bring you this quote, directly from Android’s logo guidelines: “The Android robot can be used, reproduced, and modified freely in marketing communications.” Wow. Talk about taking your brand image and throwing it to the wolves. Turns out, it was one of the most genius things Android could have possibly done. Users took that cute little robot and used him for apps, memes, cartoons and more. Just pop “Android” into Google image search and see for yourself… that little guy is everywhere. Props to whoever realized that the Android robot would hold that kind of appeal.

To break the rules or not? Yeah… not.

Even though these three companies have all ignored the biggest rules in logo design, the rest of us should not necessarily follow suit. Companies like Google, Harley Davidson and Android are so large that many recognize their brand from day-to-day life. It’s nice to dream about throwing your branding guidelines out the window, but hold off for now. When you are running the industry, your logo can do whatever it wants to do.