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Take a look at, for example. apple.com and nike.com. These are two extremely sucessful companies that on their webpages displays their logos but no necessarily their name. That is, when going to apple.com, the name "Apple" isn't displayed anywhere. The same thing goes for nike.com (although the contens of the submenus are a different matter).

Now, is there any theory behind this choice? Are people distracted if both the name and the logo are shown?

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2 Answers 2

It's an issue of brand recognition. When your corporate brand becomes so ubiquitous then you can afford the luxury of stripping the identity down to the basic iconography/symbol.

But the new Bob's Shoe Repair at the mall likely can't get away with that.

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Right on. Both Nike and Apple used the name-plus-icon until the icon became so associated with the company that the name was unnecessary. The ultimate in simplicity in this context is the National Geographic logo: an empty yellow rectangle that is instantly recognizable. –  Alan Gilbertson Mar 28 '12 at 22:01

A good Logo should function with and without the name.

Apple and nike don't need to write their name because everybody knows them and their logo. At apple the design is build like the menubar in osx, there also is only the logo.

Besides, the name of apple and nike is shown in the website title ;)

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A logo can't function without the name if the logo is the name. It happens that Apple and Nike have icons as part of their logos, which have now reached literally iconic status and can be identified without the company name or wordmark. But take some of the world's other most valuable companies: Exxon, Nestlé, IBM, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Budweiser. None of them can function without the name because the name is the logo. –  Lauren Ipsum Mar 28 '12 at 15:20
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I can't agree that a good logo should function without the name. It's not always a practical idea. It should strive for that, of course, but there's way too many variables involved. (and that's in addition to Lauren's excellent point that quite often the logo is the name) –  DA01 Mar 28 '12 at 22:03
    
...though...I could argue that Coca-Cola has built up incredible brand recognition in the bottle and other assets that often they can get by sans name. But, again, we're talking a company the likes of Coca-Cola. –  DA01 Mar 28 '12 at 22:04

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