Get to know the most famous French brands (and their logos)
Famous French brands offer a phenomenal insight into the importance of logo design. Across the globe, every business and designer tends to be inspired by similar design concepts, from using white space correctly, to achieving visual balance.
However, when we look a little more closely at the emblems of famous companies around the world, we can see some examples of cultural branding.
France is a place considered by many to be a leader in elegance and sophistication. We associate places like Paris with grace, beauty, and romance. Within the fashion industry in particular, the French have played a significant role in shaping the world as we know it.
While many famous brands from France have taken their own unique approach to visual branding, exploring their logo designs is an excellent way to get a feel for the landscape overall.
Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at some of the most recognizable French companies in the world, and the logos they’ve created to depict their brand essence.
Introducing French company logos
As you’ll see in our exploration of famous French brands and their logos below, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to logo design. However, there are some overlapping trends in some industries.
For instance, in the French fashion space, it’s common to see wordmark logos, depicted in black and white to symbolize strength and sophistication.
Many French fashion brands, as well as other companies in creative industries also draw attention to their origins in their logos. You’ve probably spotted the word “Paris” appearing on a number of emblems from French creators over the years.
Of course, like all global brands, French companies are committed to designing logos that speak directly to their target audience. Each emblem covered below aims to send a specific message to a unique niche.
What’s more, as a relatively cutting-edge company, the French are also extremely effective at updating their logos to match current trends.
Famous French brands and their amazing logos
To provide a comprehensive look at French style, we’ve gathered a selection of French company logos from virtually every industry.
We’ll be looking at some of the most recognizable, and well-renowned brands from France, which have effectively used their logos to expand their reach across the globe.
Let’s dive in.
Multinational hospitality company, Accor, first launched in 1967, founded by Paul Dubrule and Gerald Pelisson. The company is best-known for managing and franchising a variety of hotels, resorts, and vacation companies.
Currently, it’s the largest hospitality company in Europe, as well as the sixth biggest company in the industry worldwide.
The Accor logo is a perfect example of how luxury French brands demonstrate sophistication and elegance. The golden coloring of the emblem demonstrates affluence and wealth, while the uniquely stylized “A” uses the image of a bird to highlight discovery and ambition.
Owned by the Groupe Danone company, Activia is a brand of yogurt introduced in France in 1987. Today, the company is present in more than 70 countries worldwide.
The logo of Activia might seem simple at a glance, but it’s an excellent insight into the modern design trends used in French logos.
Activia’s minimalistic wordmark conveys strength and reliability, in the use of sleek uppercase letters. The deep green coloring remind us of the company’s commitment to use natural and organic products.
Green is a shade we frequently associate with growth and vitality.
One of the most famous French companies in the telecommunications space, Alcatel-Lucent, also known as “ALE”, is a software company headquartered in Colombes, in France.
The company is best-known for providing communication services and equipment to data providers, ISPs, and telecommunication companies around the world.
This French company clearly takes inspiration from the elegance of France in its logo. The simple combination mark uses a sans-serif inscription on the left-hand side to depict the brand name, followed by a purple badge on the right.
The sophisticated image in the circular badge is a swirling representation of an “A”, representing the brand’s name.
Another of the top French brands with a long history in its industry, AXA is a French multinational firm, known for delivering insurance.
The AXA Group primarily operates in Western Europe, India, and North America, as well as the Middle East. It was originally founded in 1816, with the name, Mutuelle de L’assurance contre L’incendie.
Today, the high quality AXA logo acts as a symbol of strength and reliability to customers. The blue square background symbolizes stability and trustworthiness. The red line angling upwards and towards the right from the top of the “X”, showcases forward movement and innovation.
First introduced in 1993, Air France is the flagship airline of France, and a subsidiary of the Air France -KLM group. The company also stands as a founding member of the global airline alliance known as “SkyTeam”.
The group serves 29 destinations in France, and operates worldwide too.
Air France utilizes a minimalistic but powerful logo, featuring the name of the company with no spacing between the two words. The colors of red and blue in the logo, often placed on a white background, aim to highlight the colors of the French flag.
Like many of the most famous French brands, Balenciaga belongs to the fashion industry. The luxury fashion house and French clothing brand was originally founded in 1919, by a Spanish couturier, Cristobel Balenciaga.
The company is best-known for creating footwear, accessories, and handbags.
Many of the luxurious French brands in the fashion industry use a similar selection of components in their logos, including a black and white color palette, and a simple wordmark. Balenciaga is no exception, this company’s logo symbolizes elegance, strength, and balance.
Another of the most valuable French brands from the fashion capital of the world, Balmain was founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945.
The luxury fashion house operates through various exclusive stores in regions around the world, producing haute couture clothing and ready-to-wear fashion.
Balmain certainly draws attention to its origins in its logo, using the word “Paris” underneath the primary wordmark. The simple wordmark is wonderfully versatile, ideal for a fashion company.
The sans-serif typeface conveys ideas of modernity and confidence.
Otherwise known as Société Bic, BIC is a French manufacturing corporation, selling a selection of world-leading stationary products, as well as shaving goods. The company was first launched in 1945, and has retained a relatively consistent visual identity ever since.
Compared to other company logos from France, the BIC emblem is a little old-fashioned. It utilizes a retro-style font with thick serifs, encased within a yellow oval. Alongside the inscription, we see the little BIC mascot, with a rounded head to symbolize the top of a ball-point pen.
One of the better-known brands from France in the banking and financial sector, BNP Paribas is an international banking group, formed in 2000. The company is organized into three primary business areas, and is listed on the first market of Euronext Paris.
BNP Paribas takes advantage of the use of symbolism in its logo. The green square features a number of stars, gradually transforming into birds, to highlight concepts of evolution, growth, and excellence.
The wordmark alongside the symbol is depicted in all uppercase letters to show strength and stability.
An icon in the automotive industry, Bugatti is a French luxury brand, specializing in high-end sports cars. Bugatti cars are known for their speed, luxury, and exquisite performance.
For years, the company used a relatively complex logo, inspired by the founder’s days as a jeweler.
However, in 2022, Bugatti updated its emblem to feature a more streamlined and simplistic wordmark.
The design used today is similar to the inscriptions we might expect to see from some of the most popular high-end fashion houses in France. It conveys authority, sophistication, and innovation.
Find out more about the Bugatti logo here.
Innovator in the French technology market, Capgemini was first founded in 1967. The multinational IT and consulting company was first introduced as a data processing and enterprise management company, and has since become a major market leader in the technology space.
Capgemini offers one of the most interesting logo examples on this list of famous French brands. Unlike other consulting companies, the brand has chosen a script-style font, with an almost handwritten style to demonstrate friendliness and authenticity.
The blue coloring in the emblem also makes the brand appear more reliable and trustworthy.
French multinational wholesaling and retail company, Carrefour is the eighth largest retailer in the world today, according to revenue. It operates a huge range of hypermarkets, convenience stores, and grocery stores, across 30 different countries.
Carrefour’s logo is particularly unique, as it utilizes negative space perfectly. The design above the wordmark shows the letter “C” placed within a diamond shape, with red on the left and blue on the right.
The color choice reflects the shades of the French flag, while the use of positioning and shapes makes the emblem stand out among modern designs.
Jewelry and accessories company, Cartier, is one of the best-known companies in any list of French luxury brands. The business was first founded by Louis-François Cartier in 1847, and is best-known for producing a host of beautiful watches and jewelry, worn by celebrities and royalty.
The Cartier logo is a perfect example of an elegant wordmark for a company in the luxury goods landscape. The sleek and italicized font demonstrates grace and forward movement.
The sharp serifs also give the company’s image a sense of authority.
Famous for revolutionizing the little black dress, as well as many other iconic fashion pieces, Chanel is one of the best-known French brands in history.
Loved by French women and global consumers alike, Chanel was first launched in the early 1900s, and has been influencing the industry ever since.
The French fashion house has one of the most recognizable logos in the industry, featuring a large inscription, written in uppercase, sans-serif font, and a unique monogram.
The monogram, which includes two interlocking C’s for “Coco Chanel”, appears on many of the ready to wear designs and accessories produced by the company.
Otherwise known simply as Dior, the Christian Dior brand is a fantastic French luxury fashion brand, first launched in 1946. Known for producing luxurious designs for both men and women, Dior helped to redefine the clothing landscape over the years.
Like many of the other iconic fashion companies from France, Dior utilizes a compelling wordmark for its logo. The image features no complex elements or flourishes, just a sleek serif font, with long edges on some of the letters.
The beautifully balanced logo demonstrates the company’s position as a market leader in its industry.
One of the top French brands from the beauty and cosmetics industry, Clarins was founded in Paris during 1954, by a man named Jacques Courtin-Clarins. As well as creating and selling a variety of cosmetics, the company also produces skincare, perfume products, and spa experiences.
Clarins uses color psychology well in its logo, combining the shade of white in its wordmark for purity, with a bright color of red, meant to symbolize love and beauty. The serif font chosen for the wordmark also draws attention to the sophistication and heritage of the company.
Although Danone was originally founded in Spain, during 1919, it now stands as a major French multinational company. The company produces a variety of food products, as well as bottled water.
Some of its products are labelled with the “Dannon” name in the United States.
Danone has an interesting logo, featuring the image of a small child looking up towards a star, within a blue circle. The color palette and imagery is intended to showcase the company’s commitment to nurturing the world.
This is enhanced by Danone’s tagline: One Planet. One Health.
Another innovator in the world of famous French brands, Deezer is a well-known music streaming company. The French music service first launched in 2007, and is now available in more than 180 countries worldwide.
Deezer’s logo hasn’t changed much over the years, highlighting the company’s commitment to maintaining a consistent image.
The emblem features a colorful collection of blocks, meant to look like sound waves. The color choices represent the company’s commitment to variety, while the accompanying wordmark, written in all lowercase letters shows modernity and friendliness.
Easily one of the best-known French brands of all time, Evian is a popular mineral water company. The company bottles water from various sources near the Évian-les-Bains region, and sells to consumers in regions all over the world.
The red typography in the Evian logo symbolizes passion and vitality, while the mountains above the inscription draw attention to the brand’s origins. The overall logo delivers a lively and fresh image, which separates Evian from other similar bottled water brands.
Garnier, owned by the L’Oreal company, is a mass market cosmetics company, known for producing a variety of skin care and hair care products. The company was first established in France during 1904, by Alfred Amour Garnier.
The organization’s branding draws attention its commitment to use natural, plant-based ingredients in its products.
Within the Garnier logo, we see the name of the company, depicted in bold, sans-serif letters, all in uppercase. The circular emblem within the logo showcases a detailed sub-section of a leaf.
Another one of the most famous French brands in the world today, L’Oreal is a personal care company, also known for owning a variety of other well-known brands, from NYX, to Kiehl’s.
The business was first founded in 1909, and has since become the world’s largest cosmetics brand.
The L’Oreal logo might be simple, but it provides a phenomenal insight into the company’s strength in the industry. The sleek sans-serif wordmark draws attention to the “O” at the beginning of the word.
The circular shape represents unity and compassion.
Considered one of the best French fashion brands in the sporting sector, Lacoste produces a range of athletic apparel options and shoes for customers across the globe. The brand was first founded by Rene Lacoste in 1933, as well as André Gillier.
Interestingly, the crocodile mascot in the Lacoste emblem is a reference to a nickname given to Lacoste by his French fans when he was playing tennis. The eye-catching crocodile mascot sits atop a powerful sans-serif wordmark, inscribed with all uppercase letters, symbolizing strength.
Another excellent example of a mascot in the logos of French brands, the Michelin company, first launched in 1894, has always used a variation of its unique character in its logo.
The plump mascot is often confused with marshmallows, but he was actually designed to represent a stack of tires, which were usually white at the time the company was founded.
Today’s Michelin logo focuses heavily on conveying trustworthiness. The blue coloring is often aligned with reliability in color psychology.
Additionally, the outstretched arm of the Michelin man seems to welcome visitors and consumers in.
Find out more about the Michelin logo here.
Perhaps the brightest emblem on our list of company logos from France, the Orange emblem is a staple of the telecommunications industry. First introduced in 1988, Orange now has 266 million customers worldwide, and ranks as one of the biggest mobile brands in the world.
The orange logo is simple, but effective. The orange square background symbolizes a combination of stability and creativity. The white wordmark, placed towards the bottom of the design, offers fantastic contrast, while also highlighting ideas of unity and innovation.
One of the best-known beauty and cosmetics companies in the world today, Sephora is a French brand known for working with a variety of different cosmetics brands. The company was founded in 1969, and has since developed a presence in supermarkets and highstreets worldwide.
This iconic French brand uses a minimalistic wordmark for its logo, intended to highlight ideas of simplicity, elegance, and sophistication. The sans-serif font of the design gives the emblem a modern and contemporary look.
Most cooking and kitchen fans today are familiar with the Tefal brand. The French cookware and small appliance manufacturer is best-known for creating the non-stick cookware category, and it has a huge presence around the globe.
In the United States, it’s known as “T-Fal”.
Like many French brands, Tefal chose a modern wordmark for its logo. The most unique aspect of the emblem are the “E” and the “A” letters, which appear to be reflections of one another, giving the overall design a balanced, and innovative appearance.
Ranked among the most famous video game brands from France, Ubisoft is a publisher with a huge variety of well-known games under its belt, including just Dance, Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed. The Ubisoft company has quite a compelling combination mark as its logo.
The symbol on the top of the design looks similar to a swirl or an eye, with various lines curved into a circular shape.
There’s also an interesting component in the Ubisoft wordmark, where the “O” appears to be disconnected at one point, showing a commitment to thinking outside of the box.
Find out more about the Ubisoft logo here.
Yves Saint Laurent
Another major contender in the fashion world, Yves Saint Laurent, or “YSL”, is one of the top French fashion designer brands. First launched in 1962, the eponymous business has spread across the world over the decades, capturing the attention of countless consumers.
The official emblem of this iconic French fashion brand is a simple wordmark, written in all sans-serif, uppercase letters.
However, many people are also familiar with the YSL monogram, which features the letters of the founder’s name, in a vertical design. This image can be seen on a number of YSL jewelry and fashion items.
The fantastic logos of brands from France
This list encompasses only a handful of the famous French fashion brands in the world today. There are dozens of well-known companies out there, ranging across the fashion, beauty, automotive, and technology industries, among others.
Hopefully, this overview into French company logos has given you a clearer insight into how some of the world’s most profitable brands have designed their brand identity to connect with their target audience.
If you want to create a logo of your own, based on inspiration from the French brands above, contact Fabrik Brands today to see how we can help you bring your design to life.
Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.