When you want to create an iconic logo that people recognize instantly, try sticking to black and white. This popular color combination has recently become a hallmark of sophistication and simplicity. Use these 10 black and white logos as inspiration.

#10: Black Flag

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via Flickr by Love and Rage DENVER

Black Flag has never been a mainstream band, but its members are punk rock royalty. The band’s underground success had as much to do with its logo as its aggressive music. The logo, designed by Raymond Pettibon who played bass in the original lineup, consists of four black bars that represent the opposite of a white flag’s surrender. It didn’t hurt that kids all over the country could easily spray paint the simple design on walls.

#9: Long Neck Music

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via logomoose.com

Another great example of inspiring logo design, Long Neck Music’s brand has the company’s name printed underneath the musical symbol for a quarter note. There’s just one innovative surprise that makes it stand out from similar logos: the note is designed to look like a giraffe’s long neck. It’s the perfect interplay between word and image.

#8: Michael Jackson Memorial Logo

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image Via hackmaskate.net

The Michael Jackson Memorial logo stands out as one of the most inventive logos in recent years. Turning a black ribbon into the image of two legs dancing was a stroke of genius that reflected the entertainer’s work.

#7: Egg-n-Spoon

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via logodesignlove.com

The Egg-n-Spoon logo stands out for its unique use of negative space. Its large, fat, lower-case “e” manages to stick in your head. Plus, it’s recognizable at any font size.

#6: Anthrax

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via fake-geeks.com

Leave it to a metal band to make a logo that really grabs your attention. The band’s logo uses the contrast between black and white to grab the viewer’s eye. Closer inspection shows that it’s actually a pretty complex logo with lots of interplay between letters.

#5: Lexus

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via logonoid.com

Lexus has a black and white logo that emphasizes class and luxury. It’s a relatively simple design, but it identifies the brand perfectly. The simplicity of the design underscores how high-end the company’s products are; after all, if you’re sophisticated and refined, there’s no need to obnoxiously flaunt it.

#4: Playboy

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via Flickr by letmehearyousaydeskomdeskom

Playboy’s black-and-white logo was a stroke of branding genius. It manages to look playful and luxurious. It also eludes to the popular Playboy Bunnies displayed in the magazine. Women might still have a hard time believing that men read it for the articles, but at least Playboy has a classy logo to back them up.

#3: The Nike Swoosh

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via whatsthepoint.com

The Nike Swoosh can come in any color to suit its needs. It often appears as a white swoosh on shoes. In marketing, though, Nike usually chooses to use black. The dark swoosh has gravitas that symbolizes the iconic brand.

#2: Coco Chanel

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image Flickr by Shane Bzdok

Coco Chanel’s logo has a simple elegance. Chanel made the design herself in 1925 by locking together the two C’s in her name. By printing Chanel under the interlocking C’s, the logo identifies the company so that no one confuses it with similar images.

#1: Nike Air Jordan

10 Inspiring Black and White Logo Designs

Image via erikpelton.com

Michael Jordan retired from basketball (the second, final time) in 1999. Still, the Nike Air Jordan logo remains an iconic image. The strength comes from its simplicity: an outline of Jordan, ball in hand, flying through the air for a slam dunk.

After reading about these 10 cool logo designs, you might feel inspired to make your own logo. Do you have any favorite black-and-white logos that you’d like to share?