It takes years, often many of them, to turn a simple design element into an unmistakable part of a brand. Movado's midnight dot. Adidas' stripes. Audi's grille. Apple's home button.
These things don't happen accidentally. Teams of high-paid creative types gather in large rooms for months, poring over prototypes and brainstorming for just the right combination of simplicity and seduction. Sometimes the result is fresh and bold, like the iPod click wheel; others put a unique twist on an everyday item, like Coca-Cola's contoured soda bottle.