Evolution of Logos

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Evolution of Logos

The sleek apple on the lid of your laptop wasn’t always so sleek. Apple’s iconic logo has gone through some changes in the company’s history, and so have the logos of tons of other brands. Let’s look at the evolution of major corporate logos and why it’s so important to have a professional create your brand’s identity.

Shell

Creation: 1900 as a clamshell.
Evolution: From an inky clamshell to the stylized, orange Shell-less image we know today. (1)
Years of major changes
1900
1904
1909
1930
1948
1955
1961
1971
1995
1999

IBM

Creation: 1911, when International Time Recording Company and Computing Scale Company merged their logos.
Evolution: Once a hard-to-follow collection of letters, the familiar blue and white stripes emerged in the 1970s. (1)
Years of major changes
1888
1891
1911
1924
1947
1956
1972

Coca-Cola

Creation: In 1886 the logo started as a simple black font.
Evolution: From something frankly nondescript to a one-of-a-kind script font. (1)
Years of major changes
1886
1900s
1940s
1950s
1960s
1985
1987
1990s
2000s

Pepsi

Creation: The original logo in 1898 was red cursive font. In 1950, the company adopted the red, white and blue bottle cap.
Evolution: The bottle cap of the 1950s gave way to the patriotic sphere we see today. (1)
Years of major changes
1898
1905
1906
1940
1950
1962
1973
1991
1998

Ford

Creation: In 1909, Childe Harold Wills created a font to use for his business card. This led to the creation of the Ford logo.
Evolution: What started out as something that looked a bit like a belt buckle has its familiar oval shape and script font. (2)
Years of major changes
1903
1909
1912 (two)
1927
1957
1976
2003

BP

Creation: BP’s logo started out simple enough in 1920, featuring a shield design (which it stayed with until 2000).
Evolution: At the dawn of the new millennium, BP altered its logo to reflect what it called a focus on energy in all its forms: Going beyond petroleum. (3)
Years of major changes
1922
1930
1947
1958
1989
2000

UPS

Creation: The original logo, adopted in 1919, is an eagle carrying a package with the words “Safe, Swift, Sure.”
Evolution: Its most recent change, according to the company, is meant to symbolize expanding from package delivery to offering a range of services. (4)
Years of major changes
1916
1937
1961
2003

Xerox

Creation: A company called Haloid invested in an invention in 1938 by a man named Chester Carlson. The invention was xerography (photocopy). After it became the most successful section of the company, Haloid switched the name and logo.
Evolution: Today consumers know a simple X as Xerox — and they know “Xeroxing” as photocopying. (2)
Years of major changes
1906
1938
1948
1949
1958
1961
1968
1994
2002
2004
2008

Kodak

Creation: In 1907, the Eastman Kodak Company had its EKC logo. (2)
Evolution: Another logo that started out as alphabet soup, Kodak’s current logo is meant to give the company a contemporary feel that appeals to business owners. (5)
Years of major changes
1907
1935
1960
1971
1987
1996
2006

Canon

Creation: Founded in 1934 with a camera it named “Kwanon,” after the Buddhist goddess of mercy.
Evolution: A year later, it dropped Kwanon from the logo and went with a simple Canon, which has changed only slightly over the years. (2)
Years of major changes
1934 (two)
1935
1953
1956

Volkswagen

Creation: Founded in 1937 by the Nazi Party (yes, those Nazis) as a state-owned automobile company, it was soon renamed Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company.” The original logo has a familiar-for-the-wrong reasons bond to the Nazis. (6)
Evolution: The familiar VW logo’s origins could be seen as far back as World War II. (2)
Years of major changes
1939
Pre-World War II
Post-World War II
2000

Mercedes

Creation: first logo in 1902 was simple, just MERCEDES within a round shape.
Evolution: The familiar three-pointed star was intended to symbolize a goal of universal motorization — on land, on water and in the sky. (7)
Years of major changes
1902
1909 (two)
1916
1926
Year of current version unknown

Walmart

Creation: Founded in 1962, Walmart at first operated without a real logo, with advertising materials taking on whatever style the printer saw fit.
Evolution: A western style eventually became the standard, and that was later replaced by a more standard font with a star in the center. That was jettisoned in 2008 in favor of a simpler font and what the company calls “an iconic spark.” (8)
Years of major changes
1962
1964
1981
1992
2008

Apple

Creation: The original 1976 logo is an artistic rendering of Sir Isaac Newton beneath an apple tree.
Evolution: Just a year went by before Steve Jobs hired a graphic designer to create the rainbow apple shape that lasted for 22 years before it got an ultramodern update. (9)
Years of major changes
1976 (two)
1998

Chevrolet

Creation: Chevy’s logo started life in 1911 as a script that read “Chevrolet.” (10)
Evolution: The automaker adopted its familiar “bow tie” in 1913, though exactly how it came to be is still the subject of some debate. (11)
Years of major changes
1911
1914
1934
1942
1965
1978
2000
2004
2011

Yahoo!

Creation: Founded with the fledgling company in 1994, the first logo was in humble, black Times New Roman.
Evolution: After settling on its purple logo with somewhat askew lettering, 2013 brought a controversial change and a more subdued “Yahoo!” (12)
Years of major changes
1994
1995
2009
2013

Microsoft

Creation: 1975 saw a ’70s-tastic logo that read “MICRO SOFT.” (13)
Evolution: A 2012 update saw a simpler font treatment and the addition of a four-square symbol, which the company says represents its diverse array of products. (14)
Years of major changes
1975 (two)
Early 1980s
1987
2012

Google

Creation: 1998’s logo, though only in use for a month, was a simple font with different colored letters and a drop shadow.
Evolution: Reimagined in 2-D in 2013, Google’s logo is iconic and often messed with, thanks to the company’s Google Doodle program. (12)
Years of major changes
1998 (two)
1999
2010
2013

Did You Mean To Do That?

Now take a look at some logos that were just wrong from the get-go.
Logo: Catholic Church’s Archdiocesan Youth Commission
Problem: Just taking a glance at this 1973 logo, you can see immediately how this might be perceived as a serious issue, particularly given the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal. (14)
Logo: London 2012 Olympics
Problem: Some people saw an inappropriate exchange between fictional cartoon siblings Lisa and Bart Simpson, and others saw a swastika. Either way, nobody really saw that it was supposed to say “2012.” (14)
Logo: Kids Exchange
Problem: Space is everything. (14)
Logo: Arlington Pediatric Center
Problem: How does this keep happening? (14)
Logo: Sun Rise Sushi
Problem: It’s meant to look like the sun rising behind a tea house, but it looks like something that, well, some folks don’t find appetizing. (14)

logoevolution-FB

Sources:
1. http://www.hongkiat.com
2. http://www.retireat21.com
3. http://www.bp.com
4. http://www.pressroom.ups.com
5. http://www.kodak.com
6. http://www.history.com
7. http://www.emercedesbenz.com
8. http://corporate.walmart.com
9. http://www.edibleapple.com
10. http://acarisnotarefrigerator.com
11. http://www.chevrolet.com
12. http://logos.wikia.com
13. http://www.microsoft.com
14. http://www.businessinsider.com

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