Probably you have seen most of these logos everywhere, but have you ever wondered about their evolution, their background? Did you know that Apple original logo was Isaac Newton under an apple tree or did you know Google first logo was designed in GIMP ?
Today I’m going to do something a bit different and track the evolution of 15 Corporate Brand Logos to see if the changes made to the corporate icon over the decades seems logical and well-executed.
Let’s take a look at the origin of the companies logos and how they evolved over time:
With Shell evolution line you can really see the ”adapt to the times” ideal going on here. Coloring and Lines were adapted to the time changes to keep an image that reflects it’s era.
In Alfa Romeo case, there was a big re branding in 1910 where they passed from the first Art Deco inspired logo to the actual iconic circle one that they still keep with small detail improvements over the time.
Starbucks has stayed close to its roots. As you can see, the actual logo gets everything but its color from the original. The logo has been modernized to create the clean lines of the iconic circle recognized everywhere today.
Nike started with the true and only ‘Swoosh’ logo created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson. The logo represents the wing of the Greek Goddess ‘Nike’ which the company takes its name from. They simplified it till they knew the name wasn’t necessary anymore and so we simply see the ‘Swoosh’ everywhere now.
Kodak started with an Art Deco logo as well as Alfa Romeo, then they added the coloring and just kept going simple and simple till the final use of just the name in a modern font and with an unique “a” that gives the logo that contemporary look.
The big Apple started with a really interesting logo designed in 1976 by Ronald Wayne that represented sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with an apple dangling precipitously above his head. Then the company moved to the now world famous apple with a bite logo and it abandoned the rainbow to fit their new product design lines.
Nokia had a strange start just like Apple, the first logo was for the paper mill at the Tammerkoski Rapids in south-western Finland where the company started. Then it moved to Finnish Rubber Works, which later became Nokia’s rubber business. The first ‘communication’ related logo in 1965 happened for the merge of all companies to create the Nokia Corporation. In 1998 Nokia adapted the modern lettering they still use now and became the world leader in mobile phones.
Peugeot always had the Lion as icon. They tried lion poses, lion heads, badge types and they finally reduced the lion to it’s lines and the pose that first appeared in 1950, adding the metal styling in 1998 to give it the young and modern look it looked for.
Adobe started to focus on programming PostScript, a programming language used in desktop publishing, and their first logo sure reflects that. Then they tried to make the “A” an icon and came back to show the full name. Usually they are complementing each other on today’s product boxes.
Pepsi keeps changing and to the eyes of some, making a lot of mistakes along the way. Started with classic typography, moved on to the bottle top style and then changed to the circle icon with the 3 stripes that got a lot of bad critics with the latest design.
IBM always went with typography to have their brand icon. In 1947, IBM changed its logo to a simple font to reflect their move from punched-card tabulating to computers and still keeps this typeface, now with solid letters with horizontal stripes to suggest “speed and dynamism.”
Our dear Google didn’t change much since it was started in a friend’s garage by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Actually, Sergey designed the first logo in GIMP. Then they had a version with “!” copying Yahoo! and now they use the version created by Art Professor Ruth Kedar with the occasional doodle created by several artists to commemorate world events.
Microsoft is also one of those companies that always went with typography for their brand icon. After the initial groovy logo, they changed it to the so called “Blibbet” Logo in 1975 but it got replaced by the “Pac-Man” Logo, designed by Scott Baker and used since 1987. Since then Microsoft tried to add two different slogans and is now using “Your potential. Our passion.” with the “Pac-Man” Logo.
Firefox first logo reflects Firefox first two names: ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Firebird’. These names created some trademark conflicts and the open source web browser name was changed to “Mozilla Firefox” with the new logo representing a Fox hugging the World. The logo got some detail retouching and was kept since then.
Ford first logo reflects the first company name: ” Ford Motor Co.”. In 1912, the logo had a makeover and the final typeface still used today was used as well as the first version of the blue oval. In 2003 the actual logo was released after some shape testing in the previous ones, and it was called the “Centennial Blue Oval”.