This review will discuss the very first logos of 8 global companies, including such well-known brands as Coca-Cola, Apple, Twitter, KFC. There will be examples of logo design by an accountant, an employee of a company, and even a teacher. As a rule, these were the first logos designed 50 or more years ago, at a time when companies simply did not have the money and experience to create a sign.
Designing a logo for a company is one of the most challenging tasks in brand design. Today it is not enough to have a tablet and a graphics editor to create a successful logo. A modern design studio needs to know the trends, principles and history of creating the best examples.
I propose to consider the first logos of well-known companies in order to analyze and see trends in logo development.
Contents: how the first brand symbols were created
- Who came up with the name and designed the first Coca-Cola logo
- How the Apple logo was created: from Newton to a bitten apple
- What happens if you entrust the development of the Starbucks logo to two teachers and a writer
- Is the globe in the Discovery Channel logo a cliché or a genius idea?
- Secret facts in the history of the development of the Google logo that the company blog does not mention
- Amazon logo: how to deliver a million smiles to your door
- The creation of the Chupa Chups logo: a real masterpiece by Salvador Dali
- The history of the development of the KFC logo, which has not changed in 70 years
Who came up with the name and designed the first Coca-Cola logo
On the left is the first Coca-Cola logo in 1886, on the right is the current version of 2019
The company’s blog claims that the first Coca-Cola logo was designed by the company’s accountant, Frank Robinson. With calligraphic handwriting and pen skills, he wrote the word Coca-Cola in Spencer type, which was widely used for creating documents. The trademark or brand symbol that we are used to seeing on packaging is an example of a logo, that is, a word that is created using a specific font.
In fact, the accountant’s variant was the second version of the logo. The author of the blog Under consideration proves this fact with a screenshot from an 1886 magazine. The very first Coca-Cola logo had nothing to do with the logo we are all used to. According to Armin, the first version appeared a year earlier, in 1886. The logo was set in a serif typeface and appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The example of the logo we see today is very close to the 1940s variant. The general character of the Coca-Cola logo is based on two capital letters “C”. The rhythm of the sign is set by horizontal waves coming from above and below the words. Frank Robinson, the author of the name and the creator of the second version of the logo, turned out to be right. Two letters “C” look great in advertising. Over the course of a century, the Coca-Cola logo was supplemented with details and even completely changed: a year later, the Spencer font changed to curlicue letters, and in the 60s, a white Coca-Cola ribbon and a secret weapon appeared.
Interesting Coca-Cola Logo Facts
- The secret weapon of Coca-Cola . An article about how the white stripe in the logo design disappeared.
- The Coca-Cola Logo Story You’ve Never Seen . An article about the rare and obscure Coca-Cola logo.
How the Apple logo was created: from a fallen to a bitten apple
Let’s find out how the famous Apple logo appeared, which in 2018 was worn by one and a half billion mobile devices. The very first apple company logo looked more like an illustration than a company symbol. It was created by Ronald Wayne, the third co-founder of the company. The logo, which looks more like a drawing, shows a seated man, presumably Newton, in the shade of an apple tree. According to Steve Jobs, Wayne’s version of the logo was very old-fashioned and complicated, so a year later there was an updated version with a rainbow inside a bitten apple.
On the left is the development of the logo by the co-founder of the company, on the right is the work of professional designer Rob Yanov
The Internet argues why the apple, the symbol of the Apple brand, was born with a bitten off side. One of the versions is voiced by the author of the original logo, Rob Yanov. According to his concept, the apple was bitten to make it easier for us to distinguish it from the tomato.
Symbol of Apple corporation
When creating a logo redesign, it is necessary to observe continuity. If the first image of the logo depicts a sitting Newton waiting for an apple that will fall on his head, then it is quite logical that in the second version we see an apple already bitten by Isaac Newton.
The new symbol of Apple corporation was created by professional designer Rob Yanov in 1977. Steve Jobs, when issuing a logo design assignment, asked for a 6-color multi-color version, as it was located on the first Apple II computer that worked with color graphics.
The shape of the 2020 logo is virtually the same as the 70s version. The only thing that changed in the Apple logo was the color and the inner content of the shape of the sign. Rob Yanov designed the perfect logo: simple, clear, consistent, timeless and timeless.
Why did they bite off the apple in the Apple logo?
What happens if you entrust the development of the Starbucks logo to two teachers and a writer
The founders of Starbucks, English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Ziegal, and writer Gordon Bowker, opened their own coffee bean store in Seattle in 1971. According to one version, the founders of Starbucks named the store after Captain Starbuck’s assistant from the novel Moby Dick, who had nothing to do with coffee. For the logo, a sea siren was chosen – a creature from ancient Greek mythology, which lured sailors with its singing.
On the left is the logo created by the founders of the company, on the right is the logo designed by the designers of Starbucks and Lippincott.
The logo depicting a sea mermaid in a circle is known not only to coffee lovers, but to the whole world. When studying the history of the appearance of the Starbucks symbol, it becomes clear that the founders of Starbucks were guided by logic and drew hidden parallels. Choosing the name for their store, the founders were inspired by the novel about the white whale Moby Dick, who, fighting for his life, drove the sailors crazy.
The modern trends of the 70s
In my opinion, the appearance of a siren on the Starbucks logo is quite a logical and thoughtful decision. The sea maiden, like the moby-dick whale, are metaphors for black coffee. Like the characters, coffee drives you crazy with its taste. Perhaps the idea was designed for lovers who are driven crazy by the taste of the world famous drink.
The first version of the Starbucks logo looked more like a traditional illustration than a logo. In the 70s, the logos of small companies like Apple and Starbucks were more of an illustration than a simple logo like the big brother companies like IBM, Ford, GE, McDonald’s. Tiny companies that were born in garages did not have the opportunity to design a logo in the modern trends of the 70s, so they created a corporate style on their knees.
The biggest change to the logo happened in 2011. An updated image of the siren, the symbol of the coffee shop, was created internally by the design team of Starbucks and Lippincott. The development of the Starbucks logo freed the siren from the outer ring and lettering, making it an open and welcoming symbol of the coffee brand.
Is the globe in the Discovery Channel logo a cliché or a genius idea?
The developers of the first Discovery Channel logo sought to reflect the goal of creating the channel – to open an incredible world to viewers from the comfort of home. Therefore, the designers inscribed the image of the globe in the shape of the TV. The first version of the Discovery Channel logo was written in Gill Sans and lasted 2 years without change, from 1985 to 1987.
On the left is a variant of the logo designed in 1985, on the right is a logo created in 2019 by the Roger team
The current version of the Discovery Channel logo was designed in April 2019 by design agency Roger. The Discovery brand received the slogan “The world is ours”. Together with a still and simplified image of the globe, the logo became part of the letter “D”.
Studio designers accentuate the visual center of the image with the help of the letter “D” and this technique goes well with the slogan. For more information on the development of the Discovery Channel logo, read In Bed with the Art Director.
The font of the logo designed in 2019 (modified by Sharp Sans Extra Bold) has changed to a geometric grotesque, like Android or Uber.
Article about the 2019 Discovery Channel redesign
The history of Twitter logo development: from clipart to brand symbol
The history of Twitter is the history of a brand that went from cartoon character Larry to a recognizable bird in six years and lost its name twice.
On the left is a $15 clipart by Simon Oxley from iStock, on the right is the original Twitter logo designed under creative direction Doug Bowman
It all started in 2006, when a Twitter employee bought an image of a blue bird by British designer Simon Oxley on iStock for $15.
The purchased illustration was placed next to the Twitter logo and the name of the short messaging service was written in a cartoon “bubble” style. The slender blue creature with paws and eyes looked more like a stylized drawing of a bird than a brand symbol.
However, the hero was not destined to become a brand and Twitter had to completely redesign the symbol, as companies are prohibited from using iStock images as their official logos.
In 2012, the designers decided to completely get rid of the logo in the brand name and renamed Larry’s corporate symbol to Twitter, believing that it was enough to have a blue bird, which would be the brand symbol, for development.
On the left is a hedonist cow Slivka for dairy products, on the right is a hedgehog mascot for the Hodidey-Classic grocery chain
Look at what brand mascots we are developing: for dairy products – cow Slivka , for the Holiday Classic grocery store chain – a hedgehog .
Secret facts in the history of the development of the Google logo that the company blog does not mention
There are interesting facts in the history of the Google logo that are not written about in the company’s official blog. It all started with a bad name. According to unverified sources, in 1996 the Google logo consisted of a photograph of a hand and the name Backrub.
A year later, Page and Brin change the frightening name to the euphonious “Google”, which is a modified word “Googol” and meant a number with 100 zeros. The name of the future brand was born from the concept of a search engine based on a revolutionary backlink approach. A large number of results found was an advantage over other search engines of the time. The main idea of the name for the search engine reflected positioning among search engine competitors.
On the left is the 1998 version of the logo designed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin for their thesis, on the right is the current version created in 2015 by the Google team
The first real Google logo
The first logos of the American company Google had 2 secrets. Some sources claim that Page himself designed the first logo for Google, others that Brin made it in the free Gimp graphics editor. The official version is a multi-colored logo with a shadow, made in a serif font. This 1998 version of the logo was used by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in their thesis at Stanford University.
Where did the exclamation point from the Google logo go?
Until May 2010, an exclamation mark can be seen in the Google logo. And this is the second secret of the Google logo. Presumably, the punctuation mark appeared in the logo because of the Yahoo! search engine, which all the technology companies of that time wanted to be like.
Responsiveness of the Modern Google Logo
Since 2015, Google has been using the brand symbol – the letter “G” and the logo. The Google logo is set in a geometric grotesque similar in structure to Paul Renner’s Futura typeface. The 2015 version of the Google logo looks young, fresh, friendly and modern. In addition to its human qualities, it has wide functionality and opportunities to use.
Start a voice search on your phone to see the “G” become dots, equalizer or microphone. “This update is especially important because it reflects our philosophy and the diversity of our services. Now all of them – Search, Gmail, Maps, Chrome and many others – are united by an image for which we took the best from Google – simplicity, conciseness, brightness and friendliness. It symbolizes not only the current stage of development of Google, but also its future ”- from the Google blog.
Amazon logo: how to deliver a million smiles to your door
“If you don’t like this logo, then you don’t like puppies,” Jeff Bezos reacted to an offer from marketers to test a new logo created by designers Turner Duckworth.
On the left is a 1995 version of the Amazon logo with a river in the letter “A”, on the right is the current version of the “smile”, created in 2000. Both logos are designed by the Turner Duckworth design team.
The first Amazon logo was signed with a “modest” inscription – the largest bookstore in the world. The designed letter “A” hid the image of the meandering Amazon River. It was a simple, clear, and very straightforward illustration of a river and the initial letter of the Amazon name.
After 6 years, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos returns to the letter “a” again, now it becomes lowercase and is emphasized not by a pathos inscription, but by a smile in the form of an arrow.
The use of smiles and heart shapes in logos is one of the most common clichés in logo design. However, in the 2000 version of the Amazon logo, Duckworth’s designers managed to combine the two ideas and raise the smile as a symbol of the brand to an unattainable height.
“This was one of the quickest and easiest branding projects we’ve ever done. Jeff Bezos personally participated in all meetings and made decisions quickly,” says Turner. The Amazon logo was adopted without the swamp of marketing research and red tape.
Turner’s designers were tasked with designing just the Amazon logo, but the smiley idea was so good that Turner asked Bezos, “How about delivering a million good experiences a week without spending a dime?”
This is how the “smiley arrow” appeared under the logo on every box that Amazon supplied.
The creation of the Chupa Chups logo: a real masterpiece by Salvador Dali
The first name for lollipop was “goal”. Of course, what could you expect from a Spaniard whose country is football-obsessed? Unfortunately, the name didn’t sell the lollipops well, although the idea of putting a lollipop on a stick to keep kids from getting their hands dirty was great from a marketing standpoint.
The failure of the football title, where the mouth was the goal and the round lollipop was the ball, didn’t faze Spanish entrepreneur Enrique Bernat. He hired copywriters from an advertising agency to develop a new title.
On the left is the first version of the Chupa Chups logo, on the right is an updated version of the Salvador Dali logo from 1969
The developed name Chupa Chups came from the Spanish verb chupar , meaning “to suck”. However, without developing a good logo, it is difficult to convey even a good brand name to the consumer. Therefore, Bernat needed to develop a visual symbol for lollipops.
One day, over a cup of coffee, he suggested that Salvador Dali design a logo for lollipops. The great artist rarely refused commercial commissions, so he agreed to create an image of the brand for a decent fee. They say that the artist quickly sketched the version of the logo that we see on modern candy with minor changes. Salvador Dali created the shape of a flower, in which he inscribed the name of the Chupa chups candy brand. The artist was a connoisseur of good presentations, so he insisted on placing the designed logo on the top of the lollipop so that the brand symbol was always in sight.
The history of the development of the KFC logo, which has not changed in 70 years
The history of the KFC logo is a classic example of creating a successful world-class brand symbol. Thanks to the right steps of a novice chef from a small gas station, KFC got a name, a unique logo with a mascot and became a successful global brand.
On the left is the logo created by design studio Lippincott & Margulies, on the right is an updated version of Sanders from the creative agency Grand Army
In 1952, the original KFC logo appeared, created by design studio Lippincott & Margulies. A logo written with a wide brush that features an image of the company’s character, Colonel Sanders. have remained virtually unchanged since the presentation of the first version of the KFC logo. Colonel Sanders, depicted on the KFC logo, is not a fictional character, but the actual founder of the company, Colonel Harland Sanders. Sanders managed to create a successful company known throughout the world and become the second most recognizable person on the planet.
An interesting fact: KFC uses logos in communications that are not similar to each other. On the desktop version of the site in the US, you can see the very first Kentucky Fried Chicken logo, Colonel Sanders and the KFC logo.
An updated logo featuring Colonel Sanders was developed by the American studio Grand Army in 2015. As part of a comprehensive rebranding and repositioning, KFC has developed a corporate identity and updated the image of Colonel Sanders, which again became black and white.
In the 70s, the logos of small companies like Apple and Starbucks were more of an illustration than a simple logo like the big brother companies like IBM, Ford, GE, McDonald’s.
Tiny companies that were born in garages did not have the opportunity to design a logo in the modern trends of the 70s, so they created a corporate style on their knees. Looking at the modern logos of Apple, Starbucks or Amazon, it’s hard to imagine what they looked like 20 or 30 years ago. The purpose of this review is to study and analyze logos then and now.