We are all familiar with Apple, Pepsi, Shell and most of the other world famous brands. Their logos didn’t always look as polished as they do today however. As their companies grew their logos evolved. Some of the changes were subtle and others were drastic, some were a hit and some didn’t stand the test of time. Here’s a trip down branding memory lane.
Apple was incorporated in 1976 and is now the highest market cap company of all time. The company quickly abandoned its first logo version but did keep with the forbidden fruit meaning. The shape of the now famous apple graphic hasn’t changed since 1977 but it has seen some variation in terms of colors and effects.
The Pepsi brand goes all the way back to 1898. If you look at the company’s first logo versions it reminds you a lot of its famous rival Coca Cola. The company started to move the logo into a new direction mid last century. It introduced the blue color in addition to the red and started to use a new font.
Shell originally went with a detailed black and white shell for its brand. The company didn’t introduce its now well-recognized yellow and red colors until 1948. The detail of the original shell graphic vanished over the years and gave way to a much simpler graphical design.
Yahoo is another company that experimented with different logo versions in the first few years after inception. The graphic and effects were quickly dropped and the company continued with much more subtle changes. It is now a great example of a (insert link to this blog post: ) that makes use of only one color.
The famous coffeehouse chain has been around since 1971. It’s hard to imagine that Starbucks was once only a single coffee shop but that’s exactly what its original logo reminds you of. As the company started to grow the two tailed mermaid became simpler in design and the color went from brown to the now instantly recognizable green. The most recent design even dropped the company name relying solely on the graphic.
Simplification and maturity
All of the brand evolutions illustrated above were driven by simplification, indicating the maturity level of the company at different stages as they grew. This is in line with good logo design principles and reflects the long-term design trend.
Evan Fraser is passionate about entrepreneurship, blogging and graphic design. His expertise is in small businesses branding and marketing. He shares his knowledge and tips and tricks on the GraphicSprings.com blog.
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