Year Company Founded: 1932
Year Logo Introduced: 1934
Logo Designer: Undisclosed
Company Founder: Ole Kirk Christiansen
The 1932 logo was introduced simply as a logotype of "LEGO." In 1946, the company paid homage to its hometown of Billund, Denmark, which also employed a simple logotype. In 1936, LEGO added color to its logo, representing the company's name and looking almost like one of their boxed toys. In 1950, LEGO turned to a simpler logo, which integrated the company's name within a circle and featured "Billund Danmark" in an outer ring.
Three years later, in 1953, LEGO unveiled the white bubble lettered logo which has become iconic of the brand and remained in use by the company since 1953. In 1959, the word "System" was added below the brand name in yellow logotype, while "LEGO" recieved a bolder black outline to draw attention. In 1973, "System" was dropped and "LEGO" got a yellow border outside the black outline. The current LEGO logo has been in use since 1998, and is an image bringing happiness to millions of children worldwide.
Year Company Founded: 1907
Year Logo Introduced: 1900
Logo Designer: Raymond Loewy (1971)
Company Founders: Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, "Shell" Transport & Tranding Company Ltd.
The logo for Shell has always, in fact, been a shell, becoming less realistic with each redesign. In 1900, the design was simply a black and white image of a shell, which lasted until 1948, when the red and yellow colors were added. The design hasn't strayed far from the original color logo, with the name of the company moving around and inside the logo as the years progress. The final logo omits the company name, but it's no longer necessary.
Year Company Founded: 1937
Year Logo Introduced: 1930s
Logo Designer: Undisclosed
Company Founder: Kiichiro Toyoda
The 1937 (current) Toyota logo was chosen from 27,000 entries that were submitted to a public competition. The winner of the 1937 competition was a design incorporating the three Japanese katakana letters for "Toyoda" in a circle. Toyoda was the original name of the company, taken from the last name of the founder, Kiichiro Toyoda. Even though the company was renamed to "Toyota Motor Company" that same year, the logo remains inspired by "Toyota."
Year Company Founded: 1970
Year Logo Introduced: 1958
Logo Designer: Greg Silveria (2006)
Company Founders: Dee Hock, Bank of America
The first logo appeared in the same year as the company's founding, with the word VISA typed in the middle of two lines (blue on the top and a corn yellow on the bottom). The original design lasted until 1982 when the company chose a more visible and recognizable font and color scheme, with the "Visa" in the same blue and a small check of yellow on the left side of the "V." The new logo was phased into the company in 2006, and by 2011, all of the company's cards, marketing, promo materials, and other services carried this new logo.
Year Company Founded: 1937
Year Logo Introduced: 1938
Logo Designer: Franz Xaver Reimspiess (1938), Meta Design (2007)
Company Founder: German Labour Front
The logo for Volkswagen was the result of a Porsche office competition to see who could come up with a good one, and the winner and designer was Franz Reimspiess, who perfected the engine for the Beetle in the 1930s. The initial black and white logo strategically contained the VW for Volkswagen, as well as the swastika, in accordance with Hitler's regime. The second logo was also black and white yet didn't contain the swastika and looked more like a wheel than a fan or radar. Post-WWII, the British took over the car company and renamed it the Beetle, and naturally, the logo changed as well. They kept the VW but got rid of the design of the circle, which was inspired by the Nazi flag. No other car company wanted to take over the Volkswagen factory, so the company was returned to the German government. The most recent logo is embossed in blue and grey contrasting the black and white logos of the company's past.
Year Company Founded: 1961
Year Logo Introduced: 1961
Logo Designer: Sir Peter Scott (1961), Lans Bouthillier (1978), Landor Associates (1986), Asha (2010)
Company Founders: Max Nicholson, Julian Huxley, Peter Scott, Guy Mountfort, Godfrey A. Rockefeller, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
Perhaps the company logo with the most "cute" in it, the WWF logo was first introduced in 1961 with only the iconic panda and no logotype. The 1961 panda bear was created by founding chairman Sir Peter Scott, and it remains a key branding element for the company. In 1978, the panda illustration was simplified, eliminating some of the fur texture, but the design does not stray far from the original. In 1986, the WWF was added below the further simplified panda design. The final change to the WWF logo occured in 2000, when the font of "WWF" was slightly altered, though no noticable changes were made to the panda illustration.
Year Company Founded: 1907
Year Logo Introduced: 1919
Logo Designer: Paul Rand (1961)
Company Founders: Jim Casey, Claude Ryan
The first UPS "shield" logo was created in 1916 when founder Jim Casey merged the company with a local rival delivery service, and the shield shape stuck (it is still being used today), with the exception of a few font and design changes. UPS' second logo, introduced in 1937, was the first logo that had the letters "UPS" on it, and in 1961, Paul Rand designed the third UPS logo which featured a bow-tied package above the shield. In 2003, UPS switched to a glossy brown version of logo with the company name contained within the shield.
Year Company Founded: 1971
Year Logo Introduced: 1971
Logo Designer: Terry Heckler (1971, 1987, 1992), Lippincott and Starbucks Global Creative Team (2011)
Company Founders: Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, Zev Siegl
In 1971, while in search of inspiration for a logo, the founders of Starbucks stumbled upon a Norse 16th century woodcut which featured the now famous two-tailed mermaid or siren. Terry Heckler was recruited to design the logo for what was then "Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spices," which incorporated the bare-chested siren with an intricate crown and tail. Heckler was invited back to update and censor the design in 1987, at the time of the II Giornale and Starbucks merger. In 1992, Heckler returned to revise the logo into the now iconic and further censored version, which features a demure and smiling mermaid with a simple crown and tails. Drawing on Heckler's 1992 design, the latest revisioning occured in 2011. The design team removed the outer circle of the logo, keeping only the mermaid illustration, while changing the black to the trademark Starbucks green. The bold move to rely only on the siren's image reflects the iconic status of the brand, achieved through 40 years of foundation work.
Year Company Founded: 1905
Year Logo Introduced: 1908
Logo Designer: Undisclosed
Company Founders: Hans Wilsdorf, Alfred Davis
The iconic Rolex logo, comprised of a pointed crown above the company name, symbolizes prestige, victory, and perfectionism, and has remained generally the same throughout the years. The company's slogan is "A Crown for every Achievement", further explaining the crown in the logo.
20. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
Year Company Founded: 1926
Year Logo Introduced: 1926
Logo Designer: Chermayeff & Geismar (1986)
Company Founder: Radio Corporation of America (RCA)
At the company's founding, the logo was a blue rectangle with a broadcasting microphone over America and NBC above it in bold letters. The logo was simplified to black and white in 1930, removing the color as well as the image of the microphone over America. In 1942, the logo became more stylized, with an NBC-labeled microphone amidst red colored sound waves. For three years, from 1953 to 1956, a xylophone and mallet with the letters NBC became the logo until the infamous peacock was introduced. The "NBC snake," a brown box with a styled "NBC," was the logo for 16 years. A new logo with an abstract capital "N" letter appeared in 1976 and was estimated to cost between $750,000 and $1 million but only lasted four years. In 1979, the peacock made its return as the logo, with a contemporary spin that inspired a new take on the design by Chermayeff & Geismar. The final logo we see today is widely known as the NBC peacock; the company name is no longer necessary.
Year Company Founded: 1920
Year Logo Introduced: 1949
Logo Designer: Adi Dassler (1949), Käthe and Adi Dassler (1971), Peter Moore (1997)
Company Founder: Adi Dassler
The adidas logo was designed and created by founder, Adi Dassler, who first used the three stripes on adidas footwear, making the company instantly recognizable. The stripes haven't changed over the years; they've only changed in form. In the '60s, Käthe and Adi Dassler created the Trefoil logo as an additional mark of the adidas brand, to be used on apparel. It later became the company's corporate symbol. In 1997, Adidas introduced the slanted three bars as an integrated corporate design, and it was made to look like the shape of a mountain to symbolize challenges to be faced and goals to be achieved.
Year Company Founded: 1927
Year Logo Introduced: 1946
Logo Designer: Fran Gianninoto & Associates (1969)
Company Founders: Joe C. Thompson Jr., John Jefferson Green
The company was started pre-depression by John Jefferson Green when he started selling bread, milk, and eggs out of the ice houses of the Southland Ice Company. He eventually bought the Southland Ice Company and continued operations, despite going bankrupt during the depression. In 1946, as part of the post-war effort, the stores' names were changed to 7-Eleven, and the logo became the company name written a cup inside of a green circle. This design was used until 1970, when it was modernized to become the logo we see today.
Year Company Founded: 1975
Year Logo Introduced: 1976
Logo Designer: Scott Baker (1987)
Company Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen
Microsoft first introduced a logo in 1975, and it's one that would remain in use until 1979. The 1975 logo was designed following contemporary trends and is a logotype which has been described as "groovy." In 1980, Microsoft stepped away from the more complex logo to become an angular, sleek logotype that read "Microsoft" and which placed the entire word on a straight line. 1982 saw the rise of the "blibbet," Microsoft's logo which featured an intricate "O," a feature that would gain a cult following and one that was mourned when it was retired in 1987. The now iconic Microsoft logo came to replace the blibbet in 1987 and remains in use to this day. The simple "Pacman Logo" of 1987 was designed by Scott Baker with one defining slash between the "o" and "s" that is supposed to symbolize speed. Microsoft conquered the technology industry in the 1990s and early 2000s, allowing the simple, not very distinctive logotype to acheive iconic status.