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Logo Changes Throughout History

The entrepreneur path is winding, change is imminent.


"History In the Making" Process is Messy

Throughout history, companies and brands have undergone various logo changes to reflect their evolving identity, target audience, or market trends. These changes often go beyond mere aesthetics, as logos serve as a visual representation of a company's values, mission, and personality. Let's explore some examples of historical logo changes made by notable companies and brands, and how these changes have impacted their brand image.


It's Ok to Change. History Shows Us Big Brands Make Big Changes

One of the most iconic examples of logo changes is the evolution of Apple's logo. Apple Inc., known for its innovative technology products, has had several logo iterations since its inception in 1976. The first Apple logo featured a detailed illustration of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, symbolizing discovery and innovation. However, in 1977, Apple introduced a more simplified logo - the rainbow apple, which became synonymous with the brand and its revolutionary products like the Macintosh computer. Over the years, Apple has gradually refined its logo to a monochromatic, sleek design, symbolizing its minimalist and sophisticated brand image. This change has helped Apple establish itself as a global leader in cutting-edge technology.


Another significant logo change can be seen in the evolution of Starbucks' logo. The original Starbucks logo, introduced in 1971, featured a detailed illustration of a twin-tailed mermaid, or siren, to evoke a sense of mystery and seduction associated with coffee. However, in 1987, Starbucks made move by simplifying its logo to a green and white image of the siren, removing the detailed elements. This change was aimed at making the logo more adaptable and recognizable on various mediums and sizes, including coffee cups and store signs. The new logo also reflected Starbucks' greenwashed commitment to environmental sustainability, with the green color symbolizing its focus on eco-friendly practices. Today, Starbucks' logo is instantly recognizable.


In the automotive industry, BMW is an example of a brand that has undergone significant logo changes. BMW's original logo, introduced in 1917, featured a complex design with a black circle in the center, divided into four quadrants representing the company's origins in aviation and engine manufacturing. However, in 1933, BMW introduced a more streamlined and simplified logo, featuring a blue and white circular emblem with the letters "BMW" at the top. This change was aimed at making the logo more memorable and modern, while still paying homage to the brand's heritage. Since then, BMW has made minor tweaks to its logo, but the overall circular design and blue-and-white color scheme have remained consistent, signifying the brand's commitment to quality, innovation, and tradition in the luxury automobile market.


Reasons For Change Varies From Brand To Brand. It Can be Strategic

Sometimes, logo changes are made in response to societal changes or cultural sensitivities. For example, the fast-food giant McDonald's has made subtle yet significant changes to its logo over the years. The original McDonald's logo, introduced in 1940, featured a smiling, plump chef named Speedee, representing the brand's emphasis on fast service. However, in 1961, Speedee was replaced by the now-iconic golden arches, symbolizing the brand's commitment to providing consistent, memorable experiences across all its locations. In recent years, McDonald's has made further tweaks to its logo, removing the word "McDonald's" and keeping only the golden arches, reflecting a shift towards a more minimalist and modern design. Additionally, McDonald's has also introduced localized versions of its logo in some countries to respect cultural sensitivities and connect with local consumers, demonstrating how logo changes can be influenced by cultural and societal factors.


In conclusion, don't lose sleep over your first logo. It is likely you will make changes. Historical logo changes made by companies and brands are not merely cosmetic alterations, but strategic decisions that reflect their evolving identity, values, and target audience.

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