One industry in Nigeria that recognises the importance of logos is the banking industry. Almost every bank leverages a striking emblem that has the ability to draw the attention of potential customers and create a lasting impression in their minds. One of the key bank brands leading the way is Zenith bank.
With just a simple letter Z as its identity, Zenith bank has distinguished its brand from the crowd. The logo is characterised by many things but its leadership status is one feature that it is now known for widely.
The brand, Zenith, which was founded in May 1990, was not set up in a haste. The founder, Jim Ovia, thought through every single detail including the name of bank and its logo. With a clear vision to build a world standard brand that would compete in the international market, Jim could not afford to settle for any common name.
“I started researching with those qualifications in mind to find a name that was unique, one that would be memorable to Nigerians, Africans and to the international markets,” Jim said.
Desiring to break out from the norm, Jim embarked on a research, listing out all the names of existing banks in Nigeria and slipping the pages of dictionaries and thesauruses. His quest was to find a name that would communicate the values of the brand to people from different cultures without any language barrier. Finally, he came across the name Zenith which means top, peak or pinnacle.
Moving on to the logo, Jim began another research on remarkable logos owned by well-known multinational brands. One common feature they shared was simplicity. From this point, he focused his brainstorming for a simple but outstanding logo. In the middle of this, the iconic bisected letter Z was birthed. The design was such that it looked like it was sliced into two, one half coloured dark grey and the other half coloured red, both demarcated by a white space.
In no time, with several branches springing up in several cities in the country, the logo became one of the most recognised and has influenced other brands in its industry.
Zenith bank’s logo is a symbol of top-notch quality. The logo is a representation of what the brand stands for, that is the brand message – a top bank. It was created in a simple form to make it easy to read and comprehend. The colours, especially red, were specifically pick to attract people’s pictures.
The logo utilizes three striking colours, grey, white and red. The colours stand for the company’s corporate values, which are innovation, superior customer service and performance.
Reacting to the selected colours, a couple of persons who were close to the founder had tried to discourage him from using them indicating that red was too strong and would leave a wrong impression on prospects. Despite the discouragements, Jim chose to dwell on the positive side. He believed people would love the logo since red also symbolised love. He pointed out that most powerful nations had a touch of red in their flags.
In his words, “look at flags of some of the most powerful and prosperous nations in the world, they all have the colour red in their flags besides, red is the colour of love and I believe people will fall in love with our logo”.
Eventually, instead of scaring people away, the colours attracted them to the brand.
The logo has made the brand more popular and has influenced many people’s decision in the choice of a bank. The logo has become associated with innovation, concrete financial performance, leadership etc. Whenever Zenith’s logo is seen, excellence is seen.
Did you know…
In search for a universal name, the founder of the bank found Zenith which has a common meaning in different languages, French, Latin, and Spanish.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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In a small town in Michigan, two brothers, Tom and James Monaghan, started a small pizza joint in 1960. The Monaghan brothers dedicated their time, putting out the best kinds of pizzas, which in no time spread to more people than they could imagine. Today that little venture has grown to become one of the largest pizza chain in the world.
Asides from the distinctive variety of pizza Domino’s produces, a major ingredient that has brought more fame to the company is its logo. The brand’s logo has travelled far and near, telling the brand story everywhere. It keeps drawing the attention of prospective customers while it serves as a reminder to existing customers. Knowing the recognition Dominos’ logo has globally, it is worth knowing what makes it different.
Domino’s first logo was designed in the 1960’s. The logo was created in a bid to attract customers with its bright colours, white, red, and blue, which had an appealing feel. This logo featured two dominos placed horizontally one above the other. Inscribed on the dominos below was “Domino’s Pizza” while the top one had three dots. The three dots symbolised the three stores the brand had at the time. The initial plan was to add a dot whenever a new outlet was opened. This idea obviously could not work since the company expanded beyond the founders’ imagination.
In 1975, Domino’s made a few changes on its logo. The change was focused on making the colours of the logo more attractive and communicate to different people everywhere they see it. With just a simple flip of the logo, brought more visibility to the company. The two dominos, coloured in red, were kept on one side while the slogan was placed beside them.
The company felt the need for another design in 1996. This time the emblem was rotated on its side, a change was made on the typeface, and the colours were made brighter, and there were also a couple of other subtle modifications.
A rework was done on the logo in 2012. The dominos icon was retained while the slogan was readjusted with the removal of the word, “Pizza”. This new logo indicated the level of growth and influence of the brand. Since the brand had established itself and has become known for its pizza, there was no need including “pizza” in the logo anymore.
The current logo
There were no much changes made in terms of the colour selection from the creation of the logo. However, there has been several adjustments in the shades of the chosen colours, red, white and blue. The idea has always been, to attract more customers through the logo.
The present typeface is a version of the Pluto Sans Heavy type created by Hannes von Dohren while the first logo designed in 1996, used a typeface that resembled Futura Condensed ExtraBold.
Domino’s logo is one of the most effective logos. Before the word pizza was removed from the logo, the logo served two clear purposes, drawing the attention of customers and communicating what the brand does. The company’s name and its logo has become a popular identity in US and all over the world. The Domino’s logo is known for its staying power.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Unarguably one of the world’s famous logos, the Google logo is one that virtually every internet user interacts with on an almost daily basis. A lot of tweaking had taken place before the present logo in use; the logo has seen both the colours and wordmark evolve through the years for several reasons.
Through various modifications, the Google brand uses its logo as a vehicle to communicate current events and notable dates in history like Olympics, birthdays of iconic personalities, holidays, etc. The admirable manner in which Google has made its name and logo unforgettable will always serve as a learning yardstick for several brands.
The first attempt to create a Google logo was made in 1997 by Sergey Brin. It was designed using the graphics program GIMP. Larry Page took it further in 1998 to design a computerised version of the logo which featured an exclamation mark that looked like that of Yahoo’s logo.
On the 31st of May, 1999, the logo was redesigned from a Baskerville Bold font to a Catull typeface. This particular design became associated with Google since it was used for close to ten years.
After close to a decade, from 1999 to 2009, Google’s logo was revamped. Following a preview done in 2009, the baton of brand identity was passed to a new logo launched in 2010. This new logo and the old logo shared some similarities especially in the typeface used but there was a slight difference in the colours. An orange and yellow colour was used for the letter ‘O’. Also a shadow effect though subtle but noticeable was added to the logo.
In 2010, the logo was redesigned again. This time the shadow effect was reduced and the colour of the second “o” was changed to a yellow hue and a more flattened lettering was used.
October 25, 2013, came with a new look for Google as a flat logo two- dimensional in nature and a colour palette was introduced. This version had no shadow effect but retained a flattened lettering.
The logo was reviewed again on September 1, 2015, during which the typeface, Catull was changed to a new logotype, San-serif typeface called Product Sans. The new logo retained the multi-coloured playfulness and rotated ‘e’. Accompanied with the logo redesign, its icon, its favicon, the old small blue “g” was replaced with a four-coloured ‘G’ set in Product Sans.
One thing that has been consistent about the Google logo is the use of colours. A lot of attention was put in the selection of the Google colours. While the primary colours were used for each letter, the letter ‘L’ was designed with a secondary colour.
The Brazilian designer, Ruth Kedar, who spearheaded the revamping of the logo, indicated that the colours and its pattern shows the exceptionality in the brand and exhibits the brand’s culture.
“There were a lot of different colour iterations”, says Ruth Kedar, “We ended up with the primary colours, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary colour on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”
The logo uses Product Sans for its typeface. Embedded in this typeface is a feel of history and a sense of currency.
In their words; “In tandem with developing the logotype, we created a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface to complement the logo in product lockups and supporting identity materials. We call it Product Sans. The typeface design takes cue from that same schoolbook letter-printing style, but adopts the neutral consistency we’ve all come to expect from a geometric sans serif. This allows us to maintain an appropriate level of distinction between the Google logotype and the product name. The character set is complete with numerals, punctuation, accent and alternate characters, fractions, symbols, and supports extended Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic”
The Google logo has transcended from a mere design to a strong identity. It serves as the face of the brand since it is easily recognisable. Due to its playful but yet classic look, the Google logo has become a brand in itself that leads people into the company. Therefore selling the brand.
They had this to say about their logo’s impact, “Design was only one part of the effort. The realization of the new identity required the collective work and diligence of hundreds of Googlers, in different roles, spanning the entire organization. They deserve huge credit for building and implementing the system down to the very last pixel.
As we move forward creating new products and experiences, we hope this work will continue to deliver the simplicity and delight you expect from Google—wherever new technology may take us.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Like the sun, Oando’s logo streams its rays that emits an irresistible energy to all its customers. The blend of oval shapes of different colours and sizes has become its signature identity recognised all over. It is easy to tell that the company doesn’t just focus on distributing their products and services but also aims to create long lasting impressions.
Though Oando is an indigenous Oil and Gas Company based in Nigeria, it started out as a petroleum marketing company in 1956 and operated with the name Esso West Africa Incorporated that is a subsidiary of Exxon Corporated of the USA. Ever since, the company has evolved to become one of the largest energy brand in Africa.
The Oando brand has been through numerous rebranding stages from acquisitions to mergers. It is one brand that has experienced and survived many difficult times. Even though it has made tremendous impact in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, the company still works with a view of emerging as a world class brand.
The prestigious brand is known for its bold spirit towards the quest to succeed, the quality of its leadership and its well dug African root. It has consistently communicated its beliefs and values through every medium it has at its disposal. One of the medium it leverages to pass its brand’s message across is its outstanding logo.
The logo, which resembles the sun, symbolises warmth and the dawning of a new era for the organization. The oval shaped elements in various sizes encapsulates the company’s continuous expansion and growth. The elements also expresses the brand’s basic principles of vision, focus, and unity. The different angles of the oval shapes is an impression of movement–movement forward, movement to the future, and the movement of energy.
The company’s corporate colour palette was carefully and deliberately selected to uphold the image and energy that forms its identity. The brand ensures that the colour range and graphic elements remain consistent for all their official use as this has become their corporate signature. The consistency in the colour system is applied in order to establish a distinctive visual language and expression for the brand.
The wordmark is written in Helvetica. This font was chosen for its clean feel and readability, and its honest, open and approachable appeal. The font aligns with the brand’s simplicity, clarity and boldness. Also Helvetica is a contemporary and timeless character which secures the brand’s relevance.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Whenever and wherever e-commerce is the subject of discussion, Amazon is one name that would always be mentioned. Without a doubt, it has become an unbeatable name in America and all over the world.
What started out as an online bookstore has grown to encompass the sale of many other items. Its expansion strategy has set it to become one of the world’s leading e-commerce site. Amazon has become a trusted platform for both buyers and sellers who do not hesitate to express their satisfaction with the services rendered.
This air of satisfaction among their clients is one thing Amazon never waste an opportunity to boast about. The attribute of ingenuity in customer’s satisfaction is proudly expressed on the brand’s logo. The simple, yet sophisticated look of the Amazon’s logo now carries with it the story of growth and success of the brand.
When Jeff Bezos, the founder, established his online bookstore first under the name, “Cadabar” in 1994 and a year later changed to Amazon, the logo did not seem as exciting as it is presently. The initial attempts to brand the company and give it a face was not as remarkable or polished as what we have become accustomed to.
The first logo prototype featured the letter “A” boldly designed as a winding river cutting through its silhouette and superimposed on an aquatic background. Though this logo did not sell the brand completely, still it set the sail for the company.
Subsequently, other variations of the first logo were designed. The other logos were experimented with different colour schemes, icon fills and choices of typography. In 1997, the wordmark had extracted the capital “A” icon. This version of the logo had both upper and lowercase.
Amazon took a new direction in 1998 because of its exponential growth. As part of the revolution, the company had to redefine its identity to differentiate it from other online shopping platforms and make it stand out in its industry. Amazon was one of the first e-commerce sites to incorporate one-click shopping and email order verification. The company’s services provided convenience for shoppers with a comprehensive stock of books.
This successful phase extended the company’s model to include an audio library. With over 125,000 titles searchable by artist, song title and label, the music section would debut on Amazon. Following the expansion, there were a series of iterations on the logo to suit the rapid growth of the company.
The iterations would include a lowercase serif logo paired with a book and globe icon. With the future in view, the company’s ambitions were reflected in its new tagline “Books, Music & More” This logo would remain in place until the company had time to expand on the “More” part of the vision. Due to the diversity of the company, more changes were made; this included a sans serif, all-caps wordmark with a large, golden “O” in the middle. This version lasted for only a few months before being redesigned into the sans-serif, lowercase font.
In 2000, Amazon was gaining more visibility but rather than be complacent, Jeff Bezos constantly sought for ways to improve the company while exploring innovative ideas. The company gradually transited from consumable media into almost every product in the planet. To mark this new feat, Bezos desired a new logo – a timeless one that would bear the company’s message. To achieve this, he implored the help of Turner Duckworth, a creative agency that gave the company’s identity a tremendous facelift.
The current emblem came with new success; with the swooping yellow arrow that points from the “a” to the “z” of the logo, which explained the founder’s original plan for Amazon. The shape of the arrow has a round-edged, organic quality, and the right side bends the bottom stem of the “z” upwards. This symbolises a smile to represent the stellar customer experience the company is known for.
Apart from the smile interpretation of the logo, the arrow from “a” to “z” also means that Amazon sell everything from a to z. That is, almost every product can be found on the Amazon store.
The Amazon element is designed with a custom font, which resembles Officina Sans. This font gives the wordmark “amazon” a bold face. The well-crafted wordmark has become a recognisable identifier related to the brand.
Amazon’s logo with no word said, spreads the message behind the brand. At just a glance, it sends signals to each viewer.
The logo also serves as a reminder to both clients and staff. For clients they are assured of having a stress free customer experience whenever they make purchase on the Amazon site, which eventually leaves a smile of satisfaction on their faces. On the other hand, the staff are reminded that they have to ensure that every service or product meets the customer’s taste and satisfy them.
Amazon remains a leader in its industry, a timeless brand, and continues to evolve. From online retail, with everything from ebook readers, to delivery via drones and terrific automated hub that manages its ever-growing inventory of products. The company has never conformed to the norm and has always tied its progress and innovation to its logo and collective ethos that was inspired by the founder.
“We are culturally pioneers. We like to disrupt even our own business. Other companies have different cultures and sometimes do not like to do that. Our job is to bring those industries along.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Symbols have long been a great way for brands to communicate their values and generally express what they do. Some brands have become widely known for their distinctive logos. For Nestle, the peculiar nest and birds’ symbol has formed its identity.
The Nestle logo is one of the few logos that never cease to make a statement about their brand to everyone who encounters it. It is regarded as a ground-breaking logo that has set the pace for other brands since its creation.
Let’s delve into its history to see the logo transformation.
LOGO HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
The premier logo that was used in 1868 was simply the Nestlé’s family coat of arms. The symbol was a bird on a nest, placed inside a shield shape. Based on the type of brand Nestle wanted to build, this logo was not suitable for it. The emblem did not communicate the company’s vision in any way and that led to the need for a better logo.
In 1875, Nestlé’s founder, Henri Nestlé drew inspiration from his family’s coat of arms to create a fresh logo for the brand. This new logo featured three birds in a nest, being fed by their mother. The symbol was a visual connection between the family name, Nestlé, which is interpreted as nest in German and the company’s infant cereal products for nourishment. With this move, Nestlé was rebranded to symbolise a safe nest for nourishment.
1938 came with a new swing of change; Nestle combined the lettering and logo to create a new identity for the brand. This unique mark unified all Nestlé products.
The company’s trademark was modified in 1966 during the celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary.
In 1988 one of the young birds, as well as the worm in their mother’s beak were removed giving the brand a new identity, This was to communicate that the subsidiaries were given homogenized names in combination with “Nestle” which then became a strategic umbrella trademark.
In 1995, the logo was simplified again and the four categories of products, milk product, ice cream, confectionery and baby milk were all given specific Nestle lettering.
The company made some modifications in the logotype in 2015. The logo was made bolder with other slight changes to the sketch. According to the company, the new Nestle symbol was designed to appear better on digital devices like smartphones.
Nestlé’s wordmark is written with sans-serif type with much emphasis on the letter “N”.
Initially brown-and-white were the only colours used to design the original logo but over time, colour schemes like grey-and-white or black-and-white are now being used.
In years to come, consumers all over the world will always remember Nestlé’s emblem with a sense of familiarity and fondness knowing its products never failed to meet their expectation thereby reflecting its brand value, “Good Food, Good Life”. This is the real definition of logo impact.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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After several months of deliberations and restructuring, the long awaited merger between Access Bank and Diamond Bank finally came to an official conclusion on April 1st, 2019. This merger is by far one of the most remarkable mergers in Nigeria’s banking history and has placed Access Bank as the largest retail bank in Africa by customer base. Access Bank stated that the new brand which is recorded to have over 27000 staff spread across 592 branches in 12 countries distributed in 3 continents with over 29 million customers, has always been part of its vision.
Following the successful merger between the banks, the values of the both Access Bank and Diamond Bank were combined to create a new visual identity. The CEO, Herbert Wigwe, emphasised that the brand’s new identity is built on the long lasting philosophy with the vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.
Explaining the inspiration behind the new logo, it was revealed that the emblem is a fusion of both banks’ corporate values. While Access Bank has been attested for being fast, recognised and trusted globally, Diamond Bank is known for its youthfulness, vibrancy and humanness. In their words;
“The new visual identity fuses together the best of Access Bank and Diamond Bank. It builds on the layers of meaning that were built into two iconic brands. Diamond bank’s was youthful, vibrant, and human. Access Banks’s was trusted, global, and fast. Bringing them together to capture the strength created through the merger meant drawing from the essence of each logo but refreshing them to create a sense of energy and forward momentum”
Despite being a blend of both banks, the new brand is designed to have refreshing attributes of its own. “Bringing them together to capture the strength created through the merger meant drawing from the essence of each logo but refreshing them to create a sense of energy and forward momentum.”
In the new logo, the diamond shape was retained but with new features added to it. The diamond shape is embedded in three chevrons that is maze-like which is meant to give direction or access to customers. “The diamond shape is fused into the three chevrons, which radiate in all directions to create layers around a core.”
The new logo is designed in two colours- a dominance of the well-known orange colour which will be used in corporate application in order to retain the sense of familiarity among Access Bank’s customers while the diamond colour palette will be used in its retail application to ensure continuity for retail customers.
“The retention of the access typeface, colour and font is complemented by the orange logo, which draws from the colour palettes of both banks”.
SLOGAN AND IMPACT
Accompanied with the new logo is the new tag line, “Access. More than Banking”. They refer this slogan as their philosophy and a promise they will work to keep.
Having being in the picture for over two decades, Access Bank is confident about the impact they’ve made so far. Their brand’s history serves as an assurance to both Access and Diamond Bank’s customers that they would be able to keep and succeed their promise. Narrating their impact journey, they said;
“Almost 20 years ago Access Bank set out to change the face of banking in Nigeria. Its goal was to lift the continent of Africa through what it called sustainable banking, showing individuals and businesses across the country that ethical business was good business.
“Providing African businesses with access to intra Africa trade and global markets. Giving budding entrepreneurs the tools to build a business.
“Offering families the opportunity to realise their dreams. Across the country, another entrepreneur was also building a bank, with a dream that went beyond banking.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Universal Parcel Service is unarguably one of the world’s most remarkable package delivery company. Asides being one of the oldest package delivery and supply chain management companies known all over the world, its logo has continued to give the brand a bold and unconquerable face.
Though UPS has always kept its logo simple, it has never fallen short of communicating the company’s values to the customers. From the delivery trucks to each parcel delivered, the UPS logo leaves its stamp in the memories of people. The logo has added to the global recognition the brand enjoys.
The UPS logo has so far experienced four transformations since it was designed over a century ago. At every point in time, as the company evolved with different market strategies, it ensured the logo evolved with it.
The first UPS logo was created the same period in 1916 when the company was established. The logo had distinguishing features such as an eagle carrying a parcel with its claws and the famous bronze shield. To further define the brand’s values, the words ‘Safe, Swift, Sure’ were written on the sides of the package. This logo symbolized the brand’s strength as regards its service. In no time, it became the company’s identity.
Even though the first logo was remarkable, UPS needed something that would align with its growth. With this in mind, the company redesigned its logo in 1937 to match the company’s new goal. This logo has the letter UPS written on it but the bronze shield was retained. Following this change, the company’s slogan was changed to “The Delivery System for Stores of Quality” in order to get the target customers.
In 1961, a new logo emerged which was designed by Paul Rand. The logo had a package tied with a string above the UPS shield. The aim of the logo was to highlight that the company’s core service was package delivery.
The logo was reviewed again in 2003 and this time the shield was recreated to give a pleasant look. The new logo was designed with the colour brown and was accompanied with a new slogan, “What can brown do for you?”
This logo was designed by FutureBrand, a brand consulting firm. The new logo was used on delivery trucks and had a new font called UPS Sans.
Brown has remained the colour that has distinguished the company since 1916. For UPS, the brown colour means elegance and professionalism, which also hides dirt on uniforms and delivery vehicles. UPS uses two shades of brown that are their registered trademarks. They are both used for their vehicles or clothing.
Though there has been some proposals and research to change their famous chocolate brown colour, no other colour has been able to meet the company’s standard. Rather than change their primary colour, chocolate brown, the company adds brighter colours to it like red, blue and green to form a sort of colour palette. While they add these other colours, they also try to maintain the brand’s original identity.
The simplicity of the UPS logo has beaten the idea of sophistication. While some brands seek to create abstract designs, UPS focused more on the message each logo passed to their potential clients. It has remained consistent with the shield identity that has also increased its popularity. With its simple but yet powerful logo, UPS continues to stand out.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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What’s a computer without a Microsoft software? That’s a bit hard to imagine, isn’t it? Think about it, virtually every computer is operated with the help of Microsoft products from the Windows Operating System to other easily accessible software that give users a better experience.
Now if almost all computers come with Microsoft products installed in them, it invariably means its logo is also imprinted in them making it one of the most recognised brands in the software industry. This way it has gained massive visibility and relevance.
The Microsoft logo is one which has communicated the brand’s message over the years and has left a lasting impression on its customers. With a minute glance at the Microsoft emblem, most people instantly recall what the brand stands. Speak about logo impact!
Today we decided to slide the Microsoft Windows to get a clearer view of how it has evolved since its inception.
HISTORY OF LOGO
From the onset, Microsoft established itself as one of the most creative software brands. Its exceptional operating system, Windows, and the line-up of Office software products, the company created a brand that will last in the minds of people all over the world. For many decades, Microsoft has consistently been a part of businesses, system
The founder, Bill Gates and his cofounder, Paul Allen, designed the company’s first logo in 1975. They created this version using a programming language to draw concentric lines and rounded edges that forms an all cap. This logo, which was inspired by a disco aesthetic, served its purpose for the time but the company needed something more radical to represent its brand.
After a few years, in 1980, the logo was recreated to suit the partnership between Microsoft and IBM. The aim for creating this logo that had sharp edges, diagonal lines and exaggerated stems concentrated on the letters M, R and F, was to retain the company’s visual relevance, making it bolder and more appealing to the new market. In no time, the new logo gained its popularity among computer enthusiasts and programmers.
In a bid to increase the brand’s awareness, the previous logo was changed again in 1982 to a solid, geometric sans-serif font. For this particular logo, more details was added to the letter ‘O’ with series of parallel lines drawn inside which represented an icon known as the “blibbet” by the employees. This logo gradually became the face of Microsoft’s flagship brand, Windows operating system.
The blibbet also served as a standalone logo, which was used as a watermark on the company’s stationery. This particular logo made a reasonable impact on the employees and alumni of Microsoft academy. Larry Osterman, the lead engineer, stated that there was even a customised Blibbet Burger on the Microsoft’s campus, and a campaign was organised by employees, and current CTO, Dave Norris, to “Save the Blibbet” when a new logo was proposed in 1987.
With Windows operating system becoming a recognised brand worldwide, there arose another need to revamp the logo. Following this, Scott Baker, the in-house designer was given the responsibility to refresh the logo to something that would better represent the company’s goals and vision in the new era. Narrating the meaning of the new logo, Scott said;
“The former logo, the ‘Blibbet’, was more in keeping with how we saw our company five years ago. The new logo, in Helvetica italic typeface, has a slash between the “o” and “s” to emphasize the “soft” part of the name and convey motion and speed.”
This logo, a bolder title- cased wordmark, was used to represent the transition of the brand from the old era to the new one. The triangular silver carved between the ‘O’ and the ‘S’ had slight similarities with the Pac Man logo and this eventually earned it the title “Pac Man Logo” given to it by the employees. The logo was used for a period of 25 years until the year 2012 when another logo was introduced.
Having observed that all the previous logos never really presented the company’s major product, Windows, the in-house designers were tasked collectively to brainstorm for a new logo. Finally, on the 23rd of August 2012 the present logo was launched. This new vibrant logo consist of the wordmark written with a new font and an emblem with four colourful squares. This logo was designed to represent the company’s known products; the red for Office applications, green for Excel, blue for Word and yellow for Outlook. In addition, the Microsoft uses its own typeface, Segoe UI, which was created by the designer, Steve Matteson. Asides being used for the company’s marketing and designs, it is used within the operating system and software for mobiles and desktops.
According to Microsoft:
“The brand should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning, as the company prepares for the launch of its new products. The logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand value, fonts and colors.”
MEANING OF LOGO
The icon symbolizes the Windows system. The logo simply feature a window with four panes of different colours, red, green, blue and yellow. This window version of the logo moved from the flying windows to a static one.
The logo also emphasises the company’s innovation in technology, which it offers people daily. The company continues to include new technological features in order to improve customer experience. The Microsoft logo stands as a symbol of quality in an operating system that allows people explore the world of technology through its Windows.
According to the general manager, Jeff Hansen, the logo signals the heritage and the future- a newness and freshness.
In 1995, the first Microsoft Office logo was introduced which featured a wordmark, and a square shape. When the XP version was introduced, in 2001, a gradient tool was applied to the logo. After the 2012 emblem was released, it became an abstract orange shape, which was supposed to reflect the company’s new design language.
The earlier Microsoft Excel logo featured the letter “X” that had the “L” on one of its sides that could be read as “XL,” or, Excel. From 1985 to 2013, the logo was modified eight times but retained the same visual effect. Finally, in 2013 variation, the logo was changed to just “X”.
The first Microsoft Word logo was designed in 1983. It was then just a wordmark with a recognizable “O” character but after four years a new emblem was adopted which featured the character “W” instead. The new logo was positioned in a way it looked like a sheet of paper. The same idea was recycled over the following years until in 2000 when a new logo was introduced. It had character, “W” craved in a square shape with the colours white and blue. After several other modifications, the company designed the open book with the letter “W” on the cover in 2013.
The Microsoft logo consist of six colours; the grey wordmark and the blue, yellow, green, and red or orange emblem, which are all on a white background.
The colours are a representative of a division or product line of the corporation.
The light blue colour stand for the Word or most times the Windows, which is the ‘background’ of everything one does on the PC. The blue colour also is a cool and slick colour, and symbolises Microsoft’s vision for Windows which to be slick and quick, and still be cool and easy to use.
The orange/red colour stands for Microsoft’s Office products. Red means business and suggests busy and productive which is what Office does, to get things done.
The green colour stands for Microsoft Gaming, mainly XBox. Green is a fun colour, which is what Xbox was designed for.
The yellow colour stands for Microsoft Hardware. Yellow is a bold and strong colour meaning that Microsoft hardware is built to be durable and efficient.
As seen above, at every stage of its evolution, Microsoft has always tried to communicate its brand values though it visual identity which reflects a part of its brand strategy. This is the reason why the Windows of Microsoft will always be one which attracts the freshest air of new ideas.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi.
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The Shell brand started out as a small London business selling antiques, curios and oriental shells. I feel this gave the idea behind the brand’s name and its visual identity system, specifically the logo design because in time the business grew to export these seashells to the Far East and made profit doing so. The first time the word ‘shell’ was cited was in 1891, when it was used by Marcus Samuel and Company (the original founders) as the business trademark in the shipment of kerosene to the Far East. We would not do justice to this article if we skip Shell brand’s influence – also enhanced by its visual identity system -in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The brand’s history in Nigeria began as far back as when oil was first discovered at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta region. In fact, this discovery was made by Shell-BP in 1956. Shell is a major stakeholder in the country’s oil and gas sector with a history of over 50 years of doing business in Nigeria since the late 1930’s. According to Shell on its website,
“For more than 100 years the word Shell, our pectin emblem and distinctive red and yellow colours have visualized the Shell brand and promoted our values and the quality of our products and services all over the world.”
This spells our focus for today’s article – Shell’s logo unravel. There is more to the shell’s emblem than meets the eye especially concerning its essence in promoting shell’s values, product and service quality and visualizing the shell brand globally.
Shell’s first logo was designed in 1901 carrying the symbol of a mussel shell. This happened the third year after the formation of the Shell Transport and Trading Company. Thereafter in 1904, a scallop shell also called the pecten emblem was debuted to give the company a brand name and its visual identity. When the afore-mentioned company formed a merger with the Royal Dutch petroleum company three years later, the former absorbed the pecten symbol and the brand name – Shell. The Logo having the pecten emblem and brand name has been like this since then.
However, the shell emblem has undergone a series of modifications in its design; the emblem design used presently was introduced in 1971. Finally, in 1995, the Shell logo underwent its final modification when the logo colours were dimmed. Prior to this time, its colours were very bright and some felt it made the logo look offensive. Therefore, the present design looks more appealing to the eyes. With over 47 years of great usefulness to the brands visual identity, it has grown to be one of the most popularly recognized logo in the world today.
The primary colours of the shell logo is red and yellow. These colours were preferred because of their connection to the Spanish flag since many of the people who settled in California migrated from Spain especially because; during Shell’s formative years, California was its central business region. The red colour gives the emblem a colourful look.
The font used specifically for the brand name element typography is the Futura Bold typeface.
The logo symbol represents the pecten shell which also names the brand – shell. The logo portrays excellence and brilliance of Shell in the corporate world. In addition to this, the logo emblem apart from symbolizing the Pectin shell, it also takes the shape of a crown; signifying Shell’s position as a leader in the oil and gas Industry.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
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