Companies invest a lot of time and money into their logos. Very few are ever able to achieve a logo that speaks for itself without any need to identify the company’s name. The Nike swoosh is a prime example of a no-name, incredibly successful logo.
It is hard to settle on a logo. What will capture attention? What will people think when they see the logo? These are some of the questions Madison Avenue and their clients have to deal with?
What type of emotion should a logo evoke?
It is interesting to watch the evolution of logos of some of the most successful companies.
Look at the first VW logo. The VW was commissioned by the Nazi regime as a “people’s car”. The 1930s logo is clearly modeled after the Swastika. But even before Germany lost, VW was moving away from its Nazi-commissioned past as it ditched the Swastikaesque surrounding of the VW. It still astounds me that this firm even kept its name after World War II. It has been very good at rebranding. Today, the light blue VW logo is meant to evoke a carefree lifestyle.
Because Kodak, an American company, has been around for so long it has undergone many logo transformations. When can see how the prevailing culture naturally formed the logos. The early 1900s had a very industrial feel to it. This was the time of Standard Oil and Carnegie Steel. Of large factories in Pittsburgh and New York. The black-white, steel-like logo reflects the time. Moving into the 1960s, the edgy look reflects the ear of the Beetles and other 1960s novelties.
Pepsi is an even older company with an even more diverse logo evolution. The four first logos are reminiscent of the advertising writing style at the time. The cap logos of the 1950s and 60s was in keeping with the diner style of the era. The current logo is greatly influenced by the Obama logo:
And, finally, the Anglo-Dutch Shell oil company whose evolution is a naturally progression of the times.