Famous Logos Part IX: Nintendo

任 (Nin) 天 (ten) 堂 (dō)

Everybody knows Super Mario and Wii, but did you know, that the first game from Nintendo was a set of playing cards?

From the beginning and before expanding out of Japan, the first logo in Kanji (the Japanese writing system) was the three characters ‘任天堂’ spelled as 任 (Nin) 天 (ten) 堂 (dō). Though still debatable, this phrase is commonly interpreted as “Leave fate/luck to heaven.”

Kanji

To this day, this original phrase in Kanji hieroglyphics is used in Japan as the official company name. The name appears on Nintendo’s products for the Japanese markets, although most marketing and communication efforts prominently feature the racetrack logo.

Nintendo Playing Cards Co.

The second brand name contained the English word “NINTENDO PLAYING CARD CO” and the pike symbol. It was the first official logo for the international markets used a flowing script font for the name “Nintendo.”

The third emblem is the word “Nintendo” in calligraphic script with a small star instead of a dot above the “i.”

Visual positivity

The Nintendo logo has undergone at least a dozen significant changes, although many of these happened in the 1960s before the company finally found an identity it could settle on. This is not including color scheme changes, which can be difficult to track, given the wide range of colors the brand has experimented with.

As the company tried to find a happy medium for the local and international markets, the designers tried out at least four different fonts, each one different from the previous. It also appears that the company did not favor any particular color scheme, given the random color choices the designers experimented with.

The period of red triangle

Although the brand seemed to have finally settled on a typeface for the logo, the experimentation was still far from over. In 1968, the designers enclosed the wordmark in a hexagon shape of the same color. This enclosure was dropped in 1970 in favor of the familiar rounded square. This version with hieroglyphs was used for only two years.

In 1975, the company decided to drop the rounded square “racetrack” and switched from red to black. This change would last eight years before the company finally went back to the racetrack enclosure, which was made a little bit thicker this time. Interestingly, the racetrack frame is actually the same thickness as the letters, making it an overall well-thought-out look.

1970s – Signs of clearity

1977 Nintendo decided to change it again, the logo was turned white and added a red rectangle frame.

This logo was only used during Shoshinkai 1995 when the console was first introduced to the public.

Black, red and gray

Over the years, the company switched between the color schemes red, black, and grey. The most recent iteration features a red rectangular background, with the letters and racetrack all in white.

A small trademark ® symbol was introduced at the end of the wordmark in 1983. Alongside the font, the racetrack enclosing has become the signature element of the company’s brand style.

In 2016, the company went back to the red and white combination from 1975, except that the colors were reversed. A number of designers have speculated that the color change had to do with the brand’s presentation of their latest product, the Nintendo Switch.

“I like when the plan comes together”

A large part of the company’s success rests on its use of a simple and intelligent design for the logo. Using a straightforward and consistent symbol helps Nintendo remain recognizable and consequently enhances customer loyalty.

Nintendo Symbol: The modern logo is technically neither an image nor a symbol but a wordmark.

The design is quite simple but still striking. The company retains the racetrack enclosure, this time in white, with a red rectangular background. This iteration communicates the company’s chief focus, gaming, instead of serving as a distraction to users.

Switch and Wii

Nintendo Color: Between 2006 and 2016, the company had used a singular grey color scheme, which was yet another switch from the previous red.

In 2016, the company went back to the red and white combination from 1975, except that the colors were reversed. A number of designers have speculated that the color change had to do with the brand’s presentation of their latest product, the Nintendo Switch.

Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola

The product, which came out of a need to relieve morphine addiction, is commonly known as Coca-Cola – this is the J.S. Pemberton story.

Pemberton’s French Wine Cola

The product that has given the world its best-known taste was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca-Cola, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced “excellent” and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once “Delicious and Refreshing,” a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed.

Pemberton suffered from a sabre wound sustained in April 1865, during the Battle of Columbus; his ensuing morphine addiction led him to experiment with various painkillers and toxins. The final versions he added coca and coca wines, eventually creating a recipe that contained extracts of kola nut and damiana, which he called Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.

Thinking that “the two Cs would look well in advertising,” Dr. Pemberton’s partner and bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, suggested the name and penned the now famous trademark “Coca-Cola” in his unique script. The first newspaper ad for Coca-Cola soon appeared in The Atlanta Journal, inviting thirsty citizens to try “the new and popular soda fountain drink.” Hand-painted oilcloth signs reading “Coca-Cola” appeared on store awnings, with the suggestion “Drink” added to inform passers-by that the new beverage was for soda fountain refreshment. During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine drinks per day.

Asa Griggs Candler

Dr. Pemberton never realized the potential of the beverage he created. He gradually sold portions of his business to various partners and, just prior to his death in 1888, sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa Griggs Candler. An Atlantan with great business acumen, Mr. Candler proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire complete control of the product.

On January 31, 1893, the logo was trademarked with the U.S. Patent Office. The words “Trade mark” are written in the tail of the “C” in Coca.

1890-1891 – Coca-Cola logo got some extra swirls. For one year only, the Coke logo gets a dramatic, swirly makeover. 

1941-1960s – The words ‘Trademark Registered’ move out of the tail of the ‘C’. The trademark is noted below the logo, instead of inside it.

Since 1947, the Red Disc or “button” sign has been used to advertise Coca-Cola. The strong graphic image of the disc shape became a cornerstone for outdoor signage. In 1948, the discs began to be hung inside places of business as advertising and decoration.

1969 – That white wave. The Arden Square logo is unveiled. In a red box, the Coca-Cola script is underlined with a white ‘wave’, or ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’. This is still used today. 

What lessons can we take from Coca-Cola’s original, innovative and simplistic design? Seriously, if you ever need inspiration for your logo, you can surely find it here.

Lead with colour. Coca-Cola and red are synonymous. The company goes all-in when it comes to pushing its brand colours into its products and marketing – and it works. Use colour psychology to find a primary hue that fits your brand to “stimulate the appetite” of your own consumers.

Consider custom fonts. The Coca-Cola logo is particularly impressive because of the way the font clearly matches the personality and identity of its brand. That’s because it’s completely custom. As you develop your brand, get creative with how you can use or reimagine fonts, letters and shapes that aren’t off-the-shelf to make your brand truly unique.

Read also:
Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard
Famous logos: Part VI – Nike
Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups

Sources:
The Coca-Cola Company – The Birth of a Refreshing Idea
The Coca-Cola Company – More then 125 years of advertising
The Coca-Cola Company Australia – Trace the 130-year Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo
99 Designs – Top 10 of the world’s most famous logos and what you can learn from them

Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups

This is a story of Enric Bernat, the Catalan football lover who placed bonbon on a stick – the rest is history.

Sviiter Blog: Famous Logos Part VII - Cupa Chups - Enric Bernat
Enric Bernat

Bonbon on a stick!

The Catalan lollipop made its first appearance in 1958, when the company founder Enric Bernat hatched the idea of placing a bonbon on a stick. He called the product “GOL,” imagining the candy as a soccer ball and the open mouth a net. It didn’t go over well. So Bernat hired an ad agency that renamed his product “Chupa Chups” (from the Spanish chupar, meaning “to suck”). All that was left was the branding. In 1969, Bernat complained about what he had while having coffee with his artist friend – none other than Salvador Dalí.

Acutely aware of presentation, Dalí insisted that his design be placed on top of the lolly, rather than the side, so that it could always be viewed intact. It proved to be one of the most enduring pieces of branding ever and one that’s still used today, four billion sales later. In 1990s, Chupa Chups reached to 164 countries around the world, meaning you’ll find the iconic lollipop almost everywhere!

Its first marketing campaign was the logo with the slogan “És rodó i dura molt, Chupa Chups,” which translates from Catalan as the rather uninspiring, “It’s round and long-lasting.” In the 1980s, an anti-smoking slogan “Smoke Chupa Chups” was tried to attract further adult consumers. The company’s current anti-smoking slogan is “Stop smoking, start sucking,” with certain packaging designed as a parody to cigarette packs. Some packages parody the mandatory black and white warning labels of the European Union with the notice “Sucking does not kill.” Later, celebrities like Madonna were hired to advertise the product.

Chupa Chups is now owned by the Italian-Dutch multinational Perfetti Van Melle(the corporation also owns brands such as MentosSmint and Fruitella).

Fun Fact 

Lucky number 7… Strawberry, orange, lemon, strawberry & cream, chocolate & vanilla, coffee & cream and mint were first 7 flavours launched. (Strawberry and strawberry & cream are still the best selling today!)

Read also:
Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard
Famous logos: Part VI – Nike
Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola

Sources:
Chupa Chups – Our Story
Logo Design Love – Salvador Dali’s Chupa Chups logo
Fast Company – Salvador Dalí’s Real Masterpiece: The Logo For Chupa Chups Lollipops

Famous logos: Part VI – NIKE

Nike, the world’s most influential sports and leisurewear manufacturer, got started thanks to a coincidence, got their name from a dream and their logo…

Blue Ribbon Sports

Nike got its start in January 1964 when Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight created the company Blue Ribbon Sports. They sold mostly Onitsuka Tiger brand sneakers from Japan, which are now sold under the brand Asics. Their cooperation didn’t work so Phil started looking for a new opportunity to continue his business. He had heard of a quality footwear factory in Guadalajara, Mexico and decided to try it out.

Blue Ribbon Sports – Tiger Shoes

The name Nike has been in use since 1978 and the brand was valued at 15.5 billion dollars in 2012. Their iconic slogan “Just Do It” and the original Swoosh logo are valued at 10 billion dollars, making them the world’s most valuable brand in sports today. They have more than 44,000 employees around the world. They claim that the “Just Do It” slogan originates from the words of a murderer who shouted that famous phrase as his last words.

Bill Bowerman

The Nike Swoosh logo symbolizes the outstretched wing of the Greek Goddess of Victory. At first, the logo was called the Stripe but the Swoosh was debuted in 1972 and trademarked in 1995, making it part of the identity of the Nike Corporation.

The logo’s author was Carolyn Davidson from Oregon. In 1971, she was studying advertising at Portland State University and earned 35 dollars for her work on the logo – a sum that would nowadays be valued at around 200 dollars. She also taught accounting and did smaller freelance design work for Nike until 1976 when the company turned its advertising needs over to the creative agency John Brown and Partners. In September of 1983, about three years after Davidson and Nike parted ways, Phil Knight invited her to lunch.

To thank Carolyn, Phil gave her a diamond ring with the Swoosh logo that she had created and an envelope containing five hundred shares of the Nike stock.

33 brands and counting

Nike’s parent company owns many brands – 33 different ones to date – all of which are surely well known enough to be deserving of their own stories… – Nike INC., NikeIDAir ForceAir JordanAir Jordan XIINike Air MaxAir Melo LineNike Air YeezyChuck Taylor All-StarsNike ConsideredConverseNike FreeTinker HatfieldHurley InternationalHyperAdapt 1.0Jordan Spiz’ikeJumpmanNike Mercurial VaporNike Multi-TurfNike BlazersNike CachañaNike CTR360 MaestriNike HypervenomNike OrdemNike ShoxNike TiempoNike+Nike+ FuelBandNike SkateboardingSwooshNike TerminatorNike Total 90Nike Vision.

Nike Logo Evolution

Until 1995, the font used for the logo was Futura Bold in capitol letters and that typeface is sometimes used to this day. The idea for the name “Nike” came to Phil Bowerman’s first employee Jeff Johnston and it represents the ancient Greek Goddess of Victory. 

Fun Fact: Nike adopted the Swoosh logo on May 30, 1971 and that is also the birthday of Sviiter’s founder and AD Erkki who is a big admirer of Nike products.

Read also

Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard
Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups
Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola

Sources

Famous logos – Nike Logo
Business Insider – 11 Things Hardly Anyone Knows About Nike
Oregon Online – Creator of Nike’s famed Swoosh remembers its conception 40 years later
Bill Bowerman
Phil Knight

Tuntud logod: Osa IV – AT&T

AT&T on 1889. aastal loodud Ameerika telefoni- ja telegraafiteenuse ettevõtte, mille logo peegeldab ettevõtte ajaloos toimunud arenguid.

Ameerika telefoni- ja telegraafiteenusega alustanud ettevõtte lõi 1889. aastal legendaarne Alexander Graham Bell isiklikult, kelle nimest tingituna sai kella kujutise ka ettevõtte logo, mis erinevates variatsioonides oli kasutusel kuni 1983. aastani. 

A.G. Bell

Ettevõte on oma logo täiendanud vastavalt IKT valdkonna arenemisele ning teenuste laienemisele. Algne, aastatel 1889-1900, kasutusel olnud kellalogo kajastas endas eelkõige viidet kaugekõne teenusele (Long distance telephone). Aastate 1900-1921 versioonil on näha täiendustena juba ka kohalike kõnede ning kõnesüsteemide viide (Local and Bell system).

In 1921 the logo was supplemented with the company’s updated name – American Telephone and Telegraph Co, which also was an in1921. aastal lisati logole ka uuenenud ettevõtte nimetus American Telephone & Telegraph Co, mis viitas samuti ettevõtte järjest laienevale haardele. Muud täiendused olid minimaalsed kuni 1964. aastani, mil ettevõtte nimetusest jäi järele lühend AT&T, millele lisati viide ühendatud tütarettevõtetele (Associated Companies). Lisaks muudeti fonti ning üldist väljanägemist, värvina toodi esmakordselt sisse helesinine, mis tähistas digitaalsete teenuste kasutuselevõttu.

Gloobus

Aastal 1983 võeti ette suurem muudatus, mille lõppversiooni autoriks loetakse Saul Bassi. Varasemalt sümboliks olnud kell eemaldati ning asendati triibutatud gloobusega, mis kuvab endas pidevat liikumist ja arengut. 

Sellest ajast saadik on gloobuse ülesehitus püsinud küllaltki sarnasena, v.a 1999. aastal eemaldatud mõningad valged jooned. 2005. aastal sai gloobus 3D efekti ning kirjatüüpi ühendati andes sellele puhtam ning tagasihoidlikum joon. Logo põhirõhk on jäänud endiselt ikoonile ning seda kasutatakse erinevates situatsioonides ka eraldiseisvalt. 

21. novembril 2005 ühendati SBC Communications ja AT&T, mille tulemusena sai väiksed muudatused nii gloobus kui ka kirjatüüp. 2. detsembril 2015 avalikustas peale kümne aastast pausi AT&T oma logost uue sinivalge versiooni ning suurtähtedega nimetuse.

Logo is one of the most important parts of branding, one that grows

Logo on brändingu üks olulisemaid osi, mis kasvab koos ettevõttega. Logoversioone eraldi vaadates võib tunduda, justkui oleks nad omavahel kohati liialt sarnased, kuid miks siis muuta?

Logo täiendamine näitab ettevõtte arengut, areneb bränding tervikuna, arenevad reklaamide ning sotsiaalmeedias kommunikeerimise võimalused. Ettevõtte nägu on tervik, see pole ainult logo, see on visuaal, kultuur, teenused, väärtused ning palju muud.

Fun fact: Alexander Graham Bell saatis esimesed sõnad enda loodud akustilise telegrammiga oma assistendile:  “Mr. Watson, tule siia, ma sooviksin sind näha”.

Loe ka varasemaid sama seeria postitusi:
Tuntud logod: Osa 1: Shell
Tuntud logod: Osa 2: Audi
Tuntud logod: Osa 3: Starbucks
Tuntud logod: Osa 5: Mastercard
Tuntud logod: Osa 6: Nike
Tuntud logod: Osa 7 – Chupa Chups
Tuntud logod: Osa 8 – Coca-Cola
Tuntud logod: Osa 9 – Nintendo

Allikad:
AT&T Corporate – att.com
Wikia – AT&T Evolution
Science kids – Alexander Graham Bell Quotes
Brand New – Around the Globe in 33 years

Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard

MasterCard is a technology company established in 1966 that is active on the market of global payments. They develop credit card solutions and possibilities, mediate payments between banks and between buyers and sellers of goods and services. They manage the world’s fastest money exchange network and are active in over 210 countries.

On July 14th, 2016, MasterCard announced their new product Masterpass and with it their new identity was made public, which makes it their first major update in the last two decades. The new identity was created by the New York based agency Pentagram, led by Michael Bierut and Luke Hayman and their teams. 

MasterCard has never rushed into changing their visual language. Instead, their earlier changes have all been due to external changes as well – for example, in 1968 Interbank merged with MasterCard, a common name was adopted later. Even in 1996 when the logo’s text part (Helvetica Italic) was complemented with shading (Drop Shadow), since it made the credit card logo easier to read in the sun.

Although the general public reacted to the new identity with disdain, they did soon notice that something had been created that kept in line with the joined circles concept that had worked well so far and improved the usage of the logo compared to the earlier one.

The joined and partly overlapping circles were first introduced in 1990, when the company was looking to cut costs on printing ink. Now that the internet and the digital world have taken on such a big and important part of our lives, it also seemed appropriate to update the logo.

The new logo is a back to basics solution, taking back the tricolour solution and the rounder typeface. Instead of the italic Helvetica used so far, the font FF Mark was used and only in small letters on the logo, to emphasise the rounder shapes. 

The colour update was mostly about finding the right colours. Since the goal was to not change the red and dark yellow that the consumers love, they decided to change the transparent or overlapping part in the centre of the icon. While initially in 1979 the overlap was a darker shade, then for the new version the company wanted something more cheerful. The choice was orange, which emphasises the symbol’s sunny energy and clean lines, while the red and yellow overlapping still expresses transparency, trustworthiness, flexibility and innovation. The new colour palette also supports warm and cold greys that nicely bring out the logo, while they also have a natural touch. Orange has become the new main tone, tying together the earlier choices of red and yellow.

At first sight, the new version can seem like a play version. Something that you wouldn’t think is the symbol for a major corporation. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that MasterCard isn’t so much a corporate brand, but rather a company that is geared towards the everyday consumer.  


The initial task of the symbol development was to have the logo be suitable for use on various advertising materials in print as well as online. According to Bierut, there are more than 2,3 billion credit cards in circulation around the world, which makes the MasterCard two-circle icon one of the most recognised global symbols. For the first time in history, they decided to remove the text from the circles and use them separately, if needed. It was a bold move, but it also gave them the opportunity to emphasise the circle symbols that had already been rooted in practice. 

The new identity is more flexible and distinguishable compared to other service providers (VisaAmerican ExpressDiscover and others). However, in advertisement and applications, it can remain discrete, as was described in the initial task of developing the logo. The symbols have to be recognisable, while still being able to work well together with the companies that are service providers for the end user. MasterCard is like a quality seal that gives the card carrier the necessary sense of security in their everyday money matters. 

Sources:
Under consideration: Brand New – New logo and identity for MasterCard
MasterCard Brand Center – Brand Mark Evolution
Pentagram – Mastercard
Fast CoDesign – MasterCard Gets Its First New Logo In 20 Years

Read also:

Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part VI – Nike
Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups
Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola

Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks

Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, United States, and it is known for its frequent brand renewal.

Starbucks got its name from the first mate in the novel Moby Dick. However, the founders initially had another name in mind – they wanted to call it Pequod, after Captain Ahab’s whaling ship. Can you imagine the best coffee shop in the world with a fishing boat on its logo?

The beginning

The café that started at the Seattle port, the company searched for its roots along the Seattle port and its shipping routes. The search eventually led to the novel Moby Dick, and at some point a two-tailed mermaid or siren seemed like the only way to go. “There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for,” reads the explanation on the Starbucks website. 

The Starbucks logo was developed in cooperation with the advertising agency Lippincott over four decades. Starbucks wanted each new logo to equally express the past as well as the future, giving them the possibility to support their current products as well as future ones, while also being ready to look further on down the line. 

Today Starbucks can be found in over 55 countries around the world, so you can just imagine the responsibility that comes with designing a brand that would be acceptable to people around the world. 

Early days

In 1971 Starbucks started selling coffee beans at the historic Pike Place Market. 
In 1986 Howard Schultz tried to persuade Starbucks to include espresso drinks in their menu. Starbucks turned down the idea and Schultz founded his own company Il Giornale, whose logo colours can be considered as the starting point for the green-white-black combination that we now know in the Starbucks logo. 

In 1987 the owners of Starbucks decided to sell their company and Schultz seized the opportunity. He acquired Starbucks for 3.8 million dollars and fashioned after his own image that he had started to cultivate with Il Giornale. In addition to joining the two companies, the range of products expanded and the name was changed. Instead of the former Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices, the name was shortened to a simpler and more concrete Starbucks Coffee. 

The logo change in 1992 mostly concerned the Siren and the colour scheme. The contours of the Siren were simplified and the logo was situated in the middle of the circle so its contours were visible only waist up. 

In 2008 Starbucks decided to take a step towards the future by restoring the original logo from 1971, hoping to fit in better with the growing popularity of hipster culture. Rebranding was a failure both in terms of design as well as publicity. 

In 2011 Starbucks introduced yet another version of their identity with a return to the classics and the green that had been successful. The outer edge of the logo was removed, as well as the Starbucks name. It was a bold move, especially considering the failed logo renewal from a few years back. The new logo focused on the Starbucks siren, the green colour and logo placement on the products. The logo is never in the centre of the packaging, and often times it is also left partly overhanging.

Today

Starbucks isn’t just a place for coffee – their teas, drinks, ice cream, fresh food, etc., has turned the company into a multibillion-dollar empire. 


Starbucks is a great example of how traditions can be kept while keeping apace with the times. The green colour and their siren have stood the test of time. The symbol shines on in their business philosophy, their cafes, on their website, etc. You might think that making a logo a primary colour would limit its usage, but that’s not the case. Starbucks proves that their one and only green colour can successfully work in combination with different colours, graphics and solutions. 

Sources: 

Brand Stories: The Evolution of Starbucks
Logo Design Love – Starbucks logo Evolution
Starbucks – Who is the Siren?

Read also

Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard
Famous logos: Part VI – Nike
Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups
Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola

Famous logos: Part II – Audi

Audi’s four-circle logo is one of the oldest brands in Germany that is still in use today. It symbolizes the 1932 merger of Audi, DKV, Horch and Wanderer.

Horch

At the beginning of the 19th century, there were several carmakers in Germany and one of them was August Horch, founded in Cologne on November 14th, 1899. August Horch is considered to be one of the great developers of the automotive industry. He worked for Karl Benz for three years before establishing his own company to which he gave his own name – Horch.

Wanderer

July 16th, 1909, is the date when August Horch created the automotive manufacturing company Audi. Since he had already given his own name to his previous company, he needed something new and the name he chose was Audi. Nevertheless, the name was the translation of his own name into Latin (‘listen’ in Latin). Audi Automobilwerke GmbH started operations in the town of Zwickau on the 25th of April, 1910. 

Wanderer

In 1885 Johann Baptist Winklhofer and Richard Adolf Jaenicke started a bike repair shop in the city of Chemnitz. A few years later in 1896, they also went into production under the name Wanderer Fahrradwerke AG. In 1902, the company built their first motorcycle and by 1913 the first car was completed. It was a small, two-seater called Puppchen that put Wanderer on the map as a car manufacturer. 

DKW

The company was initially named Rasmussen & Ernst and founded in 1904, also in Chemnitz. However, in 1907 it moved to the Erzgebirge region. At first the company produced mufflers, fenders and lighting solutions for various motor vehicles. 

DKW founder Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen started experimenting with his own steam engine powered vehicle in 1916, when he registered the brand DKW and called his company Zschopauer Motorenwerke. Success came at the end of the 1920s, when the first DKW motorcycle was launched on the market.

Auto Union AG, Chemnitz

On June 29th, 1932, Audiwerke, including Horch, merged with DKW and also entered into an agreement with Wanderer to take over their automobile department. The merger made Auto Unionist the second largest automobile manufacturer in Germany. The logo of the company, four circles joined together, symbolised the unending unity of the four merged companies. Each former company became responsible for a section of the new united company – DKW was responsible for motorcycles and small cars, Wanderer for medium sized cars, Audi for the medium sized luxury cars, and Horch for the high quality and high-end luxury cars. The following times were complicated in Europe, which meant that production was also overseen by the Soviet authorities. In 1949 production moved to Ingolstadt and the manufacturing of two-cycle motorcycles, automobiles and utility vehicles continued. In 1965 the company came out with the first vehicle with a four-cycle motor, which also made it their first model after WWII. The same year, the company became part of the Volkswagen Group. 

NSU Motorenwerke 

was founded in 1873 and initially manufactured sewing machines. However, by 1886 they changed directions to manufacturing bicycles and in 1901 began making motorcycles. This fast development gave the company a major boost and a year before joining the Auto Union, they were also planning automobile manufacturing.

AUDI AG

In 1977 the last production rolled off the NSU line and from that point on, all members of the union only made cars that carried the Audi brand, which was given its final name and visual expression in 1985. From that time on, they used simply the name Audi. However, the historic and original four intertwined circles have remained to this day. 

Read also:
Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard
Famous logos: Part VI – Nike
Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups
Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola

Famous logos: Part I – Shell

The famous logos section of the Sviiter blog will take you on a trip back in time. We’ll take a look at how famous logos were developed over the past decade, but at times we’ll go back as far as a century. We’ll try and understand why and how the brand language of well-known companies got started and who or what was behind their development. The main character of our first instalment is Shell.

Shell is a company founded in 1907 with roots both in the Netherlands and the UK. Its first and full name of the Royal Dutch Shell plc. was a combination of the companies Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Transport & Trading. As far as we know, today it is one of the four oldest companies in the world.

The name of the company came about much earlier, when Marcus Samuel, the father of the founder of Shell Transport & Trading, established a transport company in 1891 to supply London’s retailers with seashells. Soon young Marcus Samuelnoticed the export potential of lamp oil (kerosene) and had the first oil tanker built. It was called Murex, which in Latin means ‘shell’. 

The Shell logo is one of the most recognised in the world. Raymond Loewy created the first version of the logo in 1971 and based it on a large scallop shell. Other legendary Loewy designs include logos for giants such as ExxonTWAUS PostSPAR and previous versions of the BP logo. At the same time, he is better known for his product design work, for example, interiors for Boeing and NASA, motorcycle parts for Harley Davidson, and even packaging for Lucky Striketobacco. His clients at one time or another included other major companies such as Coca-ColaAir FranceElectroluxLincoln, and many others.

The first Shell logos were created at the beginning of the 1900s, when at first the shell itself was laying flat on the ground. However, in 1904 during the design process the shell was turned upright, which made it an easier image to portray and also gave a clearer view of the object. The initially black and white logo was changed to a colourful one in 1948, when the cleaner lines that had been used in the meantime were abandoned and a coloured version of the 1909 logo was adopted. Yellow and red were chosen to be the Shell colours because of the main Shell location and market – California, home to a large Spanish community. 

By 1955, the logo’s visual language became much clearer and the company name was moved to a better position. In 1961 a red frame was added to soften the harshness of the logo.

1971 saw the complete overhaul of the Shell logo by the same designer Raymond Loewy. Since then the Shell logo has remained nearly unchanged, which shows Loewy’s unique capacity to create value that stands the test of time. 

Read also:
Famous logos: Part I – Shell
Famous logos: Part II – Audi
Famous logos: Part III – Starbucks
Famous logos: Part IV – AT&T
Famous logos: Part V – MasterCard
Famous logos: Part VI – Nike
Famous logos: Part VII – Chupa Chups
Famous logos: Part VIII – Coca-Cola
Famous logos: Part XI – Nintendo