A little logo design history.

Education is an important factor for anyone wanting to improve their knowledge and skills in their field. So it’s no surprise logo design is no different. I’ve currently been working on adding some study time to my daily schedule to learn more about the history and what’s going on in design, branding, and marketing so I can help my clients better. Yes, I did go to school for it, but when I was only studying for a grade, the knowledge quickly got lost in the background. Now that I have a way to apply what I learn, I’m retaining what I learn.

As I learn and discover new things or just relearning the old things, I want to share some of that knowledge with you!

Today, I’m going to cover six famous logos and the designers who created them in hopes to inspire you to start looking into your favorite logos and the history behind them.

NIKE – Carolyn Davidson

Nike Logo

This one might already be known to you, but when it comes to famous logos, this is easily one of the most well-known logos on the face of the planet so I just have to cover it.
The “Swoosh” logo mark was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971. At the time she was a student at Portland State University (I almost went there!).
She was paid $35 for her services, but later was gifted a gold Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond and a nice amount of shares in the company.

APPLE – Rob Janoff

Apple Logo

The original Apple logo was designed by Rob Janoff in 1976. This first iteration that was around until the late 90’s consisted of a rainbow of colors to make the company feel more approachable.
After Steve Jobs came back to the company in 1997, the company decided to give the logo more visual dominance. To do so, they kept the distinguished shape of the logo, but changed to a monochromatic color scheme allowing them to apply the logo to anything and everything.

ABC – Paul Rand

ABC Logo

The simple, yet timeless circle with “abc” logo was designed in 1962 by the prominent Paul Rand. Extremely easy to replicate on digital screens at any size, I don’t really have to tell you how well done this logo is.
It has gone through a few iterations in color and weight of text, but not enough to make a substantial difference, or the logo has reverted back to this original design.

ADOBE – Marva Warnock

Adobe Logo

Adobe was founded in the early 1980’s by Chuck Geschke and John Warnock. John’s wife Marva, a graphic designer, designed the original Adobe logo which was as a full logo type.
Eventually, they whittled it down to just the distinct A set in the red square and using Myriad Bold Condensed for the type under the logo mark.

PBS – Tom Geismar

PBS Logo

Another logo that has been slightly updated through the years, the overall design of the PBS logo hasn’t changed since Tom Geismar designed it in 1984.
The logo before it (1971-1984) designed by Ernie Smith and Herb Lubalin, was the first time the “P face” was introduced to the identity, although facing the other direction.
In Geismar’s design, he flipped the profile and added copies behind it to literally represent the idea of multiple people.

AMAZON – Turner Duckworth

Amazon Logo

To go along with the company’s expansion to sell more than just books, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos hired Turner Duckworth to design a new logo in 2000.

The creative logo carries multiple meanings including shipping products from a to z and and the playful grin you get when you receive one of their packages.

Who is your favorite logo designer or what is your favorite logo?
Let me know in a message below!

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