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Logo Level-Ups: Popular Brands and the Evolution of Their Logos.

Microsoft. Walmart. Coca-Cola. Do any of these names ring a bell? We thought they would. Now close your eyes and think of these brands… What do you envision? Probably their logos, right?

Regardless of whether these massive companies' logos actually came to mind or not, you can’t deny that they’re recognizable! That’s the power of a great logo. But they didn’t all start off that way. Rarely does a brand of this magnitude knock its logo design and branding out of the park on the first try. That’s why the team at Fox and Forth is talking all about logo level-ups today! Join us as we explore 4 massively popular brands and the evolution of their logos.

The King of Retail.

Without a doubt, Walmart is the most successful chain of stores in the world today. Though the company has seen some stiff challenges as of late from e-commerce platforms, Walmart still reigns supreme across the globe as the go-to supplier for a vast range of products.

The Walmart logo is one that has undergone several different iterations over the years. The first logo that founder Sam Walton used was pretty basic, and not a lot of emphasis was placed on its design. Over the years, the company played around with several different designs, mostly flip-flopping on whether to hyphenate the company name in the logo to read “Wal-Mart,” separate it with an asterisk as in “Wal*Mart,” or push the words together to read “Walmart.” Though all of these designs saw usage over the years, the company eventually settled on the latter in 2008.

The iconic Walmart logo symbolizes the spark, inspiration, and great ideas of Sam Walton, the founder of the company. The Walmart logo has different meanings related to the chosen shape, colour, and font. The shape means that Walmart is environmentally friendly and organic. The colour combination of blue and yellow reflects a commitment to quality and passion. The font used is in lowercase, symbolizing simplicity and implying transparent activity. This logo marks the sixth version of the company’s logo, and it was reportedly designed to make shopping at the store more attractive to higher-income families.

This is an essential lesson for anyone considering rebranding. If you aim to drastically change your company’s image, you will need to get rid of the things people associate with the company’s old branding. No matter how much you change about its mission, function, and marketing, people will have a hard time seeing it as any different if it is still represented by the same logo. At Walmart, executives realized this and chose a fresh, new Walmart logo to represent their company going forward.

The evolution of the Coca-Cola & Walmart logos.

A Pop of Refreshment.

Whoops! Our Canadian is showing. Whether you’re a pop drinker or not, you cannot deny the recognition generated by this next brand. Coca-Cola, the most consumed carbonated soft drink in the world, is also the most popular. Every city, every town and every village knows about the famous American soft drink. It takes time and hard work to build a brand identity. Coca-Cola did not achieve its popularity in a day; it took years of discipline and dedication to build its brand identity. Its iconic logo reflects its rich history and legacy.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Coca-Cola logo is that it does not highlight what the company sells. Yet, consumers from around the world know the Coca-Cola logo and what they sell! The visual identity of Coca-Cola portrays love, passion, purity and humility.

Beginning the trek to the top of the soft drink empire, the 1886 Coca-Cola logo portrayed seriousness, sophistication and class, borderline unrecognizable to the logo we know today. But with 130 years of constant development, this iconic logo transformed into something that's recognized globally. Announced in 2021, the new Coca-Cola logo has been termed “magical” and “genius” by design gurus from all around the world, as the logo appears to be hugging the bottle, symbolizing good times and togetherness, two sentiments that the brand's visual identity has been known for.

The Coca-Cola logo is amongst the world’s most iconic logos. Though the Coca-Cola logo does not reveal what the brand does: the name itself has become synonymous with soft drinks. In many parts of the world, soft drinks mean Coca-Cola! That is the impact of a relevant logo. A memorable logo is one that connects the consumers to the brand from the first time they see it. The Coca-Cola logo is a treat to watch; the design elements are well-balanced and clearly portray the idea of energy, fun and good times. The Coca-Cola logo is seen as a prime example of a minimalistic design by the design community. It is simple, minimal and effective.

Coca-Cola's logo perfectly communicates the brand story through its balanced and eye-catchy design. The iconic logo has been in use since 1887, albeit with a few changes, but remains relevant to this day.

The Coca-Cola emblem represents a whole generation of people who were changing the world with their innovative and disruptive ideas. The logo stands as a testimony to the pioneers of the modern world. So, next time you enjoy the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola, take the time to admire the beauty of its logo!

The Tech Trek.

One as one of the giants of tech, It’s safe to say that without Microsoft, society would not be as advanced as it is today. You may even be reading this on a computer with a Microsoft operating system! Needless to say, Microsoft is just one of the enormous companies that help evolve today’s technology.

Have you ever wondered how Microsoft has retained its successful brand image? Thanks to its rapid development and easily recognizable logo design, of course!

The first logo of Microsoft was developed in 1985 with the debut version of the program. The first emblem featured a stylized image of the window, formed by four blue squares of different sizes and separated by white lines.

In 1992, the brand’s colour palette differed from the previous versions. Microsoft introduced a vibrant logo that retained the window pane idea but turned it into a waving flag with a trail behind it.

Moving on, the Microsoft logo was redesigned entirely in 2001, along with the introduction of Windows XP. The logo omitted the black flag from the flag image, so you can only see the four waving squares with lighter colours.

2012 is the year that Windows took the road towards modernism. With their sleek, simple, and one-colour logo, there’s no doubt that they have successfully achieved the minimalist style. Aside from switching from colourful logos to a blue colour, they replaced the wave shape with a strict and geometric style.

Fast forward to creating the Windows 11 logo in 2020, this is the latest version of the Microsoft logo. This version of the logo still uses the shade of blue from the previous version, but the difference is that the emblem is a drawing in gradient tones, which looks brighter and fresher.

Microsoft started from scratch, like any other tech business logo, and struggled to get its brand known for years. Their branding played a significant role in their success - starting with their iconic logo. If you’re a Windows user, you have probably associated the Microsoft text logo with that boot-up sound when you turn on your PC! Today, we see the universal four-panel, four-colour square everywhere!

The evolution of the Shell and Windows logos.

Fuel the Possibilities.

A logo, if designed effectively, can bring to people’s minds the unique selling proposition of an organization, which inevitably promotes the company subconsciously. What better way to evaluate the effectiveness of logos than to examine how they have evolved in successful and age-old companies?

The Shell gas station brand logo started out in 1900 as a literal inked clamshell drawing but has gradually become a smooth red and yellow stylized shell by 1948.

Colour first appeared with the construction of Shell’s first service stations in California. Not only did red and yellow help Shell stand out, but they’re also the colours of Spain, where many early Californian settlers were born. Perhaps by displaying Spanish colours it was hoped an emotional bond would be created.

In the days before fax machines and the internet, many logos included subtle details that would become blurred at small sizes. From the 1950s onwards, the icon became more and more simplified, improving recognition and memorability.

Since the introduction of colour to the Shell brand, the logo has become so recognizable that in the present day, it appears without the brand name! This focus on the symbol in isolation can be made when combined with a huge marketing budget, think Nike’s swoosh, Mcdonald’s’ golden arches, Starbucks’ mermaid, and Target’s roundel. Such should be the model of a great brand logo!

The Finisher.

If anything can be learned from these brands, it’s that logos are constantly evolving. Whether it’s to keep up with their industry or simply to initiate a change in message, logos in their infancy rarely stay that way, and a good sign of growth within your brand is the need for a change.

Logo Design and Branding Services in Edmonton.

Creating a logo is just a stepping stone towards growing your brand into one of the greats. If you have aspirations to become the next big thing in your industry, Fox and Forth can help get you there! For all logo design and branding services for businesses in the Edmonton area, Fox and Forth is here to help, because we know what it takes to grow!

To learn more, get in touch with our team today.

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