Old Logos and New from Top Brands, What Can You Learn?

Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

A company needs a recognizable logo. It needs it to be a consistent visual interpretation of the brand. But that doesn’t mean staying the same. Iconic brands usually go through several major updates over the decades.

Old Logos Get New Looks

Whether you create a brand new logo or update an existing one, check out some inspiration from iconic brands, including their original and current logos.


old logos

old logos

Coca-Cola always used an intricate script. But look at this original logo created way back in the 1890’s It includes the words “trade mark.” You won’t find that today.


Old Logos

Old Logos

Google’s logo may get the most attention for its special doodles on holidays and noteworthy occasions. But the basic one has also evolved through the years. The original is very reminiscent of the early internet days, while the new one is simple yet consistent with the company’s brand history.


old Logos

old logos

IBM has been known mainly by those initials for decades. But the original logo calls attention to the longer name of International Business Machines.


Company Branding

Nike’s “swoosh” is one of the most recognizable logos out there. It was actually designed by one of the founder’s students and is meant to convey a sense of motion. Today, the swoosh is mainly shown on its own, but sometimes includes the Nike title.


Company Branding -- Original Logos and New

The shape of Apple’s logo actually hasn’t changed since its creation. But the company did adopt a more basic black and white color scheme to go along with its simple and modern image. Steve Jobs said that the original design was inspired by his childhood.


Company Branding

Pepsi originally designed its globe logo during World War II. The red, white and blue design appeared on bottle caps and was meant as a show of patriotism.


Company Branding

Originally the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, 3M incorporated its full name and location into its original logo back in 1902. Since then, the company has shortened its name and gone with a more simple and modern look.


Company Branding

Created in the mid-1990’s, eBay’s original logo with a unique and attention grabbing mix of letters and colors. The new logo is very similar, but uses a toned down font with less variation.


Company Branding

FedEx started as Federal Express. The company had a fairly standard type logo that included the full name. But through the years, people naturally shortened the name. So the current logo simply includes the popularly used FedEx name. It’s also notable for including an arrow in the white space between the E and x to signify forward movement.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

The iconic golden arches have been with McDonald’s since almost the beginning. The fonts and exact designs have changed a few times through the years, with the most recent incarnation opting for a very simple look.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

The original Disney logo was very simple. After this initial design, the logos began incorporating the company’s signature character, Mickey Mouse. But the looping font used in the W and D are nearly as recognizable.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

Walmart’s original logo was known as the “frontier logo” due to the country style of the font. It has gone through several incarnations since, with the latest updating the color scheme and adding lower case letters to make the store seem more approachable.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

The globally recognized credit card company’s original logo includes blue and yellow stripes. The blue was meant to resemble the sky, with the yellow representing the golden hills of California. The company has since simplified the logo, but those stripes still remain in some instances.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

The original Amazon logo was meant to resemble the letter A with a river flowing through it, to resemble the Amazon River. The company has since gone with the globally recognized smile.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

Designed in the mid-1970’s Microsoft’s original design appears very retro today. The current logo, which includes four different colored tiles, has been in action since 2012.


Company Branding -- Old Logos and New

Gap’s logo has always been fairly simple. However, the company changed its brand from “The Gap” several years back. And the caps version is meant to be more modern and professional as well.


Company Logo -- Old and New

In 1902, Ford Motor Company’s original logo possessed a very old fashioned logo. It proved indicative of the intricate designs of the early 20th century. The company eventually replaced this with an oval design. It serves as the Ford logo to this day.


Company Branding -- Old and New

NASA’s former emblem was much simpler than the one that’s widely used today. Because the type is nearly continuous, it was nicknamed “the worm.”


Company Branding -- Old and New

Starbucks’ emblem included a siren from the beginning. However, the original version possessed much more intricate design. The company streamlined the design through the years. It even removed the actual Starbucks title in the most recent incarnation.


Company Branding -- Logos

Since the beginning, Target used the bulls eye symbol. It plays on the company’s name. The original seems retro by today’s standards. But the company streamlined the design through the years.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.

2 Reactions
  1. The standards for design evolve so your logo should also evolve with it.

  2. Hello Annie,

    You really did amazing job in gathering this information. I never thought of them.

    Looking at these designs, I think the ones I love most include but not limited to Nike, Coca Cola, Apple and Amazon. The rest are awesome too.

    Thanks for this amazing contribution.