Logo Design History - Famous Brands Glossary

Bacardi logo design

In 1862 Cuban wine merchant Facundo Bacardi, originating from Spain, acquired a distillery in Santiago de Cuba. This facility used the method developed by Bacardi for refining sugar and liquor into a white-colored, mild rum. Because there were a large number of bats living under the roof of the distillery, it was decided that it was appropriate to also show the bats on the brand of its white Bacardi Rum products. It's worth mentioning that fruit bats are a symbol of good luck in Cuba.

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Barenmarke logo design

In 1892 in Berne in Switzerland, the company Alpursa was formed, to create and sell milk of the Bernese Alps. In 1931 the company renamed itself Allgaeuer Alpine Milk. Now, across the world, the label "Barenmarke" is used to market condensed milk which was first manufactured in 1912. The name was maintained as this until recently when it was changed to Nestle, and today the company that makes condensed milk products uses for its inspiration a coat of arms as created by the founder city Berne, in which it carries the bear as its coat of arms animal.




BASF logo

BASF has always promoted themselves as "The Chemical Company." In this logo it uses two inverted square symbols that are designed to represent a key and a lock, which tells the customers that BASF will work with them to solve their problems.

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Bass, Saul (1920-1996) logo designs

This native New Yorker was educated and worked in his home city until 1950, when he moved to California. Two years later, he opened his own studio focusing on advertising films, trailers, posters and logos. He reinvented the movie title as an art form (The Man with a Golden Arm, Psycho, Vertigo, Cape Fear). Paul Rand's use of shape and asymmetrical ballance during the 1940s was an important inspiration for Bass. But while Rand's carefully orchestrated compositions used contrast of shape, color and texture, Bass frequently reduced the graphic design to a single dominant image, usually centered in the space. His mastery of elemental form was applied to corporate identity problems as his firm - Saul Bass & Associates, later renamed Saul Bass/Herb Yeager & Associates - produced iconic and often widely imitated trademarks. Bass believes that a trademark must be readily understood yet possess elements of metaphor and ambiguity that will attract the viewer again and again. Many Bass logo designs have become important cultural icons. His corporate work included the design of highly successful logos for United Airlines, AT&T, Minolta, Bell Telephone System, Quaker, United Way and Warner Communications.




Batman Logo

Batman represents one of the twentieth century's greatest mythic heroes. It started after the success of Superman that Bob Kane and his partner Bill Finger decided to create a hero whose goal was to purge the world of evil in dark, twisted, urban America. The Batman logo also referred to as the Batman Emblem, symbolically brings together all the fundamental attributes that make Batman remarkable. The original version of the logo was a simple black bat against the grey color of the batsuit. Variations of this design have been used since the character's first appearance until 25 years later. In 1964, Detective Comics #327 introduces the Bat-logo as a yellow ellipse behind the insignia against the grey color of the batsuit after Julius Schwartz decided that the symbol with the yellow oval would make Batman look more contemporary. Despite the periodical redesigns, this version remains the most commonly known representation of Batman throughout time. The reason for the yellow emblem is given by the hero himself in the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. Batman states that he wanted to have a yellow mark because it would serve as an easy target and that part of the costume was bullet resistant. By the late 1990s, Batman's suit becomes darker and the yellow ellipse disappears once again. Although the animated series Batman Beyond present a red bat against a black suit, today's Batman cartoons, movies video games and comics removed the yellow ellipse and helped return the character to his dark roots.

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BBC Logo Design

BBC can trace its roots back to the year 1936 when it became the world's first broadcaster of a regular high-definition TV. The first attempt at proper branding dates back to the 1950s when the company started to use idents to distinguish each of their channels. It was Abram Games - famous for creating the logo for The Festival of Britain - who created BBC's first identity, also known as Bat's Wings. The model was replaced by the BBC tv lettering in boxes located within a circle. The late 1963 brought out BBC's famous emblem, the globe. One year later, BBC was launching a second channel. BBC2 was the first channel to broadcast colour pictures in the UK. That coincided with the introduction of the "mirror globe" identity. The TV station promoted its use of colour by including reference to the station identity. This was to function as a reminder to the audience to buy a colour television set. By the 1980's, the channel adopted the futuristic stripy lettering and BBC One's clocks became digital entities. In the year 1985 the new "Computer Originated World", or 'COW' was introduced so the globe went virtual. It wasn't until one year later that BBC2 got a new identity, designed by BBC Senior Designer, Alan Jeapes. In 1988, a new logo designed by Michael Peters began to be used on such BBC products as paper cups, videos, books and stationery. The nineties brought a new approach of BBC's visual identity, as Martin Lambie-Nairn's design company started a highly successful series of identities including the large numerals "1" and "2" for the two BBC channels. Six years later, Lambie-Nairn would also tackle the BBC's corporate logo, to make it look more modern. This change was disapproved by Gerald Kaufman, chairman of the National Heritage Select Committee, saying there could be a more useful way of spending licence-payers' money. The most recent re-launch of the Channel's visual package came in 2007 with a series of idents entitled "Window on the World".




Beall, Lester the Modern Movement logo designer

Lester Beall helped launch the modern movement in American design during the late 1920s and early 1930s. During the last two decades of his career, Beal did pioneering corporate identity programs for many corporations, including Martin Marietta, Connecticut General Life Insurance, and International Paper Company. Beall contributed to the development of the corporate identity manual, a firm's book of guidelines and standards for implementing its program. Beall's manuals specifically prescribed the permissible uses and forbidden abuses of the trademark. If a plant manager in a small town retained a sign painter to paint the logo design on a sign, for example, the corporate design manual specified the exact proportions and placement.




Beck's Corporate Identity

This company has now become the Brewing company (InterBev) originally was owned by Heinrich Beck in 1873. The logo itself depicts a key, which entitles the holder of the beer to be welcome to the City of Bremen. Although there is a folk lore joke that says that this design is interpreted as "Hamburg is the gate to the world - but only Bremen has the key to it."

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Beijing 2008 Olympic Games logo

The official logo of the 2008 Summer Olympics also known as Dancing Beijing was unveiled in August 2003 during a ceremony at Beijing's Temple of Heaven. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games logo is filled with the awesome beauty and power of China and conveys the city's commitment to the world. The emblem was designed by Guo Chunning, the vice-president of the "Beijing Armstrong International Corporate Identity" in the form of a dancing human figure reflecting the invitation of China to the world to partake in its unique cultural quality and elegance. Chunning used the character "Jing" to develop the human form above the words "Beijing 2008" and the Olympic rings. The emblem perfectly depicts the intrinsic values of sports - people oriented and athlete-centered. The curves suggest the body of a wriggly Chinese dragon. The open arms express the sincerity of Beijing and the feelings of hospitable and friendly people. The running figure stands for the magnificence and beauty of life. Red, the intensively used colour in the emblem features a great meaning in Chinese society. The powerful design of the Dancing Beijing logo is a life poem written by all participants with their enthusiasm, affections and passion.




BMW company logo design

The logo used by BMW is representative and derived from the Bavarian engine components that first made up the company structure in 1917. It is also in the Bavarian national colors of black, white and blue. The black ring and the internal and external enclosing rings were used to represent the previous company "Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke (BFW)". BMW resulted from this business. While many think that the propeller was in fact designed to represent a rotary propeller which was developed in 1929, in actuality this interpretation is only promoted for marketing purposes and has no factual basis. The more recent iterations of the BMW logo talk little of the propeller and more about the vehicle itself in an outdoor environment, as is outlined by Publicity and Advertising Manager Wilhelm Farrenkopf in the BMW work magazine in 1942, where he talked about the shining disk, shades of the engines, two silver divides and bright blue gleams that represent the sky.

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Bosch corporate logo design

This company's logo was designed in 1918 by the then companies Technical Director, Robert Bosch. It was designed to depict a magnetic ignition key.

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Bugatti Corporate Logo

Milan-born Ettore Bugatti worked for other companies like Mathis and Deutz before he decided to open his own car company in France (Strasbourg). Looking back in Bugatti’s history, the earlier cards were called “types.” One Bugatti creation was the Type 30 made with 8 cylinders. That was in 1922. Two years later, the type 35 came out which were developed into two versions: 35A and 35B. The sports models followed (four-cylinder type 40 and eight-cylinder type 45), as well as the Royales. The Bugatti cars are best described as exclusive and fast, but the Bugatti brand was in peril when the Second World War broke out. Ettore’s son, Jean, also died, fuelling the financial troubles of the family. It made its last car in the 1950s before Volkswagen Group took over and turned the company into an airplane parts manufacturer. Ettore Bugatti’s father was an artist and jewellery designer so this artistic bent was reflected in the way the cars were made and in their corporate logo. Engine blocks were said to be “scraped” so no gasket was required; the safety wires looked like lace patterns. This probably explains the red dots in the Bugatti logo. Or did the older Bugatti see his son’s cars as fine jewel pieces? The small dots that surround the Bugatti name are in stark contrast with the solid white letters with two strong background colours: black and red. In fact the Bugatti company said that the combination of elegance and technology are reflected in the oval frame dotted with 60 small pearls and the stylised initials of Ettore Bugatti. Bugatti cars were winners on the race tracks of the world. One model, type 35, had more than 2,000 victories. The Bugatti cars hugged the limelight for five consecutive years (1925-1930) in the Targa Florio, but the most glorious win was in the Le Mans race where drivers Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron stole the race with the little they had. The totality of Bugatti brands were incorporated into the Bugatti the EB 16.4 Veyron Pur Sang introduced in 2005 where the car’s carbon body and aluminum stand out. But the corporate logo design is supposed to convey the message that Bugatti goes beyond engineering and technology, it speaks of the automotive pioneering spirit with eloquence.




Burger King Corporate Logo

The Burger King Company was established by David Edgerton and James McLamore who launched their first restaurant called Insta Burger King on December 4, 1954 in Miami, Florida, USA. During 1989, it was re-branded as Burger King and became internationally known. The original BK corporate logo also referred to as the "Bun Halves" was established in 1969 and lasted till early 1990s. It was a simple logo having the name "Burger King" in red letters sandwiched between two bun halves. In 1994, Burger King modernized its first logo by using a smoother font with rounded edges. By 1999, the company again updated the logo that is a stylized version of the "bun halves" logo. The new logo featuring a blue swirl gives the Burger King logo a circular appearance making it look more contemporary.

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COMMENTS (6)   |   JUMP TO MOST RECENT COMMENT >>
BASF is also the shortcut of the companie's name:
Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik
Ginfizz
19.08.2008 at 08:08
I love the modern font used in the new Burger King logo, very modern!
Dennison Uy
5.09.2008 at 03:09
Re: BMW

The blue/white "propeller" within the BMW [Bayerishe Motoren Werke] is not necessarily a representation of the company's past [aircraft engine production] but is actually a close-up representation of the Bavarian ["Bayern" in German] state flag, which was similar to a checkerboard motif.
Sko
13.01.2009 at 10:01
The "new" BK logo is trying to hard to be modern. It's modern because it is saying its modern. It is a trendy logo. They will go back to the old logo soon. It fits with their corky ad campaigns and represents the brand better. It's all about the burger. Not a round blue...thing.
phh
22.02.2009 at 04:02
The 2008 Olympics logo was the one that i liked. Because of the two people passing the torch. To me it shows that the countries are passing the touch among each other. Setting a scenario were there will peace between all the countries in the world while this event takes place.
Guy Galy
6.10.2009 at 12:10
I loved finding out the true origin of the BWM Logo. I had always thought it was the propeller. I also love the Beijing Logos because they bring together the Asian culture and the Olympic culture.
Steven
6.10.2009 at 02:10

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