The History & Evolution of Logos | Designhill
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the history & evolution of

Logo design


the history & evolution of

Logo design


the history & evolution of

Logo design


the history & evolution of

Logo design


old pencil

raphic symbols and elements that we witness around us today are conclusive answers from numerous graphic techniques studied and implemented in the last two centuries. From floral and artsy to minimalist and flat, the history and evolution of logo design techniques have shaped our present understanding of shapes and symbols. Once you go through this interactive microsite, you will realize the importance of logos in everyday life and how they have evolved over the last two centuries. Do you find Apple’s logo history mesmerizing? Or Starbucks logo mysterious? These famous logos mark important milestones in the history and evolution of logo, a philosophy of design that have long helped us recite a thousand words of speech through one single symbol.

1837 – 1901

Victorian Era

Early Attempt of Symbolism

During the Victorian Era, the reign of Queen Victoria brought forward numerous artists and graphic designers to the frontier of what we call today 'Graphic Design'. Their attempt to have symmetrical layouts, heavy ornamentation and decoration was phenomenally impressive for almost half a century during the Victorian history. So how many Victorian style logos you know were inspired from the movement of art?

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Pepsicola Logo History


The Pepsi logo history is as fascinating as it can get. The Pepsi logo that we see today started out with this Gothic-esque typeface first used in the year 1898 when Brad's Drink was renamed as Pepsi-Cola Company.

pharmacy logo designing


The glorious Victorian history witnessed the rise of typefaces that followed the taste for ornate elaboration, applied shadows, outlines and embellishments to letterforms in the field of logo designing.

Volvoline logo history


Designed in 1886, Valvoline logo could easily be the first prototype of what we call today commercial logos. The Victorian style typeface is complimented with arched out sphere and small dots within it.

1880 – 1910

Arts and Crafts

The Days of Decorative and Fine Arts

This international movement redefined the usage of decorative elements in logo design by using simple forms in medieval, romantic and folk styles of decoration with heavy textures and illustrated initials. This movement serves as a bridge between traditional Victorian era values and the modern movement. Check out the best logos of this movement.

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High on Floral

One dominant usage, as shown in Jack Daniel's logo, was the use of curved outlines with a flat design and minimum illustration. The one thing that hasn’t changed in Jack Daniels history since its inception in 1875 is its ‘Old No. 7’ logo, still considered to be one of the most popular logos in the beverage industry worldwide. 


Floral in Automobile Logo

Inspired by the then movement of graphic design industry, Ford motors unveiled their first logo in 1903. Though this arts and crafts style logo has undergone several redesigns since 1903, it’s still considered to be one of the world’s best automobile logos.

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.”

– Paul Rand –
1890 - 1920

Art Nouveau

The New Found Newness

Art Nouveau style is a popular graphic design philosophy best known for its flat, outlined illustrations and hand-drawn typefaces. This new-found art movement inspired logo designers to adopt natural forms and structures in their logo designs.

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Coca cola logo history

The Timelessness of Coca-Cola

The timelessness of Coca Cola logo history never fails to impress one and all. Designed in mid-1920s with Spencerian script, the Coca-Cola typeface logo survived for more than a century. This great piece of art nouveau design really triggered the age of the Arciform or ‘fishtail’ logos.

General Electric Logo History

General Electric

Resonant of true Art Nouveau history, the intriguing history of General Electric Company’s logo dates back to over a century. One of the best examples of art nouveau graphic designs, this famous company logo yields a very typographical attribute and has one of the most neutral and comfortable appearance.

Mercedes Benz Logo History

Mercedes Among Flowers

Designed between 1909 and 1916, Mercedes’ art nouveau style logo encompasses a three-pronged star meant to with a floral border symbolizes company’s dominance over air, land and sea. Originally created by Gottlieb Daimler in 1909, Mercedes logo consistently ranks alongside some of the world’s best business logos.

Versace logo history

Medusa of Versace

The iconic logo for famous fashion brand, Versace is a peculiar example of Art Nouveau style of work. Versace logo uses abstract lines to form a decorative pattern like a maze encircling the head of Medusa, a Greek woman transformed into a monster by the goddess Athena for her wrongdoings.

History of ornamental work

Ornamental Work

•       The complexity involved in certain logos is the result of classic philosophies. This logo features floral lines that form in to a maze like style to support the typography enclosed in figure that resemblance a crown.

selena tillman designs

The Form of Simple

Some of the most popular art nouveau logos of this era centered heavily on filling negative space with simple forms of nature.

1910 - 1935

Early Modern

The Rise of Rebellions

Early modern was a time when graphic designers broke-free from traditional roots of designing and went on to experiment with traditional design styles. The logo designs were geometrically perfect with minimalistic approach having clean type and photos instead of illustrations. This was the era when logo designers started putting logo design functions before its form, something that prevails even today.

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manoli logo history

A Symbol for Cigarettes

It wasn't until early modern period arrived that the logo designers could think of taking an alternate route to design styles. Going against the norms of society, this modern logo design for a popular cigarette brand was way ahead of its time.

Greek God Hermes

The winged foot in the Goodyear logo depicts the winged sandal of the Roman god Mercury, also known as the Greek god Hermes, the messenger of the gods.

1905 – 1935

German Expressionism

German Expressionism is a style of logo designing that is charged with an emotional and spiritual vision of the world. It adopts the neo-noir form of designing with straight angular lines, geometric figures, abstract shapes, and religious and cultural elements in typical black and white colors.

das logos history

Volkswagen LOGO

Long before WWII, when German Expressionism was the most talked-about term in artist community, the Volkswagen logo was designed in 1938 within a gear shaped emblem of German Labor Front. Steeped deep in glorious German history, this neo-noir logo has adopted a minimalist approach in its present form.

Late 19th Century – Early 20th Century


"Make it New! Make it New!"

Soon after the days of heavy decoration were over, came around a philosophical movement that not only shaped the development of modern industrial societies and triggered rapid urban growth, but also changed the dynamics of the logo design industry. No more ornamental and curvy shape, this was the beginning of what later went on to become 'minimalism'.

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Cubism and art history

Cubism (1907)

Termed as the first abstract style of modern art design, Cubism ignored the traditions of perspective drawing and introduced the idea of having sharp edges for logo designs.

Fururism logo history

Futurism (1909)

Futurism marks the shift of modern logo design philosophy to glorify industrialization, technology, and transport along with the speed, noise and energy of urban life.

adidas logo history

Supermatism (1915)

Supermatism movement rejected any use of representational images in modern logo designs, putting orth the notion that non-representational forms of pure abstraction had a greater spiritual power and gives room to multiple interpretation.

constructivism logo history

Constructivism (1913)

       Constructivism is quite like the Suprematism, except for the fact that it abandoned its mystical vision in favor of a more Utopian glimpse of mechanized modernity.

siemens logo history

The Siemens and MAZDA (1936 & 1928)

The iconic logos for these companies were heavily inspired from the modern art history. They featured a blend of minimalism along with a strong abstract essence.

1925 - 1940

Art Deco

Hello Technology!

Art Deco is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with mechanical elements and materials. You can spot a product of Art Deco design by the usage of rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. Such logos represent luxury, glamour, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress.

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lego history

Lego - Building the Blocks

Though Art Deco designs gave various dimensions to the field of graphic design, it was the typeface which was the most celebrated motif. A brilliant example of Art Deco logo, Lego logo adopted the custom-designed round typeface in 1934. With its bright red, yellow and white colors and the custom-designed round typeface, Lego logo has long caught the fancy of the young and young at hearts.

Larger Than Life

This art deco style logo depicts streamlined shape with a punch of sophisticated elegance induced in both typeface and the emblem.  

art deco designs & history

Romanticizing of Secret

Giving birth to the concept of a heroic individual, this art deco logo defined the heroic machine.

luxury representation logo

Luxury Representation

Strong vertical lines like these used here in this art deco logo design promotes extravagance and glorifies culture, speed and consumerism.

warner brothers logo history

Aero Aura

The prime aesthetics of the art deco designs era were edgy corners, airbrushed ray bands and emblem, which are highlighted in this famous logo.

renault logo history


World-renowned French car manufacturer, Renault’s history is incomplete without a mention of its iconic logo that dates back to the art deco history. In 1923, Renault came up with a simple yet memorable logo to market their products.

1934 - 1945

Heroic Realism

When Art turned into a Propaganda !!!

Instead of being a movement of art, Heroic realism was more of a propaganda associated with Socialist Realism and Communist regimes. The chief characteristics were realism, the depiction of figures as ideal types or symbols in logos, and explicit rejection of modernism in art.

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reforger logo history

The Fire Rises

Graphic designers and logo artists understood how the power of good logo design can significantly entertain and educate the primarily illiterate population.

History of symbol of power

Symbol of Power

The Heroic realism style of art was based on classical and mythological figures or symbols. These graphic elements induced a sense of sacrifice, duty and devotion in masses.

History of symbol of power
mobilgas logo history

Mobilgas Heroism

The Red-winged horse used by Mobil in 1932 is considered to be the symbol of wisdom and fame in Greek mythology. The Mobil gas logo has long been an inspiration for many logo designers and much has been written about Mobil logo history.

1945 - 1970

Late modern

When Simple Was the New Complex

The Late Modern Era was a period in arts when a non-decorative approach was implemented, which produced logo designs with new simplicity. Late Modern era design styles simplified and dramatized the integration of text and image by either pictorial collage elements or overlapping shapes in logo design.

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NBC Microphone logo history

NBC Microphone

Designed in 1943, NBC logo had a microphone surrounded by lightning bolts. It is still considered the best designs throughout NBC logo history by a fair share of logo designers. This logo had simple elements with a clean look and intelligent illustration.

Xerox logo history

C(ut)opy. Copy. PastE. 

Giving a smart twist to most of existing graphic elements, few logos dramatized a simple concept to appear more appealing and memorable. Xerox original logo consistently ranks amongst such logos. This strong, tablet shaped black and yellow logo was designed in 1947 and is one of the most recognized logos in Xerox history.

IBM logo history

Simple. Effective. IBM

Taking a grand leap of faith from their over-the-top logo of 1924, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) introduced its new logo in 1956, when IBM’s chief executive stepped down and allowed his son to lead the company. This simple and powerful logo proved that a simple typography can work wonders. Since then, the one thing that hasn’t changed in IBM history is its simple, typography based logo.

Kodak history

The Smart Selling Techniques

Marketers knew, even during the Late Modern period, that a logo having intelligent elements is capable of attracting more customers. Late modernism changed the concept of Hard Sell to Smart Sell. Kodak was perhaps the first company to understand this concept. Kodak logo was the first logo to represent its company name and look into a symbol. 1960 is an important year in the Kodak logo history as corner curl was introduced in the logo in the year.
Late modernism changed the concept of Hard Sell to Smart Sell.

Swiss belinn logo history

Clarity in Chaos

The non-decorative approach was soon taken over by designs that were simple and clear to understand. However, abstract it might look.

museum of london history

Museum of London

The simple idea used in the Museum of London logo is to represent the different geographical shapes London has taken in its evolution through time. The several colored layers in the logo recount the history of London, from medieval times to today. Following a pattern which has been over half a century old, the typography is simple and confident with overlapping illustrations.

1975 – 1990

Post Modern

Breaking the Rules

Postmodernism was a time when graphic designers re-established interest in ornamentation, symbolism and visual wit. This era challenged designers’ obsession with progress and deliberately violated the Bauhaus tenet. You can easily identify postmodern logo designs by simply looking for funny-looking characters, odd color combination and random textures.

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Original Starbucks logo history


Starbucks was named after a nautical character, and the original Starbucks logo was deliberately designed to evoke the alluring imagery of the sea. The Mermaid mascot, fondly called ‘the Siren’, used in the old Starbucks logo has been termed as one the most intelligently used element. Much has been written and discussed about Starbucks logo evolution, but the one thing that hasn’t changed in Starbucks logo history since its inception is the ‘the Siren’ symbol. It’s no wonder since ‘the Siren’ symbol has lent Starbucks logo a new meaning and a cult status.

Cool MTV logo history

MTV Television Logo

Termed as the most dynamic of all postmodern logos at the time of its inception in 1981, MTV logo consistently ranks alongside some of the most popular logos globally. The shape and the size of all the elements in the design have remained the same throughout MTV logo history only the colors and pattern have changed over the course of time.

Next logo history

Steve Jobs 28 Degree Angel

The unconventional way to break the rules was the most dominant trait among graphic designers during the postmodern era. Designed by Paul Rand for Steve Jobs, this NeXt logo is considered to be one of the most iconic logos ever. The story of Next logo is no less interesting than Steve Job’s history. It is said that Rand created a 100-page brochure detailing the brand, including the precise angle used for the logo (28°) and the new company name, NeXT.

Commonwealth Bank logo history

To make a Mark

The odd anatomy of logo design was well-received within the art community since it showcased an unusual wit and intelligence of the graphic designers. The double M typeface in the Commonwealth Bank logo brilliantly typifies the intelligence and wit of logo designers from the postmodern era.

Pistols logo history


Formed in 1975, the Sex-Pistols logo is a perfect example of how logo designers broke the conventional rules to create novel design styles. The typography used in the logo wasn't actually designed or invested by a designer, it was literally cut-off from a newspaper.

San Antonio Spurs logo history

The Design of Substitution

This postmodern style logo, in particular, substitutes the alphabetical 'U' with an abstract design resembling a powered magnet.

1985 - Present


The Age of Adobe Illustrator

The Digital era isn't exactly a historical movement because it’s happening in real time even today. In fact, Digital era logos are not about being just digital, they can be anything they choose to be, like; messy, chaotic, extreme, absurd, layered, illegible, unstable, expressive, poetic, and a bit grungy.

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hp history

HP Logo

Designed in the 1981, the HP logo makes the “h” and “p” look more expressive and prominent. The tail and ascender of these two letters are extended all the way to the top of the rectangle, promoting ideas of expansion and innovation. HP logo history has long been an inspiration for many logo designers across the globe.

Intel Company history

Intelligence Inside

Going by the strict principle of “the simpler the better”, this logo takes intelligent use of a disjointed circle to chew out a charming design.

Horror Films logo history

Scary Stuff

The loosening of the modern rules paved way for experimental typefaces and arbitrary textures as featured in the logo of Horror Films. With its simplicity and minimization, this amazing logo never fails to impress and inspire.

Gap logo

Vertical Limit

Designed in 1986, the ever-so-popular GAP logo is the purest example for the word, “Stressed Typefaces”. In late 2010, the company took the world by storm when it launched its new redesigned logo. But due to negative response, it went back to its old square logo, within just a week. Experts believe the new logo to be one of the worst logos of all time in the entire Gap logo history.

AT&T logo history

The Death Star of AT&T

In 1984, AT&T introduced its new logo that featured a globe with lines on the left side of it that seem to make a segmented circle in its endeavor to symbolize the company’s global reach. This AT&T logo is nicknamed the “Death Star” logo.

Bayers logo

Mathematical Possibilities

Graphic designers were quick to include mathematical combinations and functions in digital phase since poetic and layout approach brings a panache to the logo design.

2001 – Present

Minimalism & Flat

Minimalism is a style that uses pared down design elements (sans stylistic element) to offer illusions of three dimension and is focused on a minimalist use of simple elements, typography and flat colors in logo designs. It has been termed by logo designers as one of the finest techniques since it allows user interface designs to be more streamlined and efficient.

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Apple logo history


Apple logo has long been a trademark in the design circuit worldwide. It's simple, effective and memorable. And yes, that bite out of the fruit in the logo was deliberate.


With a very simple symbol in modified Sans Serif typeface with “3” and “M” touching one another and the vibrant red color, 3M logo caught on like a wildfire. Developed by Siegel & Gale in 1978, this logo is considered to be the best representation of company values and mission in 3M company history.

3M Company History
Target logo history

Target Eye

Taking a swift turn from their early logo, Target’s bull’s eye logo has a single red ring with dot in the middle. The logo uses Helvetica typeface. This logo is considered to be the best one in Target logo history.


Depicting the pre-historic symbol of Iron, the Volvo logo is a circle with a diagonally upwards pointed arrow directing the right. It represents the “The God of War” - Mars. This logo has long stood the test of time and deeply impacted Volvo history.

Volvo history
Audi history


1932 marks an important date in Audi history. It is during this year that four previously independent motor-vehicle manufacturers: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged together giving birth to the idea of the iconic 4 ring logo design. Introduced on AUDI's 10th Anniversary, 4 ring design has been well appreciated over the time. However, it was only after the inclusion of minimalist design elements in the logo that made it as historic as it is now.


Google logo history is as fascinating it can get. The most recent Google logo, launched on September 1, 2015, showcases a capital letter “G” in tailor-made typeface with segment colored red, yellow, green and blue.

Google logo history

Future Of Logo Design

Less is more

Logo design has come a very long over the last 200 years. Over time, open innovation and a collaborative approach have changed the dynamics of the graphic design industry. And when it comes to open innovation, the one name that probably comes to mind is Designhill. This fast-growing logo design crowdsourcing marketplace puts you in touch with graphic artists, logo designers, illustrators and a whole network of visual artists from all over the world, ready and willing to craft creative logo design ideas for you under the tightest deadlines and at extremely affordable prices. With Designhill, you can be rest assured that you’re headed to the most radical period of change in the logo design history. Check out some of these cool logo designs created by Designhill artists that never fail to impress and inspire.

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Some of the latest Design of Designhill

Well Forged Software history

Wellforged Software

Soon after its creation, Wellforged Software’s logo design has become an inspiration for a number of graphic designers the design industry. It's simple, effective and memorable.

  • Entries63
  • Designers17
  • Total Amount$259
Los London Clothing logo history

Los London Clothing

A minimal yet chic design, Los London Clothing’s logo that instantly captures the attention of onlookers. The design idea here is to seamlessly blend monotone pattern and a stern, professional overtone with simplicity and panache.

  • Entries56
  • Designers25
  • Total Amount$259
Contiba logo history


Contiba’s unique logo design is a great sample quantifying what a perfect logo looks like. Created in an unparalleled hexagon shape, this logo inspires with its unique color scheme, simpleton typeface and polished neatness.

  • Entries83
  • Designers25
  • Total Amount$359
The Offbeat History

The Offbeat Story

More obscure and offbeat stories are often more interesting and this logo design idea clearly reveals the same. Highlighted with shades of color blue and shaped as the nib of a pen, this cool logo design is striking and sophisticated.

  • Entries45
  • Designers12
  • Total Amount$259
Nuuk Digital history

NUUK Digital

NUUK Digital's ubiquitous logo design makes for the perfect symbol of a full service digital agency and effectively communicates the brand message. Given it's sleek design, effective color pattern and brilliant typography, it's no wonder why this creative logo never fails to make an impact on customers and ensure that they come back for a second visit

  • Entries79
  • Designers21
  • Total Amount$259
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History & Evolution of Logo Design

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