Last updated on August 2nd, 2023
Amazon is a leading multinational technology company and one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms. Like many other big companies, it’s recognized for its unique and impressive logo that effectively conveys the brand message to the target audience. The logo is a remarkable design and has helped make the company a household name. But its logo has a long evolutionary history.
Amazon was founded on July 5, 1994, in Seattle, by Jeff Bezos, and it was an online marketplace for books back then. Now, the marketplace has hugely expanded, covering almost all product categories.
The company owns multiple subsidiaries, such as Amazon Web Services (cloud computing), Kuiper Systems (satellite Internet), Zoox (autonomous vehicles), and Amazon Lab126 (computer hardware R&D). The company is today the largest online retailer and marketplace in the world.
Before we further explore the history and evolution of the Amazon logo, first, know what the logo means.
Hidden Meaning Behind The Amazon Logo – History & Evolution:
Amazon logo may look like a simple design at first sight. But it has its message for its target customers. What could be the hidden meaning of the logo? Here is how we can decode it:
A vital feature of the Amazon logo is its arrow. It is yellow and gets noticed from a long distance. But it has a meaning that defines the brand for its consumers.
We all know what a smile means. It conveys that the person is happy and satisfied in life. A smiling person spreads happiness all around, as a smile is contagious. That is why Amazon chose the arrow as an element of joy in the logo.
The logo has an arrow that looks like a smile on the face. This conveys the happiness and satisfaction of a customer after buying from Amazon.
Also, the arrow connects the letters a to the letter ‘z’ of the brand name, conveying the products’ availability for the consumers.
History And Evolution Of The Amazon Logo
Amazon logo is a famous emblem that people recognize as a trustworthy symbol of shopping online. But the logo design was different from what it is today. The logo started its journey on a humble note in 1995 and gradually got Amazon new logo for its target audience. But it always has been a simple design that people connected with easily.
Here is how the Amazon logo evolved:
1995 – Literal Version Of The Company Name
Brand Amazon got its name from the world’s longest river Amazon. Its first logo in 1995 had the river as the main feature. The letter A of the brand name formed a trapezoid. A long and wide white curve in the middle of the letter represents the river.
Turner Duckworth designed this old Amazon logo with a stylized ‘A,’ which was the chief element of the design. The letter in black also symbolized the South American river’s contours.
The company and website name “amazon.com’’ was also incorporated at the logo’s base along with the caption “Earth’s biggest bookstore’’.
The wordmark was in a simple sans-serif typeface. So, the logo clearly showed that the store had the ambition to be the world leader in its sector.
This logo became Amazon’s brand identity at the beginning of the digital age. The designers had limited access to logo-designing tools back then. Experts and critics did not like the logo much. Many saw the river within the logo as old-fashioned and cliché. That is why the logo lasted only for two years until 1997.
1997- Detailed And Refined Version
1997: The e-commerce giant redesigned its logo with some changes in response to the criticism it received. This time, it had some details that represented the company’s growth.
The logo was still black and white but had a zebra pattern inside the letter A. The patterns looked like tree branches, representing the company’s expansion. But the company retained the wordmark ‘amazon.com’ at the bottom of the logo’s base. The wordmark also was there in anticipation of the dot-com hype in those days.
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However, the logo design needed to be more attractive and have a great aesthetic.
1998 – Just The Wordmark Logo
By 1998, the company had realized that the letter ‘A’ with the river inside the logo was not good enough to express its brand message fully to the new target customers. The world was switching fast to dot.com digitally, with everyone talking about it. Considering that, the company went for a complete overhauling of the logo.
So, initially, it settled for an ‘amazon.com’ wordmark logo and created its three versions. The Amazon logo change had the brand name in a simple serif typeface. The tagline ‘Earth’s Biggest Bookstore’ was incorporated underneath the brand name.
But this logo also could not stay for long, and a newer version replaced it. This time, ‘amazon.com’ appeared in upper-case letters to convey the brand’s dominance. Its key attraction was the big yellow letter ‘O’ of the name. The company got rid of the tagline. This design continued to represent the company for several months.
Then, by the end of the year, there was a new wordmark with a yellow swish underneath. The swish was slightly arched and later became the basis for today’s smiley company design. Also, the company name appeared in the Officina Sans typeface. The company name ‘Amazon’ appeared in bolder font to produce the contrast for easier visibility, while the ‘.com’ part was lighter.
2000 – Today: Wordmark With A Smiley Swoosh
The company developed a new Wordmark logo design in 2000 that continues to be the brand’s identity. So, the wordmark got slightly modified with the previous yellow bridge-like curve turned into an arrow that looked like a smile.
This time, the designers used the yellow swoosh to connect the letter ‘a to ‘z’, conveying the brand message that the company can buy everything from the store. It signaled the wide variety of products available for the consumers.
But the smiley arrow also represents the company’s satisfied customers as they smile after receiving the products at their doorsteps.
2021 – Amazon Phone App Logo – Redesigned Under Public Pressure
Amazon has used a logo as its shopping cart symbol for five years. It featured a brown box that stood for plain packaging. At the top, there was a blue adhesive strip with toothed edges. But soon, people protested against this logo as the strip reminded them of the toothbrush style of Adolf Hitler, the dictator.
Therefore, the company redesigned the Amazon Hitler logo by removing the uneven edges of the blue strip. Now the blue tape appeared plain without the edges. It was designed like someone neatly folded it, indicating the product’s unboxing inside.
After Amazon made the changes in its Amazon app logo, Amazon’s brand spokesperson explained the move by saying, “Amazon is always exploring new ways to delight our customers. We designed the new icon to spark anticipation, excitement, and joy when customers start their shopping journey on their phone, just as they do when they see our boxes on their doorstep.”
2022 – The Prime Logo Launched
The company launched Amazon Prime in April 2022 for those customers who could get free shipping and faster delivery on paying a monthly fee. The Amazon Prime Logo includes the old Amazon logo with the smiley yellow arrow. But it also had ‘Prime’ added by the side in blue to convey excellence, quickness, and friendly investment in the brand’s excellent service.
Design Elements Of The Amazon Logo
Amazon’s logo is an excellent example of how it conveys its brand message through strategic design elements. The logo features some creative elements that make it look unique and appealing.
The Amazon logo has a prominent arrow, which has become the brand’s visual identity. It has an arrow stretching from the letter ‘a’ and connecting the letter ‘z.’ Thus, it conveys that the e-commerce company has everything in the store for consumers.
Also, the arrow is in a smiley shape, indicating a happy and satisfied customer. The arrow design resembles a face. It is in yellow, which is the color of hope and sunshine.
Amazon uses the Amazon Ember font for its brand name in the logo. It is a sans-serif font that designers incorporate to convey the friendliness of a brand. This was a specially-made font for Amazon.
Amazon logo has black and yellow in its primary logo. The brand name Amazon is in black to convey its authority in its niche field amongst consumers.
The arrow is yellow, which gives the logo a distinctive look. Since the arrow is in the shape of a smile, its yellow color expresses the satisfaction and happiness on a consumer’s face.
So, we can say that the Amazon logo had to go through its evolutionary phase to reach the present-day design that it is for consumers. The logo can drive customers’ attention and convey a brand message.
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Amazon is a leading eCommerce and technology company with a global presence. Its impressive and unique logo, a wordmark with a smiley arrow, is today’s famous online shopping symbol. The logo was first a simple letter A with a river design within. It, later on, was transformed into the wordmark only in black and yellow.