Last updated on November 18th, 2020
A key common feature of most global businesses is that when they change their brand identity, they redesign their logos also. Kodak is one such global enterprise which made vital changes periodically in its logo. The Evolution of the Kodak logo began in the nineteenth century and continues even today.
Eastman Kodak Company, known commonly as Kodak, is an American company specializing in making equipment related to photographic materials. The company is also known for its expertise in digital imaging. Founded by George Eastman in 1888, the company has achieved iconic status since then in the photography industry.
The Kodak logo is one of the iconic photography logo that everyone recognizes across the world in the photography business and industry. But this simple design went through a lot of changes over the decades.
The Kodak Logo Colors
The Kodak logo is recognized for its strategic color scheme. The color scheme involves the use of only two colors red and yellow. Red dominates due to its overwhelming use in the design. Yellow is sparingly used but it catches the eye.
These colors surround the letter ‘K’ in the design. The use of red in evokes a set of emotions like passion, love, happiness, and optimism. Similarly, yellow is the color of sunshine and hope. So, the company connects people’s passion and joy when they take photographs of family, occasions, nature, or anything else.
The Kodak logo had the company name in serif fonts in the initial phase. Serif fonts express a formal environment of a company or profession. The company wanted to project an image of a professionally run business. Hence, it created the company name in serif font.
Later, it realized that the photography business should directly connect with the people. Photography is something that people use to express their joy on an occasion. So, the serif font was removed and a simple and friendly sans serif font was brought in. The Kodak logo, in fact, went through some design changes in its history of more than a century.
Here Is A Brief History Of The Evolution Of The Kodak Logo
01. 1907 Simple Design
The Kodak Logo was first created and adopted by the company in 1907. At that time, it was a lettermark that had the company Eastman Kodak Company’s initials EKC. The letters were enclosed in a circle, which was a trendy design in those days. The circle symbolized authority and completeness. Government stamps used to be in circular shape in those times to express the authority. So, the company too wanted to express its dominance in the market by using the circular design.
But it was not a great design. The letters were assembled without much thought. It seemed that the purpose was to show the brand name rather than making an impression on the viewers. In those days, professional graphic designers did not have branding concepts in mind.
02. 1935 Landscape Shape With Colors
In 1935, the logo design underwent first major designing changes. The colors were introduced for the first time. Yellow was used for the background, while the company’s name Kodak was in red. Both the colors express the feelings of warmth, happiness, love, and passion.
An intention behind including these colors was to connect the business of photography with the people. Since people take photos usually on a happy occasion, the colors red and yellow were used to express these emotions. So, the focus was on the Kodak name using the yellow and red palette.
Kodak changed the shape of the logo also. It was given a landscape shape, which was a trendy and modern design of the time. Moreover, the company wanted to get rid of the old classy circular design.
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03. 1960 Triangular Shape
The next major change in the Kodak logo was in 1960, when the old rectangular shape was discarded. In its place, a triangular shape was brought in to give the symbol a fresh look. A purpose behind the new shape was to give a new and unique look to the emblem. However, it retained red for the text and yellow for the background.
An attractive feature also was added. The logo showed a corner curl. It was for giving a distinct look to the company’s identity. That is the reason that the curl continued to be part of the design for almost a decade. A unique feature like the corner curl makes a design stand out. Therefore, modern online graphic design services ensure that each design has some outstanding elements that catch the eye.
04. 1971 Stylish Changes
The 70s saw a significant change in the Kodak logo. The decade-old triangular shape was removed completely. This time, a square shape replaced the older triangular shape. The square shape was called as Box shape, which continues to be part of the company’s business symbol even today. Shapes play a key role in conveying a brand message.
A reason behind picking square shape is that it gives expression to the feelings of stability and honesty. By 70s, Kodak was a well established name in its photography niche market and industry.
So, the square shape was an appropriate choice to convey the company’s message of trust, stability and transparency. This change shows the importance of shape when you create a logo. The shape gives a unique personality to the emblem.
But the logo was designed in the shape of a small red square with broad yellow boundaries. Inside the red square, the designers carved out a yellow arrow to make the logo stylish. The letters in the company’s name Kodak were in serif fonts. One more feature was added. The company’s logo had a graphic element ‘K’ incorporated to the box. This implies that now it because one letter business symbol of the company.
05. 1987 Fonts Changed
The earlier Kodak logo continued its run up to the 80s. But, during the early years of the new decade, the company tweaked the design a bit. This time, fonts were changed. Instead of the earlier serif font, the enterprize went for a font without serifs. This gave the design a simple appearance.In addition to the font change, the box element also was retouched. It was given a modern look and feel.
06. 2006 Modern Elegant Look
In 2006, the company made another significant change in its logo. At the turn of the century, graphic designers were laying emphasis on minimalistic design principles. They wanted to say a lot about their business with the help of a few elements.
Therefore, the box element was removed. The square and rectangular shapes also were eliminate. To make the logo stand out and simple, the company dropped the famed boxed symbol.
Instead, the logo featured only the company name. The new design was a simple wordmark or logotype. To make the design stand out, a custom-made typeface was used. The custom typeface was created by Allen Hori. But the color palette was retained. The company’s full name was in red only to express possession, love and life. The logo designers positioned the letters in yellow bars to give the logo a fresh simple look.
Like other global brands, Kodak also ensures consistency of colors and fonts across its all promotional campaigns. For example, the company’s web design has its brand colors red and yellow everywhere including the images.
07. 2016 Back To The Old Trusted Design
In 2016, the company was trying to bring back its old identity. So, it brought back the old Kodak logo that had only the K letter, and red and yellow colors. At that time, Kodak’s chief marketing officer Steven Overman said, “I don’t think of what we’re doing as ‘bringing back’ the iconic identity of Kodak, because in people’s hearts and minds, I don’t think it really went away.
It’s simply logical to keep one of the world’s most famous brand marks at the forefront of the company’s image and identity.” This sums up the new brand strategy behind bringing back the old logo. Additionally, the company name Kodak was set at the right side in cascading, capital letters.
So, like the other global companies, Kodak also tweaked its logo on the turn of almost every decade. A reason for making the changes was that the enterprise wanted to recreate its branding image.
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In a few days, you can get a logo that is worth representing your business. The Kotak logo was first designed and became part of the company’s brand image in 1907. It was first a somewhat complex circular logo with initial letters of the brand name. But later many design changes happened with the expansion of the enterprise. It was designed in rectangular and square shapes. But the brand colors red and yellow were retained.