Evolution of famous logos: get inspired to create your logo 2021 -

In our article How to design the perfect logo, we list the five essential characteristics that a quality logo should have: simplicity, memorability, timelessness, versatility and relevance.

In this article, we focus on timelessness and versatility. We show you some examples of logos that have evolved over time that can serve as inspiration when creating or renewing your own business logo.

Why update the logo or create a new logo?

In general, over time, a company changes its logo. This set of logos forms the identity and visual memory of the company, where the values, traditions and strength of the brand converge that distinguishes them from their competitors.

There are two main reasons for a business to create a new logo or update an existing one:

  • Outdated look. After some time, the logo begins to look obsolete, old, “worn”. Therefore, even the best-known brands modify it to update it a bit, without altering the identity of the brand.
  • Change in the services or products they offer. In this case, the target group they want to reach changes. It is important that the logo seeks to attract the attention of the current target market.

Now let’s see how these two motifs have influenced the transformation of five of the most famous logos in the world.

Evolution of famous logos

1. Algid

Álgida's first logo in 1946.

You may think that you do not know this brand … you will be surprised!

The first Álgida logo dates from 1946; It included a shield with the name of the company inside. Álgida derives from the Latin “Algidus” and means cold, glacier. In addition, the reference to cold was also reinforced by the snowflake symbol.

The company was founded that same year, so it was important to clarify the sector to which it belonged, the industrial production of ice cream. This is how they decided to make it explicit in the logo itself through symbology. The colors they used honored the most popular flavors: vanilla and chocolate.

Álgida logo after its first renovation.

Four years later, in the 1950s, Álgida was already well known in Italy, so it was no longer necessary to indicate the industry to which it belonged. The description in the logo was replaced by the rhythmic slogan “il gelato fidato” (the trusted ice cream), which indicated the authority of the brand in the sector and communicated the certainty of quality of Álgida’s products.

This change in communication strategy was not only reflected in the text, but also in the logo graphics: they got rid of the shield and replaced it with a rectangle with rounded tips. A simpler and clearer design that kept the same colors.

Álgida logo from the 80s.

Over the years, the company continued to grow and it became necessary to communicate more directly the values ​​of the brand and the images that inspired it: freedom, holidays, the joy of summer.

For this reason, in 1983, the logo changed radically. An orange sun in the background and the word Álgida in perspective. Each letter comes out of the center of the sun as a ray of light that illuminates the viewer. The traditional colors were still present in the letters of the logo.

Álgida logo from the 90s, after the company became part of Unilever.

Are you already recognizing it?

In the 1990s, Unilever bought the company and began exporting the products to new regions. The need arose to use a logo that made sense in the different countries: in each one a different name was adopted that was capable of creating an emotional connection between the brand and the buyers. Álgida continued to exist in Italy, but it was renamed Frigo in United Kingdom, Langnese in The UK, Olà in Portugal, and so on in different countries.

The image also underwent a facelift and began to reflect the new global strategy: the sun gave way to a stylized double red heart, and the font and color of the brand name also changed. However, the feeling of enjoying the summer remained as an international value of the company.

Simplified Álgida logo, with only two colors: red and white.

In 2003 the following changes came. The symbol of the heart had a good impact in several countries; that is why the logo continued but with some minor modifications. They opted for only two colors, red and white, and the shadows were eliminated.

Only the name of the company remains from the original logo. This is logical because the company has also completely changed, from a small local ice cream parlor to a globally known ice cream brand.

two. Barilla

Barilla's first logo from the year 1877 with a young man working.

The first logo of the Barilla brand is full of details and symbolism. It dates back to 1877 and shows a young worker pouring the yolk of an egg into a drawer containing flour.

The egg was deliberately chosen as a symbol of abundance and life and, at the same time, it is one of the main ingredients of artisan pasta, the main product of the company along with bread.

Barilla logo after some modifications in 1949.

Years later, the worker’s illustration was removed from the logo and only the company name remained. The pasta was produced on an industrial scale and the continued growth of the company was reflected in the tweaks that were made to the typography and the shape of the logo, which changed from rectangular to oval. All this gave a new touch to the company, more appropriate for production on a larger scale.

Barilla logo from 1954, taking up the oval outline.

In 1954 he returned to the concept of the egg. The typeface was now surrounded by two ovals, one internal in red and the other external in white, like a hard-boiled egg cut in half. It is the same yolk that was so clearly depicted in the 1877 logo. Today we see this logo on pasta packages in supermarket aisles in many countries.

3. Ferrero

Ferrero's first logo, 1946, with a man and two children.

The first Ferrero logo from 1946 shows a replica of the founder’s signature and the Gianduja, the typical Piedmontese mask, which also gave the name to the first product: Giandujot, a hazelnut, sugar and cocoa paste.

The use of this particular mask is not random, as the company was founded in Alba, a city in the Piedmont region.

Second Ferrero logo in the 1950s.

During the 1950s, Ferrero’s production grew and diversified. The Giandujot was no longer the main product, so it no longer made sense to continue associating the brand with the Piedmontese mask.

Therefore, the logo was renewed. It consisted only of Ferrero’s signature stylized with a crown on top which, in turn, is a symbol associated with the city of Alba, whose name was included in the lower right part of the logo. The company wanted the logo to symbolize the strong link between the brand and the local territory where its products were packaged.

Ferrero logo after the changes that were implemented in 1964.

In 1964, the logo changed again; this time to reflect the continued growth of the company and the arrival of many successful new products, including the world-renowned Nutella.

Because the company was now targeting an international market, references to the local territory disappeared from the logo. The name Ferrero remains, but with a different font and color and without representing the founder’s signature.

Four. Martini

First Martini logo in 1904.

The first Martini logo from 1904 is made up of the surnames of the businessmen, Martini and Rossi, who were in charge of the distillery founded a few years earlier in Turin. The logo is decorative, but quite simple.

At the beginning, this company also wanted to establish itself as a regional brand, which is why the logo featured the name of Turin, the city where the first factory was born.

Martini logo from 1925, without the Rossi surname.

20 years later some changes came. The main product of the company is vermouth and it had started to be sold in many countries. It acquired such relevance that the name Martini is used to refer to this liquor in general. This is why, when it was decided to use a new logo to reflect the growth of the company, the Rossi surname disappeared and only Martini remained.

At this time the gradient of the colors was eliminated, but opted for a strong contrast. As the company reached international relevance, its regional connection was eliminated and the logo decoration disappeared.

Martini logo of the 21st century, after remaining almost unchanged for several decades.

The logo was so popular and so clearly reflected the essence of the company that it was no longer changed for decades, or only a few subtle modifications were made. For example, in 2003 the font was changed and a luminous shadow was added to the circle, giving it a three-dimensional appearance.

5. Gucci

First Gucci logo in 1921.

The first Gucci logo, created in 1921, consists only of the signature of the company’s founder.

An elegant italic was chosen to reflect the sophistication of the first products: leather goods, gloves and luggage inspired by the English style and the world of horsemanship.

Gucci logo from the 1950s.

In the following years, it was first the aristocrats who, inspired by their passion for horse riding, bought the products. Then, as the company expanded into different markets, movie stars and members of international high society also began to consume them.

For Gucci, this international growth also meant a change in the logo. In 1950, the text was replaced by a heraldic coat of arms that showed a gentleman with a suitcase and a travel bag. Thus, the symbolism of chivalry and nobility is evoked, a way to visually highlight the luxury and exclusivity of Gucci products.

Gucci logo of the year 2019, after several modifications over time.

In the sixties, Aldo Gucci, one of the three sons of the founder, opted to return to the graphic minimalism of the beginning and designed a new logo that initially appeared only on some products: two Gs placed in different ways (combined in a circle, opposed, inverted and abstractly).

It was not until 1990 that the double G was adopted as the official brand. In 2019, the letters overlap and both are facing to the right.

Get inspired to create or modernize your logo

As you may have already noticed, all the logos we have talked about came from super simple but effective ideas.

The starting point is always the name of the company, even if sometimes it ends up being removed from the logo once the brand becomes stronger and famous to the point that people already associate them with the company (eg, Gucci).

Therefore, it is vitally important to choose your company name very carefully (eg Algida) or use your first or last name as an alternative (eg Martini).

Once you have done this, you can combine the name with images or symbols that refer to the industrial or professional sector to which you belong (eg, Álgida’s snow crystal, Barilla’s egg, the gentleman with the suitcase and the Gucci travel bag); to local traditions or to the place where your company is located (eg, the Piedmontese mask and Ferrero’s crown), to the image you want to evoke (eg, the sun and Álgida’s heart).

At CWT, we think that the ability to create and adapt your own logo shouldn’t just be a privilege of those companies that have the necessary budget from the start.

That is why we developed the Logo Creator. You can use it without spending a penny for the following:

  • Create the first logo of your company from scratch
  • Update your logo if you think the current one is already outdated
  • Try different ideas and create a version to use as a base, which you can then edit with image editing tools. If you don’t know which ones to use, check out our article on free Photoshop alternatives

Design a logo to make your company stand out.