5 Evolving Corporate Logos

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Logos are a crucial piece of corporate image. The logo lays out the foundation of the brand and is, arguably, the most significant part of corporate branding. Logos generally evolve as the company grows and priorities shift. Today's most recognizable logos have not always appeared as they do today. Check out the transformation of corporate logos.

Microsoft

In August 2012 Microsoft rolled out a new corporate logo. It is the company's first update in 25 years. The original logo resembled disco lights and embodied the feel of the '70s era. Microsoft is in the process of refreshing the brand through substantial revisions to nearly all of its products.

The company says: "this wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning." The new logo keeps the traditional four colors found in the previous logo, but has updated the wavy shape to four square boxes bearing the identical color scheme. The new image reveals a cleaner more classic design than the predecessor. This is only the fourth time Microsoft has updated the logo since the company was founded in 1975

EBay

The online auctioneer ebay unveiled its first logo change in September 2012. Since inception in 1995, eBay had never revamped its logo. EBay's Global Marketplaces President Devin Wong said the change reflects "a global online marketplace that offers a cleaner, more contemporary and consistent experience, with innovation that makes buying and selling easier and more enjoyable." EBay took a similar approach to Microsoft with a simpler, cleaner and classic design. The new logo still retains the traditional eBay color palette. However, the letters no longer have the floating appearance. The logo change was also part of an entire site redesign that is intended to provide the user with a cleaner and more intuitive experience.

Apple

The world's largest company may also have the world's most recognizable logo. Apple's logo is simple, but it symbolizes superior technology to many. The logo was not always as refined as the one shown on the back of every Apple device today. When the company was founded in 1976, the logo was extremely complex and detailed, and it portrayed an image of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. The original logo, which was designed by Steve Jobs and Ron Wayne, was replaced the same year with one similar to the logo we recognize today. The new logo resembled an apple with a bite taken out and featured multiple horizontal colored bars running across the image. The colored bars were created to represent the Apple II computer being the first personal computer to reproduce images in color. Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 as Apple prepared to launch the new iMac computer, and the company replaced the rainbow logo in 1998 with the monochrome logo it uses today.

IBM

International Business Machines (IBM) was formed in 1924 through a series of mergers. The original IBM logo contained the newly formed corporation name in the shape of a globe and was designed to represent IBM's worldwide expansion. IBM changed the logo in 1956 to simple lettering signifying a user-friendly image for the firm. The previous globe logo did not provide the friendly, caring image the firm was looking to portray. In 1972, horizontal lines replaced the solid lettering. The logo has remained virtually the same over the last 40 years. A 2010 list by Brandz places IBM as the second most valuable global brand.

Ford

One of the most iconic brands in American history began with a detailed logo far more convoluted than the symbol we recognize today. The complicated image bore the "Detroit-Mich." tag and spelled out "Ford Motor Co." That logo remained from 1903 to 1912. Then Ford replaced the logo with the oval design we identify with Ford today. The blue coloring was added in 1928, and the logo has only been slightly updated over the past 84 years.
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