A logo is often your first introduction to consumers, a crucial moment of communication with your target audience.  The importance of having the right logo to reflect your company’s brand should never be underestimated.

A logo anchors your company’s brand and should be considered its most important graphical representation, setting the style for all subsequent marketing collateral.  It does not, however, lock you into that same logo forever.

As your company evolves and trends come and go, what was once the perfect logo can seem outdated or not fit for where you are today. This is why your logo should keep evolving to reflect your company’s brand as well as its target market. Keeping in mind that updating the logo too frequently can erode brand recognition, it’s best to adjust it only when there is ample reason.

Here’s how some well-known companies have changed their logos to reflect the times.

 

IBM

One of the earliest logos was created in 1900 by the International Time Recording Company, which later merged to become IBM in 1924. The name of the company changed and so has the logo, becoming more minimalist and modern. The commonality in almost every version is a logo that depicts only letters.

 

 

 

Apple

Apple’s first logo of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree with an apple above his head was designed by co-founder Ronald Wayne in 1976. It was soon redesigned by Rob Janoff to resemble the apple we all are familiar with today. While the Apple logo has undergone a few adaptations, from its colored stripes to what we see today, it has always been modern and simple with its look. The reason for the bite is not only a play on words (byte),  but to make sure it was not mistaken for a cherry.

 

Canon

Canon developed its original logo in 1934 after producing its first protype cameras. The logo depicted Kwanon, the buddhist goddess of mercy, as a way of representing the company’s vision of building the best cameras in the world. When the line of cameras was registered the next year, a new logo was soon designed. The the unique “C”, with its sharp point, was a typeface that had not existed in Europe and North America at the time.The current logo has not changed much, a minimalistic style that still uses the unique typeface from its origin.


The Discovery Channel

The Discovery Channel’s first logo was created in 1985 and depicted a globe inside a box shaped like a TV, symbolizing the channel’s goal of showing the world to everyone in the comfort of their own home. Today’s logo is more simplistic and modern, but still incorporates a globe and its message remains powerful.

 

 

AT&T

AT&T’s first logo was created in the 1889, depicting an image of a bell to honor telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Over time the words “American Telephone & Telegraph Co.”were abbreviated into AT&T. The bell was eventually phased out as part of the logo, which today has a simple “at&t” with a globe-like striped icon.

 

 

 

McDonald’s

McDonald’s first opened in 1937, but its distinctive golden arches wouldn’t be part of its logo for another 20 years. By then, brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald had turned their barbecue restaurant in San Bernadino, Calif., into a quick service hamburger joint. Well, you know the rest of the story.

 

 

 

Catholic Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Closer to home, our designers worked with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Catholic Medical Center to give their logos a new look. Sometimes the new look can be subtle, as is the case with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Sometimes it can be more dramatic, as we see with CMC.