The Evolution of the World’s Famous Logos

Evolution is the secret for the next step.

– Karl Lagerfeld

Evolution is a constant part of nature and hence, is commonly observed everywhere around us in things that are tangible and intangible. Logos too fall on the list of intangibles that tend to evolve over time. All the famous brand logos that the world has known have been tweaked by their makers at different points in time. No logo, formed more than a decade ago, is to be found in its true form today. These alterations are a sign of the changing trends and customer perceptions that ultimately force the logo makers to mold the designs for the sake of capturing more attention.

SEE ALSO: Why are companies changing their logos to flat designs?

Which of the famous logos were tweaked from their original form?
Almost all of them, however; discussing them all could be difficult here. Hence, we would be focusing on some of the famous ones for understanding purpose.



Howard Schultz bought Starbucks from its founders to turn it into an espresso bar; an idea which he believed could bestow Starbucks with exclusivity. The Starbucks logo has not changed much; except for the outer ring, which used to encircle the siren, has been removed. Back then, the siren used to be black whereas; the ring was kept to be green. The designers later decided to remove the outer ring while keeping the siren. A research conducted on the Starbuck’s logo suggested that people associated the logo with the color green. This revelation made the designers give the revised siren a green color.
The siren has now become a part of Starbuck’s identity while making the brand smashable.

STARBUCKS logo history


The word FedEx is an abbreviation of Federal Express which previously used to be the name of the company. The logo, back then, was a simple one with the name of the company written in a box. Later, the company was suggested to shorten its name to FedEx while giving birth to a renewed version of the logo. The logo today consists of a subliminal message as well which is an arrow present in the negative space between ‘E’ and ‘X’.

fedex logo history


Canon is yet another example of a brand which got its logo changed over the course of time. The company was previously named Kwanon which was named after the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. The logo of the brand back then was a depiction of the Goddess, with several hands, wrapped in a ring of fire. Later, the company realized that the name of the brand wasn’t easy to recognize and so it was changed to Canon. The logo was also revised to a simple yet classy script.

canon logo history


The Nike logo was designed by Carolyn Davidson in the year 1971. The swoosh that has become a strong part of Nike’s identity was never liked by the founder. Previously, Nike had the brand’s name and the iconic swoosh both as a part of its logo. However; later the swoosh became popular enough to be associated with Nike even without the name of the brand written beside it. Hence, the logo today consists of the icon only.

nike logo history


The name Apple was derived by the company from the concept of Newton discovering gravity. Hence, the brand’s logo previously was a sketch of Newton sitting beneath an apple tree. The phrase “Newton…A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone” was also written on the frame of the logo. Later, Jobs realized that the brand needed a simple logo that could capture the attention of its target market with ease. This idea hence, gave birth to the now iconic Apple logo.

In 1977, the Apple icon used to be multicolored, however; its array of colors made it difficult to merge and fit in on different Apple products. Considering this drawback of a colored logo, Steve Jobs decided to make the Apple logo monochrome.

apple logo history


Brand logos have been seeing evolution since forever. The famous brand logos that we currently see are also not guaranteed to remain the same forever. Logos tend to be adjusted to the changing times and preferences of its customers. Hence, if you find a logo perfect today, be informed that it is likely to change in the future.


Leave a Reply