What the first logos of Apple, Playboy, Pepsi, Mercedes and other famous companies looked like

At one time, Steve Jobs did not skimp on a $ 100,000 fee for Paul Rand, the author of the brand identity of the newly minted company NeXT. After all, readiness for change is a wonderful quality, but the more successful the start, the longer they are not needed. A rewarding experience, illustrated by the successes and failures of a number of big-name brands.


Not only did the visual series misinterpret the famous legend of Newton and the apple tree for the sake of a mass stereotype, but also the inscription around the perimeter of the image took the consumer into the philosophical jungle. A good way to demonstrate the originality of the founding fathers mindset, but terribly inconvenient for increasing computer sales.

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mcdonalds logo evolution

In glorious times, even before the introduction of the term “fast food” into everyday life, a chain of restaurants called “McDonald’s Famous Barbecue” appeared in the United States. With an inexpensive menu and a simple, laconic signboard. But by 1953, management’s appetites were growing into a coast-to-coast strategy, and the picture was radically changing within the framework of the franchise organization. And by the beginning of the 70s. business rushes overseas – either in the form of golden arches of the bridge of friendship and affordable food, or in the form of trajectories of ballistic missiles with insidious filling.

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pepsi original logo coke

The roots of the rivalry between the two producers of “sweetened water”, as old Jobs characterized them, go back to the century before last. The then Pepsi-Cola logo in curves and curls closely resembled the current name of Coca-Cola, and a similar set of letters added a fair amount of confusion. pepsi original logo coke

In 1907, Pepsi makes another daring demarche – the inscription becomes less prim and easy to read by the general public, the main clientele of the two companies.

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First microsoft logo

In the disco era, reels were spinning with might and main and everywhere – on dance floors, in the drives of the first personal computers, and even in the inscription with the name of the company of Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

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First Google logo

Perhaps the statements by Sergey Brin and Larry Page that they are inspired by the desire to make the world a better place are an attempt to atone for the innocent sins of youth? This is how the logo of the search giant looked like in infancy, in 1997, and now it’s hard to believe that these dancing letters have become the godfather of the entire Internet.

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firefox original logo

In 2003, Mozilla found itself embroiled in a corporate dispute with Phoenix Technologies over its new browser. Its working title was “Phoenix” – the merchants did not want to part with such a sonorous word and the software developer had to compromise. But the spark, in the most literal sense, was preserved and simply exchanged the fiery bird for the fiery fox.

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playboy logo original

Initially, instead of the well-known “bunnies” in stockings, the trademark was represented by a rabbit. And not just any, but an alpha male, in the traditional British manner – in a tuxedo, with a bow tie, a glass of vermouth and a cigar. Although the latter is nothing more than a guess, because the eared ladies’ man from Playboy personified eccentricity from the very beginning.

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An illustration of how the change of the logo most vividly symbolizes the urgent reforms in the company’s activities. In 1973, the run-of-the-mill Federal Express postal service came into being, with a trademark that had a utilitarian design. And that was fine with everyone. But by 1994, visual maestro Lyndon Leader had created an incentive name by special order.


Take a closer look at the shape of the void between the letters “E” and “x” – together with the shortened name, this has become a symbol of the speed, accuracy and purposefulness of the updated FedEx.

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att logo

“Bell” is translated from English as “bell”. This is the same surname of the inventor of the telephone, plus Alexander Graham Bell and the founder of AT&T. The modest scientist did not cling his face to the logo, limiting himself to a hint drawing – now people have the opportunity to hear important news at a distance.

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If we take the process of the emergence of IBM as the takeover by The International Time Recording Company of a structure called “Copmuting-Tabulating-Recording-Company” in the early 1920s. last century, the original logo should look like this.


After all, ITR existed as far back as 1888.

But if we consider IBM as an absolutely independent trademark, then its first logo is radically transformed. This is approximately how it remained during the first decades of its activity.

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Nin, Ten and Do are the three Japanese characters that formed the name of a playing card company at the end of the 19th century. Almost a century later, mankind was massively carried away by electronic toys, and then digital ones – the enterprising descendants of the former hucksters quickly navigated the situation. And they changed not only the logo, but also the company’s policy, moving from the release of the games themselves to the creation of developed game universes.

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One piquant legend is associated with the modern version of the auto giant’s logo, the three-pointed star, which attracts the main interest of the audience. It is not surprising that the original version, strict and inexpressive, was naturally forgotten.

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The first color film produced by the company was released in 1935, and its logo was painted in the characteristic red and yellow tones even later. Initially, in the distant 1880s. the firm was called Eastman Kodar Corporation and its trademark looked rather peculiar.

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first ford logo

In 1903, the logo of the newly minted automaker looked like it had come off the screen of a silent cinema – pretentious, contrasting and pretentious. After just a decade, it is rapidly evolving to a format that is more convenient for mounting nameplates in the mass assembly line assembly of thousands of vehicles.

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