The Oldest Brand Names and Logs of All Time
Humans are visual creatures. Studies show that half the human brain takes part in processing visual information. It’s no wonder then that companies throughout the ages have spent time and effort developing their brand names and logos.
While many logos have changed significantly over the course of a company’s lifetime, some of the oldest logos in the world still retain some or all of the core visual elements from their first inception.
Here are some of the oldest brand names and logos that have stood the test of time.
Stella Artois (1366)
Stella Artois was founded as the Den Hoorn Brewery in 1366 and has gone through a couple of name changes in its time. The first was when Sebastian Artois bought the brewery in 1708 and renamed it after himself. The second was the addition of the word Stella, meaning “star” in Latin, during the company’s release of a seasonal beer in 1926.
Despite the changes in name, Stella Artois makes this list because of its original horn logo element. It’s remained untouched since the company’s founding in 1366.
Today, Anheuser-Busch-Inbev distributes Stella Artois to more than 80 countries. The same horn illustration that originally attracted drinkers in Belgium still beckons contemporary customers today.
Twinings Tea (1706)
Twinings Tea was founded in 1706 by Tomas Twining and, remarkably, has occupied the same location on London’s Strand since its founding. But location isn’t the only element of the company known for its longevity.
Twinings holds the record for the oldest unaltered logo in continuous use. Its capitalized font beneath a lion crest has been used continuously since its inception in 1887.
Today, Twinings Tea remains a family-owned company. 10 generations of Twinings have worked towards making it a globally recognized brand that distributes tea to over 100 countries.
Peugeot was founded in 1810 as a steel manufacturer. It would later have a stint as a bicycle business before becoming one of the world’s most renowned auto manufacturers.
The original Peugeot trademark was designed by Justin Blazer in 1847. While the original logo — a lion standing on an arrow — has undergone some modifications, the look and feel of the design has stood the test of time.
Levi Strauss & Co. (1837)
Levi’s logo was designed in 1886 as part of a campaign to grow its market share before the expiry of its patent on the jean-making process. The two horses featured on the logo have been a staple of the brand since then, even taking a turn as the brand name — “The Two Horse Brand” — until 1928 when Levi Strauss trademarked the Levi’s name.
The Levi’s brand is still going strong today, with their products available in 110 countries worldwide.
Heinz got its start in 1869 as Heinz and Noble Co. when Henry Heinz and L. Clarence Noble bottled horseradish and sold it in U.S. markets. The original company caved during the financial panic of 1873 but Heinz returned to selling condiments in 1876, introducing ketchup to the American market.
The current Heinz logo has its roots in the original Heinz and Noble Co. logo, with its font, size, and shape changing very little from its 1869 incarnation. It remains one of the most recognized brand names and logos in the world.
Bass Ale (1875)
The designer of the Bass Ale logo is unknown but the logo itself has cultivated renown not just for its simplicity, but also its longevity. It was the first trademark to be registered under the U.K.’s Trade Mark Registration Act of 1875.
The Bass Brewery was established in 1777 by William Bass in England. Today, the Bass Ale brand resides under the Anheuser-Busch InBev umbrella – the largest brewing company in the world. Despite its many changes in management and ownership, its iconic red triangle has remained the cornerstone of the brand.
Coca-Cola’s first logo wasn’t quite the one we see on billboards today. When the company was founded in 1886 their logo appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution as both a slab serif and chunky sans-serif. The Spencerian script logo that’s survived to this day was penned by Coca-Cola’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, in mid-1887.
The first few decades of Coca-colas run, their logos were inconsistently applied, as the script was drawn and copied over for different applications. It wasn’t until the 1930s and 40s that the logo was locked down and used consistently. Even so, Coca-Cola’s logo has remained strikingly similar to what it was 124 years ago.
Johnson & Johnson (1886)
Johnson & Johnson was founded in 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was the first company to mass produce and distribute sterile surgical dressings in the U.S.
The distinctive Johnson & Johnson logo was designed the year after the company’s inception. It was modeled after the signature of James Wood Johnson, one of the founding brothers.
The logo has remained virtually unchanged since its inception and is one of the world’s most recognized brand names and logos.
Today, Johnson & Johnson products are sold in almost every country in the world.
IBM, which stands for “International Business Machines” is one of the largest computer companies in the world. Which is why it may surprise you that the company was founded in 1896.
The company which would become IBM started its life as the Tabulating Machine Company (TMC). It was founded by Herman Hollerith in Broom County in New York.
IBM adopted its current name when it became an international manufacturing company in 1924.
The company logo has undergone a number of iterations over the years of its operation, with its current look settling in 1972.
Nintendo is a world-renowned developer of video games, but not a lot of people know the company actually got its start creating card games in 1889.
The original Nintendo logo consisted of the company name in kanji. It lasted seventy-five or so years until the brand started marketing to the English-speaking world.
The contemporary Nintendo logo has been in use since the early 1980s, with only slight tweaks being made from then til now.
Brand Names and Logos Can Be Forever
Some of the oldest companies in the world are still using the same or markedly similar logos to their initial design. This goes to show: a good logo is essential for brand development but a great logo has the power to keep a company in the public mind for centuries.
Ready to create a logo that will stand the test of time? Diylogo can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.