Ushahidi: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Logolysis of IBM

Welcome once again to a new logolysis post!
This time its IBM. I know that IBM’s logo is not that great and exciting, but being in the number two spot in the 100 best global brands is no easy task for any company. IBM has had its own set of logos and even company names. It will be interesting to learn about it. So here we go:
Down through the years, IBM (and its predecessor companies) has used a series of logos on signs, stationery, vehicles, products — and even flags — to make a distinctive statement and foster immediate recognition all over the world. Here are those logos in chronological order.
1889-1914 - The International Time Recording Company (ITR) began as the Bundy Manufacturing Company in Auburn, New York. ITR's main product line were mechanical time recorders invented and patented by Willard L. Bundy in 1888. ITR was later merged into the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company — the forerunner of IBM — in 1911. ITR had a logo that was typical of those days with simple and clear fonts merging to form a sketch like pattern.

1891-1914 - In 1891, Edward Canby and Orange O. Ozias, two businessmen from Dayton, Ohio, purchased the patents for the newly invented computing scale and incorporated the Computing Scale Company for the production of commercial scales. This time the logo matured into a cursive font type with a more natural merging of the letters of the company’s name.

1911-1924 - In 1911, financier Charles R. Flint directed the merger of the International Time Recording Company, the Computing Scale Company and the Tabulating Machine Company to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). In 1914 Thomas J. Watson, Sr., was named general manager of CTR. Watson emphasized research and engineering, and introduced into the company his famous motto "THINK." CTR’s logo was again in the form of a collage of letters with the classic font face and gave it a stamp like look to it. The sketch like pattern was still resembling their first logos.

1924-1946 - In 1924, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company adopted the name International Business Machines Corporation. The ornate, rococo letters that formed the "CTR" logo were replaced by the words "Business Machines" in more contemporary sans-sarif type, and in a form intended to suggest a globe, girdled by the word "International." This logo helped IBM look like a global company and was already on its way to become to the largest computer company in the world in the near future.

1947-1956 - IBM borrowed on the equities in its brand image and reputation to help carry it through a difficult transition from the punched-card tabulating business to computers. It began with a change to the logotype, the first in 22 years. The new logo appeared on the masthead of the January 1, 1947 issue of Business Machines with surprisingly little fanfare. The familiar "globe" was replaced with the simple letters "IBM" in a typeface called Beton Bold. This move to a simple font based logo was because of the serious guys working at IBM during those days and even now. The logo depicted a very formal, reverent and big brotherly looking company trying to shred its way across the world.

1956-1972 - In May 1956, shortly before he died, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., presided over the official installation of his son as IBM's chief executive. Tom Watson, Jr. moved quickly, using both actions and symbols to signify a new era. The first visible expression was a relatively subtle change in the company's logotype subtle, in part, to communicate that any changes would come within an overall continuity. Created by noted graphic designer Paul Rand, the new logotype replaced the former Beton Bold typography with City Medium, as the letters "IBM" took on a more solid, grounded and balanced appearance.

1972 - Present -  In 1972, the company introduced a new version of the logotype. Designed by Paul Rand, horizontal stripes now replaced the solid letters to suggest "speed and dynamism." In the intervening quarter-century, the basic design has remained constant, one of the most recognized logotypes in the world, and a design that has been widely imitated by others. The 8 stripes logo was introduced in blue color, this is how it got its name "Big Blue". But the present logo is again in monochrome. IBM's logo has remained the same for a long time from then, except for it is used in different variations according to the need.


So that sums up the logolysis of IBM. IBM’s logo will stay one of the most recognized symbols because of the power and reputation this brand brings to the world.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Logolysis of Coca-Cola

I would like to start my first formal blog post with a very well known company and the number one in the 100 Best Global Brands, none other than Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola is the world’s most popular soft drink. Sold in more than 200 countries, it is produced by The Coca-Cola Company and is often simply referred as Coke. Originally intended as a ‘patent medicine’ when it was invented in the late 19th century by pharmacist John S. Pemberton as a ‘coca wine’, Coca-Cola has dominated the worldwide soft drink market for decades now. The Coca-Cola logo, like the product itself, is rated among the most recognized logos in the world. The first Coca-Cola logo was created by John Pemberton's partner and bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, in 1885. Thinking that the two Cs would look well in advertising, it was Robinson who came up with the name and chose the logo’s distinctive cursive script and the brilliantly concise words beneath: "Delicious and Refreshing". The typeface used, known as Spencerian script, was developed in the mid 19th century and was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States during that period.
The Coca-Cola logo was first advertised in the Atlanta Journal in 1915 and also appeared on the display of Pemberton’s pharmacy. Even the Coca-Cola bottle symbolized the ‘youthful exuberance of America’. Since then, various designs of the Coca-Cola bottle had been released over the decades. But the ever popular version is the famous 1915’s curved-vessel bottle called the “contour bottle”, better known to many as the “hobble skirt” bottle. Though mistakenly designed as cacao pod, the bottle like Coca-Cola logo has been highly popular and is often regarded as the best design ever.
A Coca-Cola dispenser with a Cola-Cola logo was later created by Raymond Loewy. The Coca-Cola logo got registered as a trademark in 1887 and has since then become the brand’s corporate identity. The red and white colored scheme in the Coca-Cola logo was kept simple and distinctive to lure young minds.

Here is a Timeline of Coca-Cola’s Logos:
1886 – When it was first introduced, it was just a simple font.

1900s – First print ads and labels bore the below logo with cursive font

1900s – The logo became a little bit bolder and intact. The cursive font became a recognized mark for Coca-Cola

1940s – The logo we know now was created during this period. This logo was more seamless and looked very consistent. It had a smooth flow and charm to it.

1950s to 1960s – This is called the fishtail logo, as it had fishtail like structure on both ends of the original logo to make it look as classic brand.

1960s – The fishtail morphed into a wave, showing the dissemination of happiness and joy across

1985 – The new Coke was launched which was a major failure, but the name “Coke” stuck in the minds of the people, that people started referring Coca-Cola as Coke. Coke font was normal and not of cursive type.

1987 – Coca-Cola logo was merged with the logo of Coke to make the consumers use the names interchangeably.

1990s – The Coca-Cola bottle design has always been legendary and that was added as part of the logo to reinforce the product along with the logo

2000s – Coca-Cola wanted to bring back the classic coke into the main stream and they did by adding a word CLASSIC to the logo

2009 – Again they have embraced their contour bottle or hobble skirt bottle with logo on it, as in the case of real bottle. The logo curves along with the curves of the bottle. They consider this more contemporary. The bottle like Coca-Cola logo has been highly popular and is often regarded as the best design ever.

So if you see the logo, it has evolved with time and stayed very contemporary. As always the logo will stand for youthfulness and friendliness.
Coca-Cola has always stayed true to its brand personality and all its marketing activities have been in sync. Even though the brand itself is more than a 100 years old, it still stays as a youthful and reverent brand.
It is one of the greatest brands ever in history of consumer products and will stay so for a long time to come.