Longest Standing Logos in History
So just exactly which logos currently hold this title? You might be surprised to learn that the very oldest logo I can find record of is for the ‘reassuringly expensive’ Belgian Beer ‘Stella Artois’.
Yes, Stella Artois was founded all the way back in 1366 when the Den Hoorn brewery was opened in Leuven, Belgium, while the horn synonymous with that brand has been used right from the get go.
Although I can find no documentation of the original logo as it was then.
The brewery was bought by Sebastian Artois in 1708 but it wasn’t until 1926 and the release of a seasonal beer, the Christmas Star, that Stella was actually added to the mix. Stella meaning ‘star’ in Latin.
The same horn has been an ever present right up to the present day as Stella Artois has become the biggest selling Belgian beer in the world.
The oldest, unaltered, logo in history goes to Twinings Tea. In a world where everything is out of date no sooner than it’s in the public eye this one really has stood the test of time. Not only that but the company still occupies the very same space in Londons Strand that they did when the company was formed over 300 years ago in 1706 by Thomas Twining. This was before tea had even become such an essential part of British tradition.
In 1787 the logo we know so well today was first used and it hasn’t changed since.
Britain oldest trademark the Bass triangle was first used in 1876 almost 100 years after the company started and by 1890 it had helped Bass become one of the biggest sellers of beer in England.
So popular had it become that it was mentioned in James Joyce Ulysses and the Titanic was apparently carrying 12,000 bottles of it when the ship sunk. It also featured in Edouard Manet’s 1882 work ‘A Bar at the Folies Bergere.
Shell oil’s origins lie not in oil but, perhaps unsurprisingly given their logo, through the importing of oriental seashells.
In 1833 Marcus Samuel who was currently selling antiques decided to move into selling shells which were in huge demand at the time. On his death in 1870 the company was passed down to his two sons and only then did the interest arise in the export of oil.
In 1897 the name ‘Shell’ was born and the idea for a shell to be used in the logo first came about. In 1904 the official logo of a scallop shell was born and in 1907 Shell merged with Royal Dutch Petroleum.
In 1915 they opened their first service station in California and also introduced the red and yellow colour scheme we see today.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Founded in 1836 Levis first used two horse logo in 1886 as a way to grow it’s market share before their patent on making jeans expired.
The logo became so well known that people would ask for the ‘pants with the two horses’ when looking to make a purchase. Levis even used the name ‘Two Horse Brand’ until 1928 when they finally trademarked the Levis name.
This logo has been mentioned before her and while not to everyones taste there is no denying it has lasted a long time.
The company was founded in 1866 but it wasn’t until 1905 that the current ‘Cover the Earth’ logo was used having been created in the 1890’s by their head advertiser George Ford. Then general manager Walter Cottingham considered it an accurate reflection of the companies rapid growth.
Despite still standing Sherwin Williams has come under considerable pressure to update things as certain groups and many people consider it to be outdated, a representation of the industrial age and with the issues we face on climate change, not a very positive image for the future.
Originally named Heinz Noble and Co. and founded by the son of German immigrants Henry J Heinz & his Friend L Clarence Noble the company began in 1869. Initially they began on a small scale packing horseradish sauce made from the vegetables in Heinz mothers garden. The original company went bankrupt in 1875 but a year later Henry Heinz was back with a new company F & J Heinz which he founded with his brother. At this time he introduced ketchup to the American public.
Since then Henry J Heinz bought out his partners, renamed the company again to the H J Heinz Company and continues to grow year on year. They now supply over 5,700 products worldwide
They were bought out by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital in 2013 and then in 2015 merged with Kraft.
Purely in terms of logo design very little has changed since the Heinz and Noble days.
The company was founded in 1875 by John Fairfield Dryen and their logo first appeared in 1896.
Prudential introduced the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ logo to signify strength, stability, expertise and innovation. They used the slogan ‘Prudential has the strength of Gibraltar along with their ads in a weekly newspaper.
Since the very beginning Prudential has always been an insurance company. Originally named the Prudential Friendly Society they are now one of the largest financial institutions in the world.
The ‘rock’ logo has served them particularly well in international markets as they now operate in over 40 countries.
Peugeot were originally a steel manufacturer back when the company started in 1810. Before they set out on course to where they are now they also sold coffee mills and bicycles.
In fact it wasn’t until 1850 that the famous lion logo was first used and subsequently 1889 until the company built their very first car, which was an unreliable steam tricycle. This was followed in 1890 by an internal combustion car.
The logo has changed a little over the years with removal of the arrow and a change in the lions stance. Overall however the main elements are still there.