fbpx

It’s time for some ADD+ ition…

Can you identify what adding these elements together help create the logo of?

Developed by designer Paul Rand, the iconic IBM logo remains very much alive and distinctly recognisable in today’s world. However, have you ever asked how this striking logo came to be? One word that could perhaps describe its road to recognition is: Evolution. Let’s dive into how the Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company (C-T-R) transformed into the IBM we know today!

Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company (quite the mouthful!) was created in 1911. The company specialised in lock autograph recorders, used as school time control systems and electrical accounting machines. C-T-R was formed through the merger of three companies: the Herman Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Co., the International Time Recording Company, and the Computing Scale Company. C-T-R eventually had a name change on the 14th February 1924, when International Business Machines (IBM) was officially unveiled to the world.

With it’s new found name a new logo was also introduced, conveying IBM’s global expansion and forward-thinking. Using the shape of a globe to fit the letters of the company name, the initial wordmark was rather intriguing, with a distinctive theme. A mantra the company adopted was a comment made by former IBM CEO, Thomas J. Watson Jr., being: “Good design is good business,”, with that in mind (alongside guidance from Eliot Noyes) IBM set out on its journey for a change in logo. Paul Rand (attributed to being a true graphic pioneer) was part of a team Noyes had grouped together for IBM’s new look.

In regards to insight of his perspective on logo importance, Rand was quoted as saying the following:

“In the competitive world of look-alike products, a distinctive company logotype is one if not the principal means of distinguishing one product from that of another,”.

IBM went initially opted for a type logo in 1946 (of the letters “I”, “B” and “M” – white body with a black outline), illustrative of the company’s shift from punched-cards to computers. A passionate designer, Paul Rand was seen as a genius by many when it came to graphic design, his first marked input being the use of a stronger typeface with subtle, yet effective, changes to the IBM type logo such as the use of squares in the letter B. This updated logo was then put into circulation in 1956. Still restless, and itching to push the logo design even further, Rand’s final input was the addition of the iconic stripes, bringing unity and movement to the company’s visual identity.

This is a brief look at the IBM logo and an aspect of its history. There is quite some depth to the everyday logos we interact with, that all too frequently go unknown. For more about brand logos and identity, visit the Graphic section of our site or come along to one of our monthly Table at Ten events, designed to inform individuals on various aspects of business creation.

Sources

ibm.com/design/language/ibm-logos/8-bar/ designhill.com/design-blog/ibm-logo-simple-logo-type-express-speed-dynamism/ thedesignlove.com/case-study-the-ibm-logo-evolution/ 1000logos.net/ibm-logo/ qz.com/461040/how-to-design-an-enduring-logo-lessons-from-ibm-and-paul-rand/

Check out some more iconic logos below:

Time for some ADD+ ition: NASA

Time for some ADD+ ition: NASA

It’s time for some ADD+ ition… Can you identify what adding these elements together help create the logo of?*Hover over to interact*NASA seal, black and white (1959) / NASA seal, colour...

read more
Time for some ADD+ ition: Mickey Mouse

Time for some ADD+ ition: Mickey Mouse

During 1927 (Operating under Universal Pictures) Walt Disney created a character known as Ozwald the Lucky Rabbit. Seeing huge success with said character, this was soon put to an end somewhat. When meeting executives (during 1928), Disney was confronted by a sharp sting…

read more
Time for some ADD+ ition: Kodak

Time for some ADD+ ition: Kodak

It’s time for some ADD+ ition… Can you identify what adding these two elements together help create the logo of? Established by George Eastman in 1888, the Eastman Kodak Company produced its first brand...

read more

Interested in learning more about business?