American firms have a rich history of representing their brands with interesting logos. 24/7 Wall St. rounded up the top 10 oldest logos. Read the first five below, and then click here for the rest of the list.
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> Logo first used: 1876 > Company founded: 1837 > Revenue: $36.2 billion > Industry: Industrial goods
Deere & Company’s trademark image of a deer leaping over a log was registered in 1876, but the company began using it three years before. There have been changes to the logo’s design along the way. The original deer used was a type generally found in Africa, while today’s logo uses a North American white-tailed deer. In addition, while the original logo was in black and white with “John Deere” written above the deer, today’s version is in green and yellow with John Deere written below the deer. The log is no longer a part of the logo either. Today, the company makes a host of different products ranging from tractors to diesel engines to lawnmowers. In 2013, John Deere was ranked 85th in the Fortune 500, with more than $36 billion in revenue.
> Logo first used: 1886 > Company founded: 1886 > Revenue: $48.0 billion > Industry: Soft drinks
In 1886, pharmacist John Pemberton began selling Coca-Cola at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta. Soon after, the company adopted its world-famous logo, featuring an elaborate cursive script and two looping capitalized Cs. Since then, the Coca-Cola Co. has made few tweaks to its core logo, adding the “dynamic ribbon” — the white swirl that underlines the lettering on its logos — in 1969. In its 2012 report, Interbrand noted that Coca-Cola was the world’s most valuable brand, worth an estimated $77.8 billion. According to a recent NPR report, with the easing of trade restrictions in Myanmar, there are just two countries where Coca-Cola is not sold: Cuba and North Korea.
3. Johnson & Johnson
> Logo first used: 1886 > Company founded: 1886 > Revenue: $67.2 billion > Industry: Drug manufacturers
One of the largest health care companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was founded in 1886 by Robert Wood Johnson and his two brothers to make surgical dressings. By 1890, the company was shipping sterile dressings throughout the United States. The logo itself is modeled after founding brother James Wood Johnson’s signature. According to a website maintained by the firm’s chief historian, the logo has been “part of Johnson & Johnson since the beginning.” From 1887 onwards, the company also frequently used a red cross emblem on its products. In 2007, Johnson & Johnson sued the American Red Cross, alleging trademark infringement. The company lost.
4. Union Pacific
> Logo first used: 1888 > Company founded: 1862 > Revenue: $20.9 billion > Industry: Railroads
Union Pacific Corp. has used a shield as its logo since 1887, and it began using patriotic colors the year after that. Also in 1888, the company added the words “The Overland Route” — as the rail line was commonly called — to its shield. After briefly experimenting with a modernist-style shield in the early 1940s, the company returned to its traditional colors but without the Overland Route reference. The company again briefly overhauled its shield in 1962, when it adopted a square, red-and-white shield. Ten months later it abandoned the idea. Since then, the company has used the red-white-and-blue shield for its logo. Union Pacific faces competition from several companies, but notes its largest competitor is Warren Buffett-owned BNSF Railway.
> Logo first used: 1896 > Company founded: 1875 > Revenue: $84.8 billion > Industry: Life insurance
Prudential used the “Rock of Gibraltar” logo for the first time in 1896 in an advertisement with Leslie’s Weekly. Under the logo the ad said, “The Prudential has the strength of Gibraltar.” The company was initially founded as Prudential Friendly Society in 1876 by John Fairfield Dryden, an insurance agent. Today, Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU) offers both individuals and institutions a wide variety of financial products, such as annuities, life insurance and wealth management. The company was ranked 29th on the Fortune 500 in 2013, with an annual revenue of $84.8 billion.