This is the History of Amazon and a look at their Logo Design.
In the relatively short time Amazon has been around they have flipped the world of commerce upside down. In 2016, the company brought in a little over $135 million dollars and shows no sign of slowing down. More than just a web store, Amazon has become a driving force behind a number of new technologies, including developing drones to deliver their packages and introducing the company’s voice activated personal assistant, Amazon Alexa. Though the history of Amazon may be brief, it’s been remarkably illustrious as well. From its origins as an online bookstore to its current position as the king of e-commerce, we’ll look at the history of Amazon and the role the company’s logo has played in its success.
Origins of Amazon
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 under the name “Cadabra”. In a testament to the importance of thoughtful branding, though, Bezos would change the name a year later to “Amazon” after realizing the original name’s phonic resemblance to the word cadaver. At the time of its founding, Amazon sold only books. Within the first two months of being online, though, Amazon was selling books in 45 different countries and generating a revenue of $20,000 a week.
Even with initial success like this, Amazon’s slow growth frustrated many investors. The business plan for Amazon outlined that the company didn’t expect to be profitable for four to five years and instead insisted that all of the company’s revenue be focused on growth and expansion. In 2000 though, when the dot-com bubble burst and killed off many online stores, Amazon was one of the only key players left standing. This led the company to turn its first profit in 2001 of $5 million.
Since then, Amazon hasn’t looked back, growing to be one of the most influential companies in the world today. What started as an online bookstore has since grown into massive corporation with a hand in almost everything. From grocery shopping to cutting-edge technology, Amazon now provides everything from A to Z. It’s only fitting then that the company should have a logo that conveys this exact message.
History of the Amazon Logo
The Amazon logo has had three different iterations over the years, but neither of the first two stuck around for very long. The company’s first logo was simply the word Amazon.com spelled out in black font with a larger, yellow font used for the “o”. This design was later replaced with a logo that featured the company name with a near-straight yellow line beneath it. On top of the word Amazon.com, the words, “Books, Music & More” were spelled out in light grey font. This design stuck around until 2000, when Jeff Bezo rolled out the logo that the company has been using ever since, the famous Amazon.com with a curved arrow beneath it.
Design Elements of the Amazon Logo
The third and seemingly final design of the Amazon logo features a couple of really creative elements. The first of these is where the arrow underneath the logo starts and stops. Beginning at the “A” in “Amazon” and ending at the “Z”, this design element of the Amazon logo is meant to portray the message that Amazon sells everything from “A” to “Z”. At the time Amazon adopted this new logo the company had already moved well past its days of just being a bookstore and were already offering a wide range of products. Along with this, the vision of all Amazon would eventually be involved in was undoubtedly already inside the mind of Jeff Bezos when he introduced this new logo. By having the arrow in the logo stretch from “A” to “Z”, Amazon is able to convey to their customers that the company can meet their every need.
The design of the arrow in the Amazon logo actually serves a double purpose, though, in that it is also made to look like a smile. When combined with the rest of the design, the entire logo bares a very subtle resemblance to a face. Research has shown that humans have incredible facial recognition and has also shown that we place a lot of trust in a smiling face. By designing their logo to look like a smiling face, Amazon is able to convey that they are a trustworthy, friendly company.
Lastly, arrows have long been used to convey messages of forward progress and speed, both elements of Amazon’s business model in that they are constantly innovating and have also built a cornerstone of their business (Amazon Prime) around the fastest available shipping speeds.
Popularity of the Amazon Logo
If you’ve ever ordered a package from Amazon you’ve seen their logo. Every Amazon package comes with the famous logo proudly displayed across the box, and Amazon even advertises themselves as “delivering smiles to customers’ doorsteps”. Since packages from Amazon are often so readily available, the boxes are many times reused by customers to ship other items, only further advertising the Amazon brand. It’s one of the most effective ways Amazon makes use of their logo and is an example of the importance that packaging plays in branding.
A good logo also opens the door for good slogans, and as already mentioned, Amazon has built one of their best slogans around the design of their logo. The company also has the smile program, a charitable branch of the company that donates money to a variety of different organizations and serves as another example of how Amazon has built a segment of their branding around their logo’s design.
Of the companies in the world today to study, Amazon is certainly one of the most exciting, and it will be interesting to see what innovations they spearhead in the coming years. Likewise, as a company that is still relatively new when compared to retail giants such as Walmart and Target, Amazon has plenty of room left to continue defining their brand. It will be interesting to see what changes they make going forward and how they will continue to use their logo as a part of their unique branding strategy.