Everyone knows about Xerox, but the reality is that if asked to pick out their logo, the majority of people wouldn’t have a clue what it was. It’s an interesting contrast: this thing is something we use every day, but it’s logo design is not the strongest.
Founded in 1906, the Xerox company initially wasn’t actually called Xerox. It was the Haloid Corporation, which then merged with the Xerox company, a close competitor.
The same tablet element, which gave a strong silhouette, was retained when the two companies merged. The Haloid Xerox company then stayed under that name for four years. Eventually, Xerox won out, and the general consensus was that the logo was due a rethink.
The 1960s were a time of rapid change in all areas, including logo design. The bold, masculine block logo was switched out for a simple, thin text alternative designed by Lippincott.
When you have a company like Xerox, one of the large draws is the name. After all, it’s quite difficult to consider what a copy company could use as a shortcut for their logo. Putting a monochrome copier machine wouldn’t give such a great brand impression. The name, though, is unusual, especially for it’s repetition of one of the rarest letters in the English language: X.
By 1994, Xerox had enough brand recognition to cut things down somewhat. The X was their main trading point, so they simply used that. The slight pixelation echoed the sort of graphical OSs that were being used at the time in home computing.
In 2002, the company threw back to their 1961 logo in their modern day color. It was seen as a step back by many, but worse was to come.
Designed by Interbrand, the 2007 rethink is widely considered a failure. People think it looks like a beach ball or a piece of candy. Regardless, it plays down the most important and recognisable bit of the Xerox name – the X.