The Goldman Sachs logo was quietly refreshed in early 2020, eliminating its most recognizable design element: the GS ligature. In addition to splitting the two uppercase letters, the new design replaces the round, soft font with a much simpler choice. Moreover, the kerning has been slightly decreased.
According to Axios, graphic design agency, Dalton Maag did the logo redesign after the previous version was deemed “not legible enough at small sizes .” The agency has also created a bespoke font, Goldman Sans, which was rolled later in the year.
The Goldman Sachs “blue box” logo was designed by Lippincott in 1970. It was intended to create a cohesive and unifying visual identity to help signal the company’s shift from just an investment banking institution to an all-encompassing financial services provider.
The Goldman Sachs Logo Evolution
The first Goldman Sachs logo was designed in 1970, just over a century after the investment bank was founded. Also, it hasn’t changed much since its introduction, which is clear evidence of its effectiveness.
The first Goldman Sachs logo features one element only—the company’s name “Goldman Sachs” in white inside a sky blue square. This design is specifically used to demonstrate that the financial services provider is transparent and practical. The financial services provider emphasized its confidence by choosing a minimalistic design, as proven by its enlarged scope.
The name “Goldman Sachs” is written clearly at the top part of the square in two lines. But the most critical aspect of the logo is the unique fusion of letters “G” and “S” and the nearby letters “c” and “h .” Furthermore, “h” and “d” feature shortened legs at the top, “a” has no bottom stroke, and “n” and “m” have the same shape because they’re both smooth.
The current Goldman Sachs logo design replicates the previous version but is still different in certain aspects. In the current version, there’s no fusion of letters “G” and “S” and “c” and “h .” Instead, the designers chose to simplify the letters to make them classic.
In addition, they added serifs to the letters, which now not only feature in letters “G” and “S” but also in other letters, except “o .” Moreover, the designers changed the blue tint of the square, giving it a slight purple tone.
The Goldman Sachs Logo Design Elements
Shape: Goldman Sachs’ emblem is a sky blue square containing the company’s name written across two white lines. The name is located at the top part of the square. The simplicity and few colors have produced a good logo design on the whole.
Font: There are just two colors in the Goldman Sachs logo: white and sky blue. White represents purity, which shows that the company strives to use legal, honest, and fair means to achieve maximum prosperity.
Color: Goldman Sachs came up with their own personalized font befitting their status as a large and reputable financial services provider. The original logo was a combination of sans serif and serif letters. The present logo has the company name written entirely with serifs. Moreover, various media use the Univers, Sabon, and Roboto fonts.
The History of Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a US multinational financial services company and investment bank headquartered in Lower Manhattan, New York, and was founded by Marcus Goldman in 1869. By December 2016, the company had offices in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Goldman Sachs provides services such as mergers and acquisitions, asset management, security underwriting services, and brokerage. It also offers traditional banking services via its bank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA.
In 1869, Marcus Goldman founded Goldman Sachs in New York. In 1882, his son-in-law Samuel Sachs was recruited into the company. In 1885, Goldman’s son Henry and another son-in-law Ludwig Dreyfuss joined the company, and it adopted its current Goldman Sachs & Co. name.
In 1896, Goldman Sachs joined the NYSE and pioneered the utilization of commercial papers by entrepreneurs. By 1898, the company’s capital was worth $1.6 million.
In 1906, the company entered the IPO market when it offered Sears, Roebuck, and Co to the public. Goldman’s personal friend Julius Rosenwald, who owned Sears, facilitated the deal. Other IPOs came after that, including Continental Can and F.W. Woolworth. In 1912, Henry Bowers became a partner in the company, and he was the first person outside of the founders to get a share of its profits.
Under increasing pressure from other partners in Goldman Sachs thanks to his pro-Germany standpoint, Henry Goldman resigned his position in 1917. The Sachs family took absolute control of Goldman Sachs until 1918 when Waddill Catchings came onboard. By 1928, Catchings had the most significant partnership stake in Goldman Sachs.
In December 1928, Goldman Sachs launched a closed-end fund named Goldman Sachs Trading Corp. The fund flopped during the 1929 Stock Market Crash amid allegations that Goldman had taken part in insider trading and share price manipulation.
In 1930, Goldman Sachs ousted senior partner Catchings and replaced him with Sidney Weinberg. Weinberg immediately changed the company’s focus from trading to investment banking. His actions helped to repair some of the damage done to the company’s reputation.
Under Weinberg’s stewardship in 1956, Goldman Sachs was the key advisor during Ford’s IPO, a significant achievement on Wall Street back then. Under Weinberg’s leadership, the company launched a municipal bond department and investment research division and became one of the first innovators in risk arbitrage.
Securities trader Gus Levy joined Goldman Sachs in the 1950s, where two factions waged a supremacy battle, one each from securities trading and investment banking. Levy pioneered block trading, and Goldman Sachs established this practice under his leadership. Thanks to Weinberg’s massive clout, the company started an investment banking section in 1956 to focus on Weinberg.
In 1957, Goldman Sachs moved its headquarters to New York City’s 20 Broad Street.
In 1969, Levy assumed the senior partner role from Weinberg and rebuilt Goldman Sachs’ trading franchise. Levy is famous for coming up with the company’s famed mantra of “being greedy long-term,” which suggested that short-term losses are tolerable provided that money is made in the long run.
That same year, partners plowed back almost all of their profits into the company. Weinberg remained a Goldman Sachs senior partner, and he passed on in July the same year.
In 1970, the company went through another financial crisis, when Penn Central Transportation Co went under with more than $80 million worth of commercial paper unused, most of it from Goldman Sachs. The bankruptcy was devastating, and the ensuing lawsuits, especially by the SEC, put Goldman Sachs’ partnership capital, reputation, and existence at stake. As a result of this bankruptcy, every commercial paper issuer today must have credit ratings from various credit rating services.
Goldman Sachs opened its first overseas branch in 1970 in London and created a fixed income section and Private Wealth Management section in 1972. In 1974, the firm started the “white knight” plan during its bid to prevent a hostile takeover of Electric Storage Battery by rival firm Morgan Stanley and International Nickel.
John C. Whitehead and John L. Weinberg (Sidney Weinberg’s son) took on senior partner roles in 1996, once again reiterating the co-leadership structure at Goldman Sachs. One of their moves was establishing 14 business tenets that the company still claims to use.
In November 1981, Goldman Sachs bought commodities trading company J. Aron & Co, merging it with its own Fixed Income division and renaming it Fixed Income, Commodities, and Currencies. J. Aron was engaged in gold and coffee markets, and Lloyd Blankfein (ex-Goldman CEO) joined the company thanks to this merger.
In 1986, Goldman Sachs started the Asset Management division, which manages most of its hedge funds and mutual funds. That same year, the company also underwrote Microsoft’s IPO, advised General Electric during its takeover of RCA, became the first US bank to be ranked among the ten best UK mergers and acquisitions, and joined the Tokyo and London stock exchanges.
In 1990, Stephen Friedman and Robert Rubin took up the co-senior partnership role at Goldman Sachs. They promised to focus on the firm’s globalization efforts to strengthen the trading business and merger and acquisition lines. During their stint as co-senior partners, Goldman Sachs brought paper-free trading to the NYSE and oversaw the first-ever worldwide offering by an American corporation.
In 1994, the company opened its first location in Beijing, China, and started the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index. Still, Rubin and Friedman left Goldman Sachs, in the same year, and Jon Corzine assumed the CEO role.
Rubin had come under fire in Congress for distributing $20 billion through a Treasury Department account in his possession to save Mexican bonds, which Goldman Sachs heavily distributed. In November 1994, Goldman Sachs and another firm were confirmed to be trading on the Mexican Bolsa stock exchange. The Mexican economic crisis of 1994 threatened to destroy the value of Goldman Sachs’ Mexican bonds.
In April 1996, Goldman Sachs underwrote the Yahoo! IPO. Two years later, the company was the co-lead overseer of the NTTDoCoMo IPO, reportedly worth ¥2 trillion. In 1999, Goldman Sachs took over Hull Trading Company in a $531 million deal. After decades of discussion among the partners, Goldman Sachs held an IPO in May 1999 and became a public corporation.
The public acquired 12.6% of Goldman Sachs and, after the initial public offering, the company’s 221 former partners got a 48.3% stake. Non-partner employees got a 21.2% stake in the company, while two long-time investors (Assn and Sumitomo Bank Ltd) and retired Goldman Sachs partners got the remaining 17.9% stake.
The price for each share was $53. After the initial public offering, Henry Paulson succeeded Jon Corzine as Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman.
In September 2000, Goldman Sachs acquired Spear, Leeds & Kellogg for $6.3 billion. It was one of the biggest specialist companies on the NYSE. In January 2000, the firm, alongside Lehman Brothers, oversaw the first online bond offering on behalf of the World Bank.
In a joint business venture with Australian investment bank JBWere in March 2003, Goldman Sachs took up a 45% shareholding. The following month, Goldman Sachs bought fee-based financial counseling provider The Ayco Company.
Four years after Goldman Sachs’ report on the rising “BRIC” economies (Brazil, Russia, China, and India) in 2001, the firm released a list of its “Next Eleven” countries, using political maturity, macroeconomic stability, quality of education, and openness of investment and trade policies as criteria.
The countries included the Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam, South Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Egypt.
In May 2006, Lloyd Blankfein took over as Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman, succeeding Henry Paulson, who’d left the company to work as US Secretary of the Treasury. In January 2007, Goldman Sachs, alongside CanWest Global Communications, bought Alliance Atlantis, which owned the CSI series’s rights.
Summing Up the History of Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a US multinational financial services provider and investment bank headquartered in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It was founded by Marcus Goldman in 1869 and had regional headquarters in Salt Lake City, London, Warsaw, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Bangalore, as well as several offices in other financial centers around the world.
Goldman Sachs provides investment management and asset management services, prime brokerage, and investment banking (offering advice for restructuring and mergers and acquisitions). It’s a liquidity provider and brokers securities, credit products, mortgage-backed securities, equities, equity derivatives, currencies, insurance-linked securities, commodities, future contracts, structured products, and options.
Goldman Sachs operates private-equity funds, real estate, and credit funds, as well as hedge funds. It owns a direct bank Goldman Sachs Bank and structures custom-made and complex financial products. It trades both for its own account and for its clients.
Goldman Sachs invests in and secures financing for startup companies and, more often than not, gets extra business when the firms initiate initial public offerings (IPOs). Notable IPOs overseen by Goldman Sachs include those of Robinhood Markets, Twitter, Bumble, Las Vegas Sands, FIGS, Toast, Inc., and Coupang.
With its total assets worth $938.55 billion by 2012, the company employs more than 32,000 people worldwide.