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24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About

For the average person, most of the changes a business goes through aren't noticed. However, when a company decides to rebrand itself, it greatly impacts how a company is seen, whether the public is aware of it or not.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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A new logo can give life to a dying company and create new opportunities for it. Here are some of the companies that went through a major rebranding and completely changed public perception.

The journey of Shell

When the Shell oil company originally started, they were a small company from London, selling seashells and antiques. Now, they're worth $122.44 billion. How did that happen? In 1907, the company had a merger with the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, birthing today's Shell company.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The original logo was a mussel, but since then, the company has gone through several changes, and now the logo is a scallop. The iconic red and yellow colors were adopted in 1948, and the name was dropped from the logo in 1999.

Bullseye rebrand

A huge American retail chain, Target, is worth around $58.53 billion and was originally called Dayton Dry Goods Company before rebranding themselves in 1962. Owner George D. Dayton opened his first store in 1902, and the company has only gone up since them.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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In 1938, Geroge died, and the business went to his grandson. In 1962, the old name was dropped, and the company was called Target. This was a big step forward and symbolized change and growth for the company.

Keeping it simple with Bill Gates

Your first computer was probably a PC. Today, Microsoft is one of the most important tech and software companies in the world and is valued at $1 trillion. But when you look at the original logo, you wouldn't have thought it would be where it is today.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the company in 1975, with the brand sporting a black and white logo design. However, by 2012, they developed a more modern and eye-catching logo to symbolize where the company is today.

The perfect match: red and white

Everyone loves a cold glass of coca-cola on a hot summer day. Dr. Pemberton first created coca-cola in 1886. Today, it's the most popular soda in the world, and the company is worth around $74 billion. However, the company didn't hit its boom until it rebranded itself.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The famous red and white logo didn't always look like that. It was Coca-Cola's bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, who came up with the design. Since then, the company has updated the logo a couple of times; however, always keeping the color scheme the same.

IBM

Before IBM was created, the company was originally called ITRC, which stood for International Time Recording Company. They started in 1911 as computer software, hardware, and consulting company; however, by 1911, they wanted to be sleek and modern like Microsoft.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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But that didn't happen until 1946, when the company chose IBM over its original name. The IBM logo was sleek and modern, which helped the company achieve it's $103.96 billion net worth.

Lego

Ah, Lego. We love to play with it and hate to step on it. We've all played with lego, but did you know where the logo came from? The name LEGO comes from the Danish phrase 'leg godt' which means "play well." The company started in 1932 and has transformed itself since then by adding red to its logo design.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The color choices have really helped push the company forward, as their now worth $592.5 billion. Now, that's not bad for a toy company, don't you think?

The famous golden arches

Ah yes, whether you like McDonald's or not, you know those golden arches when you see them. The fast-food chain started as a small, family-run burger joint in 1955. However, today, it's one of the most well-known companies in the world and valued at over $135 billion. But they've come a long way with their logo.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About

Ray Kroc, the man responsible for making McDonald's boom, was very involved with the rebranding of the company. It was in the 1960s where the logo started to look like an arch. There were tiny tweaks, but in general, not much has changed.

Instagram rebrand

We all know and love Instagram, but it wasn't always what it is now. The company launched in 2010 and quickly became one of the most popular apps in the world. Now, its value is $110 billion. However, the company went through three major rebrands.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom used a polaroid camera as the logo; however, the marketing team didn't like it. So, now the company uses a purple-shaped camera icon as it's logo, and to be honest, it's easily recognizable.

The four rings

We all know the Audi logo; who doesn't? The car manufacturing and design team at Audi started in 1889 when August Horch built his own car. Through his passion project, he created the Audi company in 1909. The name comes from Latin origins and is the Latin translation of his last name.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The now-famous logo was used in 1932 to symbolize the merging of four auto companies 0 Horch, DKW, Automobile, and Audi. After that, the company went through various ownerships; however, the four-ring emblem remained.

Corks to cars

Mazda has been around for a while, since 1920, to be exact. Japanese businessman Shinpachi Kaizuka brought it to life; however, it wasn't until 1931 until the first logo came to life. Before that, the company was called Toyo Kogyo Corporation.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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By 1997, the bran started to use wing shapes on the logo, signifying a sense of growth and progress. The company is now worth around $3.67 billion and is well-known for its quality and reliability.

Twitter bird

Have you tweeted today? Social media app Twitter is extremely popular around the world and worth $22.69 billion. Launched in 2006, graphic designer Linda Gavin was given the task of creating the logo in one day.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The original logo was not used for long, since, thankfully, Gavin came up with a seek and refreshing logo. The bluebird logo is something we can all identify with ease. But why the bluebird? It's in reference to famous Celtics NBA player, Larry Bird, as the co-founder Biz Stone was a huge fan.

The discovery channel

The discovery channel's founder, John Hendricks, launched his business to be the first nonfiction TV channel. He was still in college at the time and had a deep love for documentary films, which was what inspired his business idea. Today, his business is now worth $9.64 billion.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The brand's logo was a sketch of the globe, but by 2019, the logo is completely different, and now, the channel is simply called "discovery." The brand has gone through seven logo changes and is now an umbrella for several channels including AnimalPlanet, and HGTV.

Moby Dick and Starbucks

Who thought Moby Dick would have anything to do with Starbucks. When trio Gordon Bowker, Zev Siegal, and Jerry Baldwin founded their coffee company in 1971, they chose Pequod as their name, which referenced the ship in the classic book Moby Dick.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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However, after some time, they decided to change their name to Starbucks in reference to the chief mate on that very ship. Since then, the brand has changed its logo numerous times. Now, the coffee brand adopted the image of a green and white mermaid without the name of their company.

Flying high like an eagle

When American Airlines first opened and flew from New York to Chicago, they had a completely different logo. However, that was just the beginning of things. The company itself now offers several small airlines to fliers until American Airways, Inc.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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CEO Doug Parker decided it was time to refresh their image with a new logo after they merged with the US Airways Group in 2013. Now, their logo is completely different than their original one.

Dunkin' for donuts

When you think of Dunkin' donuts, you don't assume that it all started from a small store called Open Kettle in Quincy, Massachusetts, that existed in 1948. That would be crazy, right? Well, that's what happened. Since then, it's boomed and now has over 12,000 chains over 45 countries.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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Naturally, with growing this large, the company changed it's brand image and adopted the name Dunkin' Donuts instead. They then decided to lose the "Donuts" and just call the franchise "Dunkin'".

Closing the Gap

Donald and Doris Fisher opened their first store in 1969, called "The Gap." What they didn't realize their company would boom ten years later, with their brand quoted as the third-largest specialty retailer in America.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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Their company would go on to have a series of successful marketing campaigns, and after, the company would decide it's time to drop "the" from the name and leave the company as "Gap." To be honest, it's better without "the", don't you think?

Saving money at Walmart

We've all been to Walmart at least once in our lives. It's the place to go for a good deal. In 1962, Sam Walton opened a store that would offer products at low prices. A simple, yet effective premise. Walton would open 24 stores in the first five years of the company's existence before opening it to the public.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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Walton didn't think much about the logo, but as the years passed, the logo changed. Though they always kept the logo simple, with their new logo incorporating the slogan, "Save money. Live better."

The apple

Oh, you know what company we're talking about. None other than Steve Job's Apple Company. What started as a computer software company from a garage, turned into one of the world's biggest companies. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak took the company to unbelievable highs, and showed you the power of hard work and determination.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The company's first logo was Isaac Newton reading under a tree. However, in 1977, Steve Jobs decided to give the company a modern logo, which was a bitten apple.

The other search engine

Yahoo! The idea for this company came when Stanford students David Filo and Jerry Yang were looking for a browser that tracked their preferences and gave them personalized search results.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The company was initially called "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" (kind of a mouth-full) before they decided to call it Yahoo. It was simple and referred to Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. The fonts are bright and intended to represent the spirit of the company itself.

The ultimate rival

If there are two companies that have always been at war, it's been Pepsi and Coca-Cola. However, Pepsi has come a long way since it was founded in 1898. The company's drink was originally sold in pharmacies, and the company even filed for bankruptcy in 1923.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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But the company decided to reinvent itself and regain a fan base. Pepsi has gone through several brand changes, twelve, to be exact. However, they finally adopted its current logo that we all know and love.

Going through the Amazon

Who doesn't know Amazon? It's one of the largest online companies in the world. With the simple letter 'A,' you already know the connection to the online marketplace. However, the company's logo didn't always look like that. Originally, Amazon only sold books, and their logo was meant to represent the Amazon River.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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However, as the company changed, the logo changed as well to reflect its new image and aspirations. CEO Jeff Bezos personally oversaw the new design to reduce costs.

Aunt Jemima

Naturally, Aunt Jemima's logo comes with a lot of controversies. The logo started with Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood, two white men who wanted to sell ready-made pancake mix. The company started in 1889 and was inspired by a vaudeville show.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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They were told they used Nancy Green, a Kentucky-born slave, as the face of the brand, and naturally, that didn't sit well with many people. The company has changed its logo and promises to change its brand identity to today's cultural climate.

Express shipping

FedEx was initially founded in 1971 and was inspired by a paper Frederick Smith wrote for his economics class while at Yale University. The company is now internationally known around the world. In 1994, the company decided to simplify its logo and use eye-catching colors to appeal to viewers.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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Today, it's one of the most recognizable logos in the world. You can't forget a logo like that - sometimes the simplest ideas work best. Good for you FedEx!

The phone that never dies

If there's one thing we all know about Nokia, it is that they used to make indestructible phones. In 1865, engineer Fredrick Idlestam created a wood pulp mill near the Nokianvirta River, which later inspired him to name his telecommunications company Nokia.

24 of the Biggest Brands You Know That Started Out With Logos You've Probably Forgotten About
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The company would become a huge player in the telecommunications sector as it created the first-ever GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) for phones. With time, the logo needed to change and reflect the brand's values and goals.