Throwback Thursday: Timeless Logos

Standing the test of time is as hard for logos as it is for humans. This personification is justifiable as the looming reality of fading away is just as real for logos. However, some logos are crafted to last years as they resemble an idea or creation before their time. These enduring creations give their company an identity that is only earned through a timeless logo. This Throwback Thursday, we’ll look at two timeless logos.


Starbucks Old Logo

The original Starbucks logo includes a siren, a beautiful yet dangerous mythical creature who enchanted sailors with their music and lured them to shipwreck on their island. (The sailors probably could have used a Venti Coffee to make them snap out of the siren call). The nautical theme was meant to relate back to its Seattle roots. In fact, Starbucks got its name from the sea, sort of. The name is actually an allusion to Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick in which the chief mate on the whaling ship, the Pequod, was named Starbuck. Origionally, Starbucks coffee was going to be called Pequod Coffee; however, the name was changed, and the logo was born.  

Our Space Origional Starbucks LogoThe early logo, with the bare-breasted siren was intended to resonate seductively with consumers, and CEO Howard Schultz hoped they in turn felt the same about the coffee.

The logo has gone through some subtle changes including ridding the siren of the encircled text bearing the company’s namesake. To do this took guts as the logo was synonymous with the brand. However, the success of the change marks an iconic logo that will last a long time. After all, if they strip anything else away it might have to be censored.

General Electric

Our Space GE

The cost of a gallon of gas is often used as a barometer when trying to enunciate how old something is. Well, when GE’s logo was first implemented Ford had yet to be founded (1903), as a result there was no need for gas.

Initially used in 1899, GE’s simple logo stands for more than what meets the eye. The font used was specifically designed for GE and is titled GE Inspira. The color choice also is representational as blue embodies commitment, excellence and trustworthiness. Lastly, the activity around the perimeter of the logo, along with the interlocking letters, creates a sense of motion and fluidity consistent with the company’s principles.

The most impressive aspect of GE’s logo is, since 1899 General Electric appliances have displayed the same logo. Demonstrating the fortitude it has established to not even go through the most subtle of changes.

Cover Photo Source: Bocman1973 /
Photo Source 1: dailin /
Photo Source 2: Julien GONG Min via Flickr
Photo Source 3: The General Electric Company via Wikimedia Commons

Anthony is a Junior Executive at SJG. He is currently pursuing a BA in Journalism and a minor in Political Science and Multiculturalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his free time, Anthony likes to keep tab on the day’s news and drink way too much coffee.