11 Sep Amazon logo and its history: from the Amazon river to the smile
It is difficult, nowadays, to find someone who doesn’t know what Amazon is or hasn’t used it at least once for online shopping, as the platform has grown exponentially in recent years and has managed, through its marketing strategies, to secure a place in the collective imagination that is hard to replace.
Below, we will take a brief journey through the history of the giant of online buying and selling, focusing on its most recognizable aspect, its image.
1995: First Logo
In its early days, the company founded by Jeff Bezos was primarily a platform for selling books, and its corporate image was very different from what we know today. The logo at that time, created in 1995 by the agency Turner Duckworth, consisted of an uppercase letter «A» interrupted by a central line that evoked the image of the Amazon River.
Small Changes in 1997
Later, in 1997, during a redesign, texture was added, and it became an image that, although similar to the first one, had much more depth and evoked more complex sensations, acquiring personality and a more constructed presence.
The three changes in 1998
Shortly thereafter, in 1998, Amazon changed its visual identity three times, first altering the typography and removing the uppercase letter while retaining the full company name and adding the slogan «Earth’s biggest bookstore.»
The next version of that same year, while maintaining the initial structure, removed the slogan, returned to using uppercase letters, and introduced a touch of color in the lettering or played with different sizes.
The third change in 1998 resulted in Amazon’s most recognizable and universal logo. In this case, the domain amazon.com was presented in lowercase letters in black, using both regular and bold lettering. Additionally, it included an arched golden line underlining the name.
Year 2000: The «Smile» Appears in the Logo
Finally, in the year 2000, the .com domain was removed, and the underline transformed into a concave arched arrow, representing the now well-known Amazon smile.
The creator of this current logo, Anthony Biles, drew inspiration from his father’s work as a watchmaker. The designer explained that watches are sold with the time set at ten minutes past ten, with the clock hands forming a smile, and he wanted to do the same with the logo, to place a smile. Moreover, this arrow extends from the letter «a» to the letter «z,» a visual play indicating that Amazon had evolved from exclusively selling books to marketing all kinds of products, which can be named with every letter of the alphabet.
Since the year 2000, the Amazon logo has remained unchanged, and far from stagnation, this image has accompanied every one of its evolutions and growth stages, demonstrating that something that works early on, works consistently.