Skip to main content

Among some of the critically acclaimed logos in the whole world, the Canon logo occupies a place of distinction. Be it the vibrant red color or the unusual C with its inverted edge all the elements of a Canon logo speaks up of cool efficiency and state of the art features.

The origin of today’s world-famous brand Canon can be traced in Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory that was established back in 1933. The first set of cameras was manufactured as a part of the business trial and these early birds were named Kwanon after the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Now, this Goddess was the possessor of a thousand arms and spat flames.

The first Canon logo was created by following the imagery of this Goddess with a thousand arms and flames. So how did it come to acquire today’s smart and cool look? Let’s go through the evolution of the Canon logo.

From the very beginning, the company worked with an ambition of reaching out to the outer world and as such the company wanted to adopt a name that will be acceptable globally. With this intention, the company name was changed from Kwanon to Canon and it was registered as the logo trademark name of the company in the year 1935.

canon1_thumb2 canon2_thumb1

The name Canon has its own significance. In a sense, canon means the setting of standard and the company became successful in becoming an industry leader and their products became the yardstick for judging the quality of the others’ products. Thus the naming and the company logo became accurate for a business entity that is engaged in the manufacturing of precision machineries.

It also reflected the company’s vision of becoming the standard in their field of products. Thus from the very beginning, the Canon logo bore the company’s global perspectives.

Starting from 1947, when the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory became Canon Camera Co., Inc., several versions of the logo were used. It was ultimately in 1953 that a unified version was created. There were a few changes and modifications before the final refinement took place in 1955. Then onward, the Canon logo remained unchanged for nearly half a century.

canon3_thumb1 canon4_thumb1

Today, the Canon logo makes one of the most recognized brands around the globe. With its unique C with a twist inward, the Canon logo was too modern for its time. The unique typeface used in this logo existed nowhere in Europe or North America. Today, the camera giant boasts of world’s one of the distinguished name ad logo that rightly reflects the company’s global ambitions and superior production standard.


Logo Evolution Done Right

We write a lot about logo evolution, and many people may wonder why. The answer is simple: even the best brands must change to be more relevant to an ever-changing market. If your brand and logo design are going strong, rebranding can be a scary process because you don’t want to lose the value of your current logo design—also known as your brand equity.

The change in the Cerner logo is a good example of this. Now, we have written before about more notable logo evolutions—such as the changes over time in the Apple logo or the Starbucks logo. Cerner is not as large or easily recognized of a company, but we are interested in their change in logo design and brand because it is a perfect example of good logo evolution.

Cerner is an IT services company specializing in healthcare organizations. We have never really thought about who maintains the computers at our local doctor’s office, but this is likely the company because they are the top of their field. The old logo features a C—or is that a circle?—with two bars flowing out of it. The new logo design features basically the same thing, but in a better way.

We still see the same basic shape in the new logo image, but with notable changes. The C is now obviously so; there is no more mistaking it for a circle. The bars are connected to the circle, giving it a feeling of movement and continuity. A friendlier font is being used as well as more modern, friendly colors. The old blue was business-like and serious, while the new blue is a bright, serene sky blue. The addition of lime green creates a more interesting and memorable logo while bringing attention to the bars in the image. Green also indicates health and growth, which is a positive connotation for a company in the health care field to be sure.

What makes this a logo evolution and not a flat out change? As you can see, the form of the logo design is the same, with the image on the left and the company name on the right. The old company logo was often seen with the tagline below, but the new one (so far) is left plain. The blue color is kept, but it is a more modern shade, and a little green is added. The image is largely the same as well, merely updated to be more appealing to a modern, professional audience.

If your logo design is an atrocity, or even just a little bland like this one, a logo evolution can be the right choice. You can keep the recognition of your brand and make necessary changes without compromising the integrity of your business. An out of date logo can do a lot of harm to a business, so it is better to make small changes as they are needed rather than waiting until your brand needs a complete overhaul.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.