The Royal Dutch Shell company is one of the largest producers of oil and gas in the world. They extract gas and oil, and refine it into many products. The bright red and yellow Shell logo can be seen throughout the world, and most people recognize it as a symbol for the chain of Shell gas stations. If you are one of the many people wondering why a gas company has a seashell for its logo, keep reading this article. We will tell you all about the Shell logo’s origins, and explain how it has changed over the years.
Shell Logo Design Elements
The Shell logo is shaped like a stylized version of a scallop sea shell. It has a curved top and a square bottom. Along the bottom of the logo are three triangles that mimic the hinged shape of a shell. The shell itself is a bright yellow color, and it is surrounded by a thick, red outline. This red outline merges into seven thin, red lines that point inward and represent the ridges on the scallop shell. Both the red and the yellow shades on the logo are warm, bright variants of the primary colors.
Changes and Evolution
Shell’s very first seashell logo looked quite different. It was a very realistic drawing of a mussel shell, complete with shading and patterns. By 1904, the logo was a scallop viewed from above, just like it is today, but it was still quite realistic. The shell started becoming stylized in the 1930s, when the company switched to line drawing in the classic Art Deco style.
A wordmark saying “Shell” was added in the 1940s to further identify the company. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the shell drawing became simpler and simpler, so it could easily be printed and copied. Its current shape was first designed in 1971, but, at the time, the word “Shell” was written below it. The brand name on the logo was not removed until the 2000s.
The earliest logos were just black and white designs. Shell did not begin to use colors on their logo until the 1940s, when the company began building gas stations. They selected a bright red and yellow color scheme that is still in use today.
To avoid looking too busy, all of the Shell logos with text have just used a basic, Helvetica-inspired font. It features sans-serif lettering with lines of equal widths. The earlier logos used an all-capitalized design, while the later logos only capitalized the S.
Shell uses a logo with a sea shell because the company was created when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company merged with the Shell Transport Company to create a global oil export business. To reference their origins as an export group for exotic shells, the company decided to use a logo with a shell on it.
There are many stories about the reason for Shell logo’s colors. Some people believe that the Shell logo uses red and yellow because their Scottish director chose the colors of the Royal Standard of Scotland. Others think that the colors were meant to mimic the Spanish flag and appeal to the Spanish settlers who lived near the first Shell gas stations. Regardless of the original intention, the cheerful color scheme helped Shell stand out with a fun look, so it is still used today.
- Raymond Loewy, the man who designed the version of the logo still in use today also created the logos for other oil and gas companies like BP and Exxon.
- Shell’s logo has been linked to natural gas for years, but the company is beginning to explore wind energy.
- The shell on the logo is technically supposed to represent the Pecten Maximus species, which is a type of giant scallop.
Shell’s iconic logo has helped them to become one of the most recognizable oil companies in the world. It shows up on the corporation’s gas stations, storage equipment, and products. Variations of this logo have been in use since the early 1900s, and the Shell logo will probably remain consistent for decades to come.