BP is one of the better-known names in the energy sector. Though marred by controversy in frequent years, it’s still one of the leaders in the world of oil. If you’ve ever driven down a highway, you’ve probably seen a BP station on the side of the road. The easiest way to identify the company has always been by its logo, one that has changed quite a bit over the years. In order to understand the evolution of BP as a company, you can first look at the evolution of the BP logo.
BP Logo Design Elements
The current BP logo, which has been in place since 2000, is meant to evoke both the look of a sun and a sunflower. The two-tone design is a bit abstract, but it gets across the idea of energy quite well. It goes hand in hand with BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” slogan, helping to get across the idea that the company was moving beyond its roots as a strictly oil-based endeavor. While the logo might be simple, it became infinitely easier to use on multiple products.
The sun-flower logo is still yellow and green, which have been the primary colors of BP since almost the beginning. The colors are both indicative of power and the natural world, a good look for a company that’s trying to get past several environmentally-related scandals. The lower-case bp in the logo is a friendly-looking addition, one that makes the company look far less threatening to consumers. Taken together, you get a logo that looks both very docile and very future-facing – both necessities in the company’s ongoing PR wars.
Changes and Evolution
BP’s initial logo was nothing light today’s logo. Incredibly British, the 1921 British Petroleum logo featured a British flag as the main design element. It would only last for a year, though, when the main element would become the letters BP. the shield, which was adopted in 1930, would actually last the rest of the century – a strong-looking symbol that was very much in line with most of the other oil companies of that time. The switch between the old and new logos was definitely one done out of necessity, as the older logo looked quite dated by the time it was retired.
BP’s colors throughout its history haven’t always been green and yellow. In the early days, red and blue – the colors of the British flag – were more prominent. Oddly, though, BP dropped color entirely from 1922 to 1947 – perhaps due to the generally austere nature of those trying economics time. The main colors come into play in 1947, in a post-war atmosphere that definitely called for a bit more color. From that point on, BP would continue to use variations on the same basic scheme. Surprisingly, the colors work just as well for the new renewable-energy focus as they did for oil.
There hasn’t been much font change for the BP logo. The initial 1921 logo was the biggest change, but by the end of that year, the company adopted the familiar initials and font that were used until 2000. The font was strong, formal, and certainly a symbol of a company on the rise – definitely something that an oil company would want to project before the turn of the millennium. The font wasn’t abandoned until the company itself went through a major overhaul.
Looking at influences and inspirations is tough for BP because it’s hard to tell how much it took from other oil industry giants and how much others copied them. There was definitely some give and take between gas companies, though, as the 1990s were full of logos that looked incredibly similar to the shield logo of BP. The modern logo likewise looks very similar to the logos of several other companies after they had their own new-millennium makeovers.
- BP is the only company to have an Oscar
- BP is the owner of the largest man-made movable object on the planet.
- BP was originally British Petroleum, but shed the name around the turn of the millennium.
- BP operates in 70 countries.
- The company produces about 3.6 million barrels of oil per day.
- Despite its roots in oil, BP is one of the biggest worldwide investors in biofuels.
BP’s current logo is a great example of an attempt to rebrand as a business begins to transition into new spheres of business. It is still recognizable as BP, of course, but it distances itself from much of the history of the brand. Whether this has been terribly successful is definitely up for debate, but one has to appreciate the effort made by the company to make a change.