Over the years, Gatorade has become a staple of refreshment, sportsmanship, and victory. The Gatorade logo is one of the most instantly recognizable logos in the world. Currently manufactured and distributed by PepsiCo in more than eighty countries, the sports drink is one of the most famous beverages in the world.
Developed at the University of Florida in 1967, the sports drink has had a long and complex history. It has changed owners twice since it was first created by Stokely-Van Camp, going to the Quaker Oats Company in 1987 and then to PepsiCo in 2000. It accounts for more than 75% of the sports drink market share in the United States, and it is PepsiCo’s 4th largest worldwide brand.
Gatorade Logo Design Elements
While missing for the first five years of its existence, the lightning bolt is definitely the most important and recognizable part of the Gatorade logo. While the focus has shifted to the G in the Gatorade logo ever since the brand redesign in 2009, most still see the lightning bolt as the main element of the logo.
Other than the old Gatorade logo that lasted until 1970, every incarnation so far contained the lightning bolt symbol. The Gatorade name and the ‘Thirst Quencher’ part of the logo have also been very big parts of the Gatorade logo history ever since 1970, after the first rebranding which brought the lightning bolt to the general populous.
Changes and Evolution
Other than the first rebranding from 1970, the Gatorade logo has remained mostly the same until the 2009 rebranding, with only minor changes. Those changes mainly revolved around the Gatorade logo font and around the white quadrilateral frame around the logo. The lightning bolt also suffered some minor changes over the year, although it has mostly kept the same color and shape.
Despite the fact that the logo is no stranger to change, all the changes previous to 2009 (other than the one in 1970) were minor enough to elicit little to no public response. That doesn’t mean that the company didn’t raise awareness about it. In fact, in celebration of the energy drink’s 50th anniversary, Gatorade brought back an older logo, the one most associated with the beverage.
I’ve kept talking about the lightning shape of the Gatorade logos so far, but how much did they change over the years? We’ll get to that, but first things first. The first Gatorade logo, developed in 1965, when the drink first came out, simply consisted of the words Stokely Van Camp’s Finest Gatorade written in black.
The logo lasted for five years, until the lightning logo first came into the public eye, bringing with it the image that would be best associated with the sports drink up to this day. It was a simple, stylized lightning bolt, placed behind the Gatorade name and behind the classic ‘Thirst Quencher’ moniker.
The white frame also contained the flavor of the beverage and the disclaimer that the drink was artificially flavored and that it contained no fruit juice. Over the years, a number of changes came over the old Gatorade logo. They mostly involved simplifying the logo, changing the font a little, and getting rid of everything other than the frame, the Gatorade name, and the ‘Thirst Quencher’ moniker.
Interestingly, the shape of the lightning changed a few times to better accommodate the new Gatorade font, but they were only minor changes. The biggest change, seen as a very negative event by many, came with the new Gatorade logo rebranding in 2009 – the lightning bolt was made a secondary element of the logo, while a big G started taking up the most space.
While it was meant to symbolize a whole new beginning for the sports drink line, the new logo had many ribb on the new design. The lightning had a meaning, it was symbolic, and it had a certain air of nobility about it. The simple, gray G, which now overshadows the lightning bolt, also has its own meaning. However, it pales in comparison to what the old Gatorade logo was all about.
We’ll start talking about the green part of the Gatorade logo, namely the name of the sports o the drink. Green has long been associated with life, vitality energy, and ambition. So, what better color to use for the name of the sports drink meant to replenish its customers’ energy, vitality, and electrolytes?
Moving on, we have the orange of the lightning bolt part of the logo. Orange, as a color, has been associated over the years with enthusiasm, stimulation, determination, success, and encouragement. So, it was the perfect color to use for the logo of the sports drink made to help you win.
One of the biggest problems everybody had with the Gatorade logo that has been used since 2009 is how the green was replaced with a dull gray. Gray is most often associated with dullness, loss, and depression, so it doesn’t really fit on the logo of a sports drink.
There really isn’t all that much to say about the Gatorade logo font. Yes, it changed just as much as the lightning bolt over the years, but it is just a simple, stylized, streamlined custom typeface. The few changes it went through were meant to make the Gatorade logo look better and fit better on the new, frequently changing bottles.
Other than that, even when some changes with the font were obvious, they really weren’t that big. They simply gave the ‘Gatorade’ part of the logo a different look. The current G of the Gatorade logo is also just a simple custom typeface.
Perhaps the biggest influence on the Gatorade logo is the iconic lightning bolt. A long-standing theory, still unconfirmed, has it on good authority that lightning bolt is an allusion to the power of Zeus. It is meant to suggest energy and power, and since the sports drink is meant to replenish electrolytes, there was no better symbol to be used.
Symbolizing pure, unadulterated strength, a warrior’s spirit, the unwillingness to give up, as well as the sports drink’s ability to reenergize athletes with a healthy dose of fluids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates, the lightning bolt Gatorade logo is perhaps the number one sports drink logo in the world. And that is why so many internet users search for the Gatorade logo .png and Gatorade logo vector files so often.
Developed by the University of Florida in 1965 after a number of athletes collapsed in the middle of a heat wave, Gatorade was always meant to help athletes reach their maximum performance. With only the good of their customers in mind, the Gatorade logo, formula, and brand are easily the most recognizable in the world.