Lego bricks are the gold standard in building toys across the world. Available in hundreds of styles and in thousands of different building toys, they are a classic part of the American childhood. A huge part of the company’s success has centered around being a trustworthy brand. That brand has, in turn, relied on a very successful logo. Taking a look at the changes – and lack thereof – of the Lego logo is a good lesson in logo design.
Lego Logo Design Elements
The Lego logo is a true work of art. The name of the company is inside a red square, which is reminiscent of a Lego brick. It’s easy to tell that this is a toy logo at first glance, even if you’ve never seen a Lego brick before. The logo is small enough to fit on virtually any type of packaging, but easy enough to blow up that the logo isn’t deformed when put on larger boxes. It’s an incredibly useful logo that works well for the company’s business.
The colors of Lego are red and yellow, which are also common colors associated with childhood, energy, and imagination. The font is made of unique bubble letters, which also have an exceptionally playful feel. Lego’s entire logo is centered around childhood imagination.
Changes and Evolution
Lego has had a truly absurd number of logos over the years. Given that the company dates all the way back to 1934, though, a few changes of shape can be forgiven. The earliest Lego logos were simple affairs in terms of shape, simple showing off the company’s name. Eventually, though, the logo would begin to gain other elements. Whether it was enclosing the logo within a toy box, putting it in an art-deco circle, or just putting the logo in an oval, the logo changed quite a bit between 1936 and 1956. By 1959, though, the logo would finally go in a rectangle – which, in turn, would soon become a square. The main square shape of the Lego logo has been fairly consistent since 1964, regardless of the elements inside.
Lego’s red and yellow are certainly iconic, but they haven’t always been the colors of the company. The original logo, like so many others, was black and white. Red has been a part of several logos, but not all of them – yellow has been prevalent over the years, as has blue. The iconic red Lego block is one of the most important images of the company, though, so it makes sense that it would want to leverage that kind of familiarity with its logo. Instead of turning away from something that works, modern Lego logo has embraced that color.
Lego’s bouncy, child-like font has been part of the company for decades. In fact, one can trace versions of the font all the way back to the 1940s. It’s a lovely piece of design work that both automatically identifies the product as a toy and that proudly proclaims the name of the company. A few minor logos have eschewed the bubble letters for block letters, but those have been few and far between. Lego trades on its reputation, and that’s meant keeping the logo identifiable throughout all of its many changes. The bubble letters, it seems, are here to stay.
Lego’s logo is most clearly influenced by other toy companies. Though few from the early 20th century are still around, you can still see relics of the bubble-letter font and primary colors in dozens of brands across the world. Lego is, contrary to what some might say, first and foremost a toy that’s meant to be played with and its logo will always be influenced by other children’s products.
At this point, it’s hard to point out companies that are directly influenced by Lego. The most likely are its rivals and knock-offs, which have a vested interest in trying to look as much like Lego as possible. In truth, though, Lego has been around long enough that it’s become part of the design landscape. It’s less a direct influence on other toy brands than it is a part of the background which informs all other toy logo design.
- Lego comes from the Danish words “leg godt” which translate to “play well”.
- The first Lego blocks were manufactured in 1949.
- The plural of Lego is LEGO. Multiple Lego are referred to as Lego bricks.
Lego has a logo that speaks directly to its core customers. By being fun and simple, it helps children of all ages to identify the logo on store shelves. When it comes to building, there’s only one Lego – and when it comes to logos, few have the same overall impact.