Nestlé got its start as a small Swiss company in 1866 that marketed milk-based baby food. Once they began focusing on making milk chocolate, their business quickly grew. In modern times, Nestlé is an international food and drink company that owns popular brands such as Stouffer’s, Maggi, Nesquik, and Kit Kat. All of the various Nestlé products can be identified by the Nestlé logo. Keep reading to learn more about the interesting history and design of the logo.
Nestlé Logo Design Elements
Nestlé’s logo is a simple black line drawing above black lettering that spells the brand name, and its background is transparent. The drawing at the top of the logo is a branch with three leaves that is holding a nest. A mother bird perches on the right of the nest, and she is bent down to feed the two baby birds that are sitting in the left side of the nest.
At the bottom of the logo is the word “Nestlé.” The N is capitalized, while the rest of the letters are lowercase. A line extends from the left top corner of the N over the first E and the S. This line briefly stops to make room for the T and the L, and then it continues over the last E. As the line ends on the last letter of the word, it thickens and angles upwards slightly.
Changes and Evolution
Nestlé’s logo shape has undergone quite a few changes, even though it keeps the same overall theme. The first logo dates all the way back to 1868, and it was a detailed drawing of a mother bird feeding three babies in a nest. In 1938, the brand name, “Nestlé” was placed over the bird drawing. Over the next few decades, the line drawing was slightly simplified, while the brand name became bolder and larger.
Beginning in 1988, the company started simplifying their logo to make it easier to print. They moved their name underneath the bird drawing, and one of the baby birds was removed. The logo has received updates two more times since then, and each update further simplifies and clarifies the bird drawing.
Nestlé’s logo has always officially been black and white. When the brand name was first moved underneath the image, the letters were white with a black outline, but this has since changed to a solid black color.
Until 1988, Nestlé used a classic Roman font with thick slab serifs and a traditional accent mark over the E. When they moved the name to the bottom of the logo, they changed to a more modern font that looks like a modified Helvetica, and uses the slanted line over the E to signify an accent.
Much of the inspiration for the current company logo is actually from founder Henri Nestlé. When Nestlé began marketing his baby formula, he decided to create a logo that used his family crest, which showed a bird in a nest. This image was combined with the idea of a mother feeding her young to create the first Nestlé logo.
Nestlé’s current logo still uses the same basic image, because they want to remind customers of their proud past. The bird in a nest image is one of Nestlé’s most iconic images, so the company kept it, even though it is much busier than most modern logos. To update the logo for the digital age, Nestlé removed a lot of the shading and texturing. Nestlé made this decision because they wanted the logo to still look good on smartphones and other small screens.
- Since “Nestlé” means “a small bird’s nest” in a high German dialect, the Nestlé logo does a great job of referencing the company’s German heritage.
- The three birds in the Nestlé logo represent Hans, Heinrich, and Samuel Nestlin, three brothers in the 1400s who founded the family.
- Due to the accent mark on the logo, the company ought to be pronounced “nes-lay,” but most Americans call it “nes-lee” due to their unfamiliarity with accented pronunciation.
The Nestlé logo has gone through some subtle changes to make it work in the digital age, yet it still retains the appearance of the original logo. This historical logo reminds people of Nestlé’s origins as a baby food company, while also being broad enough to work as labeling for other products. It has been around for over a century, and Nestlé will probably keep the nest logo for years to come.
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