Sony is a Japanese conglomerate that was initially founded as an electronics shop in 1946. The company founders, Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, managed to expand their shop to a worldwide manufacturing company that created a wide variety of electronic products. Thanks to the innovative technology of Sony, the Sony logo shows up on everything from movies to computer hardware. In this article, you can learn many interesting facts about the Sony logo.
Sony Logo Design Elements
Sony’s logo has a simple and classic design that only consists of a few elements. The logo just says “SONY” against a transparent background. Each letter is a capitalized, black letter that is roughly the same height and width. It uses a thick slab serif font where the serifs are thick rectangles that angle out from each letter.
The logo’s font is a slightly shorter and wider font that essentially looks like a customized version of the Clarendon typeface. All of the letters are printed in a bold font that has very weighty lines overall. Some of the strokes that make up the font are thin, while others are wider, so there is plenty of visual interest in the otherwise plain logo.
Changes and Evolution
Though most of the Sony logos have simply been a wordmark with the company’s name, they have still undergone many significant changes. The first Sony logo had a rectangle around the Sony font. This then switched to a plain text logo in 1957. It was originally very flattened and elongated, but then, the company removed spacing between the letters, and slightly elongated their lettering.
Sony’s logos have all used a neutral design, because this tends to allow for more versatility. At some points in the company’s history, they have preferred a white on black design, or a white on grey design. However, the majority of the logos are just black text on a white background.
Since the beginning, Sony has used many customized fonts. The very first font had an italicized script font, and then the company changed to a more standardized serif font. Though their fonts since the late 1950s are quite similar, there are some distinct changes. The S on the 1957 font was much curvier before it was made straighter. In 1961, the font was much bolder. After that, the company mostly stuck with thinner fonts, but they reversed this trend when they created their current bold logo.
Sony’s logo has stayed mostly the same since 1961, so you can find the logo’s main inspiration far back in the company’s history. The logo was initially created because Sony needed a logo that would look bold and impressive on neon signs. To make the logo easy to reproduce for marketing purposes, the company decided to go with a simple wordmark.
Thick lettering and strong serifs were used for the font because it would help the logo to be reproduced faithfully. Since then, Sony has chosen to stick with roughly the same logo. This decision is largely based on the fact that the current logo is easy to reproduce, versatile enough to work on many products, and long-standing enough to give the company a reliable reputation.
- Sony created a worldwide contest for the design of their new logo, but all submitted logos were so bad that the company ended up just sticking with their old logo.
- Sony ended up with its current name because the founders could not use their initials without copying the name of a railway company. They picked Sony because it referenced both the Latin word for sound, and the Japanese slang word for smart young men.
- When the company logo was first created, many Japanese people criticized them for using Roman letters instead of Japanese Kanji.
The simplistic nature of the Sony logo allows users to focus on the quality of the products. It can easily be reproduced in tiny software code, big movie screens, or plastic gaming consoles. The bold font and Roman lettering lets users instantly identify the logo, further increasing Sony’s reputation for making fantastic electronic products.
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