The global gas and oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, was founded in 1907 and the company’s logo was introduced in 1901 and by 1904 a scallop shell was introduced to give a visual representation of the brand name. Shell has have come a long way with their logo design. From a series of realistic black and white drawings of the scallop shell to now having a simple yet bold but colorful logo. Shell’s logo has gone through many changes since the 1900’s. The logo now looks much suitable to sustain the reputation of a multinational oil company. A certain Mr. Graham imported Samuel’s kerosene into India and sold it as ‘Graham’s Oil’ and became the director of The Shell Transport and Trading Company. There is some evidence that the Shell emblem was taken from his family coat of arms. The first logo in the early 1900’s was a simple drawing of a shell and 4 years later, the company introduced another logo. In 1909, the company adjusted the logo that it resembled a crown implying that Shell rules the oil business.

Shell’s Logo 1900-1930



                                                           Shell’s First Logo


In 1948, with their fifth design, colors were introduced to the logo. The sharp structure and lines of the 1930 logo were softened and the shape became more three-dimensional. The company’s wordmark was also added to the logo in bold typeface. Later in 1971, the company created its best logo in their viewers eyes with clear cut lines forming yellow strips with a red border covering the entire logo. The company’s name was removed from on top of the shell to beneath it. This logo remained to be their logo for the next 23 years. The 1971 logo was designed by Raymond Loewy, a fashion illustrator and an industrial designer. He created product designs for many companies from cigarettes to cars.

                                                              Studebaker Champion




The next logo was introduced in 1995, using more subtle shades of red and yellow. The logo’s design wasn’t changed but because they needed to enhance their logo to stand out amidst the other Californian competitors, they changed the shades of the red and yellow into more subtle shades. After a while in 1999, although the design remained the same, the top curves were slightly trimmed, the company’s name “shell” was removed from the logo. After 1971, the initial design remained the same but new improved changes were added to the logo. Because the 1971 logo received major appreciation the company decided to continue using that logo.


Shell’s Logo 1948-1971




                                             Shell’s Current Logo




The colors used in the logo are red and yellow. The company decided on these colors because they wanted their logo to stand out and provide a more dominating look to leave a strong first impression to the viewers. While the structure of the logo was a crown shaped shell, representing dominance, the colors they used also conveyed superiority. The font chosen by the designers over the years were also inspired by showcasing the company’s dominance and reputation. Bold font was used to write the company’s name in all caps. The shell logo is found in their gas stations all over the world. With its impressive series of changes, the new logo is one of the most recognized logos in the world.

Shell Gas Station



Sources cited.

  1. http://www.dewebsite.org/logo/shell/shell.html
  2. https://www.logodesignlove.com/shell-logo-design-evolution
  3. https://www.designhill.com/design-blog/shell-logo-history-evolution-rising-from-insignificance-to-an-iconic-status/
  4. https://inkbotdesign.com/shell-logo-design/
  5. https://www.famouslogos.net/shell-logo/
  6. https://www.theverge.com/2013/11/5/5068132/raymond-loewy-the-man-who-designed-everything

Shell’s Website.


Raymond Lowey’s Website.