LOGO STORY

Logo Story, May 2018

Marcus Samuel

Headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands – Royal Dutch Shell plc commonly known as Shell, is a British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company. For more than 100 years the word Shell, the pecten emblem and distinctive red and yellow colours have visualised the Shell brand and promoted Shell’s values and the quality of their products and services all over the world.

The word Shell first appeared in 1891, as the trademark for kerosene shipped to the Far East by Marcus Samuel and Company. This small London business dealt originally in antiques, curios and oriental seashells. These became so popular

– the Victorians used them to decorate trinket boxes in particular – that soon they formed the basis of  the company’s profitable import and export trade with the Far East.The word was elevated to corporate status in 1897, when Samuel formed the Shell Transport and Trading Company. The first logo in 1901 as a mussel shell, but by 1904 a scallop shell or pecten emblem had been introduced to give a visual representation of the corporate and brand name.
When the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading merged in 1907, the latter’s brand name and symbol (Shell and the pecten) became the short-form name and emblem of the new Royal Dutch Shell Group.

The word Shell first appeared in 1891, as the trademark for kerosene shipped to the Far East by Marcus Samuel and Company. This small London business dealt originally in antiques, curios and oriental seashells. These became so popular – the Victorians used them to decorate trinket boxes in particular – that soon they formed the basis of the company’s profitable import and export trade with the Far East.

Shell Petrol Pump

And so, it has remained ever since.The form of the Shell emblem has changed gradually over the years in line with trends in graphic design. The current emblem was introduced in 1971. Thirty years on it stands the test of time as one of the world’s most recognised symbols.

SHELL IN INDIA – AT A GLANCE

Shell aspires to be a forward-thinking energy company and aims to meet global energy demand in an affordable and responsible way. Shell is one of the most diversified international oil companies in India’s energy sector. It is a major private sector supplier of crude products and chemicals to India.With over 4000 staff in the country, Shell has a significant technology centre, a financial business operations centre and operates a joint venture LNG receiving and re-gasification terminal. 

 Shell has signed MOUs for a floating LNG terminal in the country. Shell also has a downstream business marketing fuels, lubricants and specialty products. It recently launched an in-house global IT centre in Bengaluru. Shell Companies in India work to create a positive influence in the communities and societies in which they operate. Innovation, collaboration and impact define their social investments which aim to create business as well as societal value. Shell companies commit their resources and employees to help find solutions to today’s sustainability challenges. The core themes around which Shell India creates and drives local plans are promoting technical education among children; promoting skill based education for livelihood enhancement skills, supporting environmental sustainability, and providing road safety education programmes.

The Shell Commitment and Policy on Health, Safety, Security and the Environment applies across the organisation. All companies and joint ventures in Shell India manage safety in line with this Group policy, which in turn, is supported by a set of mandatory manuals covering topics such as personal, road and process safety.

Shell has a long history of investment in India and remains committed to helping the country to meet its energy needs by bringing the highest quality products and services to its people safely and responsibly.

CORE BUSINESSES

Downstream stream business focuses on manufacturing and marketing crude oil into a range of refined products for domestic and industrial use. Shell also produces petrochemicals for industrial customers.

Their emphasis remains on sustained cash generation from our existing assets and selective investments in growth markets.

Integrated gas business aims to develop domestic natural gas production with LNG in order to meet the growing demands for natural gas in the country.

Projects & Technology manages the delivery of Shells major projects and drives research and innovation to create technology solutions around the world. Shell Business Operations manages the delivery of a wide range of finance, accounting, information technology, business and customer support services to Shell business worldwide.

Shell – Think what you like about them as a company, but they have a vivid and instantly recognizable branding. Their logo is something that many other designers seem to wonder at, because it has managed to lodge in people’s brains so brilliantly.But how did it get to its clean, modern look today? That is an interesting story.

Like many first drafts, the 1900 logo was fairly poor. It was a dull, poor quality black and white version of a mussel shell.Of course, the mussel shell is not an attractive shape, and the angle at which it was pictures as not tremendous. Three-dimensional logos – as even designers today acknowledge – are a hit and miss idea which takes exceptional skill to pull off.So, in 1904 the mussel shell at a 60-degree angle gave way to a more aesthetically pleasing scallop shell, shot from above. Still, however, the limited colour palette and the harsh black background made it seem poor.

The first two versions of this logo were essentially pictures which were desaturated and increased in contrast to give something approximating a logo. They were not hand drawn, per se. However, the 1909 logo was better.

Here was something new: it was distinctive and clear (if still a little too natural looking: the crimping at the top of the shell may be true to life but it does not make for a brilliant logo). This design lasted more than two decades.

1930 was the next redesign, with an art deco style shell which is brilliantly symmetrical and much cleaner to the eye. It almost looks like a crown – something the company were keen to emphasize.

1948 saw the first dash of colour – but in design terms it was a step backwards. Rather than the clean lines of the 1930 design,Shell took the blurry realism of its 1909 logo, and slightly modified it to make it taller and prouder, hand-colouring it.

 

Red and yellow were chosen as the primary colours because Shell’s home was initially in California, and the company were keen to stress their links with Spain to the Hispanic population. 1955 was a much cleaner iteration of the logo, with the ‘Shell’ text matching the rest of the colour scheme. By 1961 a red background had been added, which took away from the starkness of the logo.

1971 was a wholesale redesign, cutting out the clutter. The man to thank for that is Raymond Loewy. Since then there has been minor tinkering – mostly with levels and richness and depth of colour, but also with the addition of text – but Loewy’s logo is largely the same in 2011 as it was in 1971.

Shell Logos-Over The Years

VAASTU EYE
Shell has made itself into a very highly reputed brand which can be seen in their commitment to strive for quality during the last 100 years. We will talk about the shape and colour of the logo today.
In their initial days, Shell was mainly into seashore activities and oil exploration in coastal areas. Anything related to liquid gas related energy is associated with the planet Venus which is represented by Yellow colour. All liquids – kerosene, gasoline, and other liquid energies are represented by planet Venus. Red colour is a tool for making any commodities profitable. For any business to become a commercial profit venture has to have red colour in their logo which is represented by planet Mars. For example, McDonalds is one company which has a combination of Yellow and Red colours and is a giant profitable chain globally.
Shell does commercial trading of gasoline through a chain of retail outlets. The shape of the logo is expanding towards North side and they have stuck to their own shape of expansion and growth. It may not have expanded to many businesses which they should have done but they stuck to their core businesses and will continue to be a long player in years to come.

The dream of designing a logo which lasts for 40 years is something we can all aspire to. The lesson in the longevity of the 1971 version is clear: crisp, minimalist design will always be popular.

The first two versions of this logo were essentially pictures which were desaturated and increased in contrast to give something approximating a logo. They were not hand drawn, per se. However, the 1909 logo was better.
Here was something new: it was distinctive and clear (if still a little too natural looking: the crimping at the top of the shell may be true to life but it does not make for a brilliant logo). This design lasted more than two decades.
1930 was the next redesign, with an art deco style shell which is brilliantly symmetrical and much cleaner to the eye. It almost looks like a crown – something the company were keen to emphasize.