AARP logo

aarp logo

While AARP has always used a text-based logo and a wave design, its overall look has been changing considerably throughout the company’s more than 60-year history.

Meaning and history AARP logo

AARP logo history

“AARP” is short for “American Association of Retired Persons.” The organization was established in 1958 with the mission of helping its members “choose how they live as they age.” The group serves the interests of older Americans through lobbying activities at various governmental levels.

Old logo

AARP logo old

The earliest AARP logo was introduced in 1958. It was based on the wordmark “AARP” in a retro serif typeface. All the letters were italicized. The most distinctive feature was arguably the way the letters were connected to each other. It’s very likely that in this way the authors of the logo wanted to emphasize the way members of AARP support one another. Interestingly enough, the glyphs stay connected even on the current version of the logo, which makes us believe that it really has a deep symbolic meaning.

In addition to the text, the logo also comprised two identical wavy lines positioned one above the other creating a “flag” effect. The lines were given in red, while the letters were dark blue – the combination reminding the colors of the US flag.

Symbol in 1999–2007

AARP symbol

The second version of the emblem featured a different typeface and color palette. The letters kept their serifs, but now they weren’t italicized and had a slightly different shape. This was especially noticeable on the diagonal bars of the “A’s,” which adopted a slight curve, and the “P,” which lost the white gap in the middle.

The lettering grew black, while the color of the wave under it became brighter. Also, there was now only one wave of a more minimalistic shape.

The 2007 emblem

AARP emblem

While the latest update has preserved the visual core of the AARP logo and its imagery, it has also brought about a couple of notable changes.

The emblem is all-red, with bolder and simpler letters. The wave design has diminished and moved up. Now, it replaces the horizontal bar on the letter “A.” Due to this move, the overall logo started to look simpler without losing any of its meaningful parts. The letters are still connected with each other, although in case of the sans serif type it affects legibility not in the best way possible.

Font

AARP logo

The type featured on the current AARP logo looks a bit like a bold version of Le Monde Sans Black, which is a humanist font developed by Jean François Porchez and published by Typofonderie.

Colors

logo aarp

While the shade of red featured on the emblem isn’t in any way unique, it’s still eye-catching, bright, and vivid enough. This helps to create an active and energetic mood, which was probably the aim the designer was trying to achieve.