Atari Logo

Atari Logo

The history of Atari has its roots in the small engineering company Syzygy Engineering created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1971. The following year, Arari, Inc. was founded and Al Alcorn, their first design engineer, started working on an arcade variation of one of Magnavox Odyssey’s games. This game, which was later called Pong, played an important role in the Atari logo history.

Meaning and history Atari Logo

history Atari Logo

The original version features the name of the brand in black capitals. The two “A’s” look like each other’s mirror reflections. The bar on the top of the “T” forms a curve.

Old Atari logo

Old Atari logo

The inaugural Atari symbol was soon replaced by something much more intricate. The new logo featured the letter “A” inside a circle. The letter itself looked a bit like an origami model.

Symbol

Symbol Atari

At last, the era of the famous “Fuji logo” started. It made its debut in the arcade game Space Race in 1973. The emblem was crafted by George Opperman, who worked at his own agency Opperman-Harrington. The team also included representatives of Atari, George Faraco and Nolan Bushnell. They were responsible for the general instructions and selected the final version.

Emblem controversy

Emblem Atari

So, what does the logo mean?

The company doesn’t offer a single official explanation. The author of the logo, Opperman, told his own version of the story, while Faraco insisted that it was nothing but fiction.

According to Opperman, his main intention was to create something that would look like an “A” yet have a distinctive style. At that point, he took a closer look at the company’s most popular product at the time, the PONG game. Its basic structure could be described in the following way: a center line and something that hit it again and again from the right and the left. So, he designed a logo that looked like a scheme of this process.

In other interviews, Opperman also suggested additional versions of the story. For instance, he mentioned that he was trying to make something that would look like a Japanese character or depict mount Fuji.

Atari’s art director, George Faraco, however, denied that the story was true. “That’s somebody’s inventions, – he said about what Opperman told, – It’s just a design.” He claimed that Opperman just offered him several sketches and he picked one of them.

We should point out, though, that Faraco’s words don’t necessarily contradict Opperman’s story. In fact, it is very likely that the artist didn’t tell his clients what inspired his designs. There could be a lot of reasons for this fact. So, Faraco just picked a sketch without knowing the real meaning and inspirations behind him.

Font

The letters look very much like the typeface called SF Atarian System by ShyFoundry.

Color

Color Atari Logo

The color scheme of the Atari logo is made up of only two colors: red and white.