BP Logo

bp logo

The logo of the British multinational oil and gas company BP has gone a long way from a simple black-and-white wordmark to a vivid and meaning symbol.

Meaning and history BP Logo

BP Logo history

The company was established in 1909 under the name of Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which had the status of a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company. Since then, it has grown into a corporation operating in approximately 70 countries worldwide.

Old logo

BP old logo

During the first 90 years of its history, the letters “BP” (the initials of “British Petroleum”) were the centerpiece of the BP logo. Originally, the company used the letters in black on the white background. They were given inside a pair of quotation marks. The emblem would have looked utterly generic if not for the unique glyphs with distinctive sharp serifs and diamond-shaped corners.

bp oil logo

In 1930, the emblem was slightly modified by AR Saunders. The core (including the quotation marks) remained unchanged, but now it was placed inside a shield shape. The shield had a thin black outline, which seemed a bit weak in comparison with the bold letters.

Symbol in 1947-1999

BP symbol

The following version of the BP logo, which was adopted in 1947, seemed to have solved the issue. Now, the shield looked more prominent and made a better fit for the letters. It was the first time that a colorful emblem was introduced. The letters and the outline of the shield featured a slightly muted shade of yellow, while the background was dark green. Also, the shield shape had two additional outlines. The outer one was black, while the one that could be seen from the inside featured a darker shade of green creating an effect of a shadow.

In 1961, the emblem was updated by a group of designers headed by Raymond Loewy (the author of the Lucky Strike, Exxon, Spar, and Shell logotypes). The overall design remained almost unchanged, yet there was a noticeable shift in the color palette, especially regarding the shade of green. Also, the shadow was removed both from the letters and the shield shape. The black outline was replaced by a dark green one. The glyphs were modified, too. While the sharp serifs remained untouched, the diamond corners were replaced by traditional curves.

In 1989, the BP oil logo was modified once again, this time by the design company Siegel & Gale, also known for such logos as Playstation, Pfizer, AARP, Dolce, and Monster. Now, lighter shades of green and yellow were used, while the text “BP” was italicized.

Current emblem

BP emblem

In 2000, a new era started in the BP logo history. Gone were the shield design and the capital letters. Now, the focal point of the logotype was a flower shape in bright shades of green and yellow. The text “BP” was lowercased and moved to the top right corner. The brand identity was developed by Landor Associates.

Font

british petroleum logo

The type used for the letters “BP” on the old logos had a distinctive and memorable shape, and yet, by the end of the previous century, it looked somewhat old-fashioned. So, it is only natural that the new logo features a sleek contemporary font.

Colors

bp logo

The BP logo evolution, to a large extent, was the evolution of the color palette. The original black-and-white scheme was replaced by a combination of green and yellow in 1947. Although the basic colors have stayed the same ever since, there was a lot of experimenting with the shades until in 1989 the company decided to stick to joyful and vivid tones of green and yellow. In 2000, the palette was enriched with one more shade, which was a combination of the two main colors.

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