IBM Logo

IBM Logo

IBM is a multinational technology company based in Armonk, New York, US. It works in more than 160 countries.

IBM Logo Meaning and history

IBM Logo history

The earliest version of the IBM emblem appeared in the 1880s, when the International Time Recording Company (ITR), which would later become International Business Machines, was formed. The 1888 logo was simply the name of the company, while the version that appeared three years later had a more intricate design somewhat similar to illuminated initials from medieval manuscripts.

When the company was renamed “International Business Machines” in 1924, a new logo was introduced. The insignia included all the three words from the company’s name.

IBM Symbol: 1946-2017

IBM Symbol: 1946-2017

The typeface is the main point that makes the 1946 version of the logo different from the ones that appeared later. All the modifications introduced later were quite subtle, there were no drastic changes. The insignia wasn’t changed overnight. When the graphic designer Paul Rand was commissioned by IBM in 1956, he decided to use the City font instead of Beton as the former looked a bit stronger and is better in terms of legibility. Moreover, he customized the shape of the letters. The serifs grew longer while the squares in the “B” characters grew larger.

However, Rand felt that wasn’t enough. The way how the characters went from narrow to wide didn’t satisfy the artist, he felt the need for better rhythm. After more than a decade of experiments he eventually unveiled his new logo with stripes in 1972. Due to the stripes, the insignia looked more dynamic, suggesting a better harmony between the characters. Later, there was some playing around with the number of stripes: the original 13 stripes were replaced by 8.

The 2017 IBM Emblem

2017 IBM Emblem

The 2017 version includes 8 colors. Other than that, it is the same as the previous one. The rainbow flag was introduced as a symbol of solidarity with the LGBT community.

Font of the IBM Logo

Font of the IBM Logo

The current IBM logo features a customized typeface based on the City font. In comparison with the regular City typeface, serifs are longer. There are also characteristic stripes that have been present for more than half a century.

Color of the IBM Logo

 Color of the IBM Logo

Guess why IBM is sometimes referred to as “Big Blue”? The blue color scheme of the logo the company used from 1972 to 2016 is the most important reason for this. However, the nickname can also be explained by the fact that the company used to have a dress code with blue suits.

IBM-6 IBM-1 IBM-2 IBM-3 IBM-4 IBM-5