Campbell’s Logo

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Campbell’s is a legendary American brand of canned food manufacturer, which was founded in 1869 by Joseph Campbell. The brand became extremely popular after the iconic artist, Andy Warhol, used its tags for his painting.

Meaning and history

Campbell’s Logo history

Can a soup label become a source of inspiration for an artist? Yes, if it is the Campbell’s logo.

Here is the story of how the label was created and how it became part of the Pop Art culture.


Campbell’s Logo 1897

The first label featured gold lettering over the white background. The words “Campbell’s” and “Tomato” were arched. In between, there was a stylized depiction of two men carrying a huge tomato. According to the explanation given on the brand’s website, the design reminded us that there was a whole tomato in each can.

1898 – 1900

Campbell’s Logo 1898

The label in red and white was introduced. The palette was inspired by the uniform of the Cornell University team. Herberton L. Williams, who used to be the Campbell’s treasurer and general manager, suggested this combination after attending a football game between the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.

Another important part of the label has been the medallion. It was modified several times in 1898-1900. The prototype for the final version introduced after 1900 was the medal Campbell’s soup got at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.

The Campbell’s logo is probably one of the most famous logos in history. It’s elegant simplicity and bright color palette made it iconic.

Campbell’s Logo

The elegant color palette of the Campbell’s logo evokes a sense of passion and timeless sophistication. It is a reflection of classic style and design, which is always contemporary.

Campbells Logo

Further evolution

During its first years, the Campbell’s soup logo went through minor modifications.

What about the designers behind the original and altered versions? According to Jonathan Thorn, the brand’s corporate archivist, history has not preserved specific information on those who designed the label. It was the result of “a cooperative effort.” It is believed that the first firm that printed out the labels, Sinnickson Chew & Sons Company, played an important part in developing the original logo.


The script on the Campbell’s logo is not unlike the signature of Joseph Campbell, says Thorn.

One of the reasons for imitating handwriting was to appeal to housewives of the time, according to some experts. Such a script conjured up the recipes written by hand, which ladies often exchanged back then. This added a homemade feel to the label.

Also, we can suppose that the “homemade” illusion was appreciated by those who neither had a wife to prepare such a meal nor the time to do it on their own. This group was a more obvious target audience of the product than the housewives.

Campbells Emblem

Andy Warhol and his Soup Cans

In 1961-1962, artist Andy Warhol, a leading figure in pop art, created his Campbell’s Soup Cans, a collection of 32 canvases featuring a painting of soup can – one of each of the flavor the brand offered at the time. Later, the artist went on experimenting with the labels, which resulted in more surrealistic paintings.

In 2004, the Campbell Soup Company, in its turn, introduced a limited-edition series of cans inspired by Warhol’s pieces. In 2012, these cans were reintroduced as a result of an exclusive retail partnership with Target.