Costco Logo

Costco LogoCostco Logo PNG

Although the Costco logo has stayed mostly consistent in its overall look, there have been quite a few changes in the details.

Meaning and history

Costco Logo history

One of the world’s largest retailers, Costco Wholesale Corporation manages a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs.
The Costco logo has preserved its overall style over about forty years of its history. Since 1983, it has always been dominated by the name of the brand given in large red block letters.

1976: Price Club

Costco Logo 1976

The brand’s history can be traced back to 1976, when Sol Price and his son, Robert, started a warehouse in San Diego, California. It was named Price Club. This was the beginning of a new, original concept: a retail warehouse club.
The earliest logo was as simple as the name of the brand in block capitals. The letters were black and moderately bold. The space between the glyphs was scarce leaving an impression that they had been squeezed into the wordmark. The reason was probably that the name of the company was rather long. So, the designers needed to make it look as short as possible to make the wordmark easier to grasp at a single glance.

Costco Logo 1993

In 1993, when Costco and the Price Club agreed to merge operations, the logo of the Price Club was modified. This time, the design team opted for a lighter type, which meant that more breathing space appeared. Yet, this didn’t make the legibility much better. The light blue color, which stole the contrast characteristic for the previous version, only made the matters worse.
The light blue wordmark was used until 1997 when all warehouses turned into Costco Wholesale.

1983: Costco

Costco Logo 1983

The first Costco store started working in 1983 in Seattle. It was founded by James Sinegal, who was an ex Sol Price’s employee, and Jeffrey H. Brotman.
The original Costco logo used the same approach as the Price Club but eliminated its drawbacks.
First, it was red, which made the wordmark eye-catching and looked more unique than the black-and-white color scheme of the Price Club’s logo. Also, there was enough breathing space between the glyphs, which made the wordmark better legible even at larger distances.
And yet, the fact that all the glyphs except the initial were lowercased stole some of the logo’s potential in terms of legibility.
In some stores, this logo was used until 1997.

1993

Costco Logo 1993

The “ostco” part grew larger. Although the glyphs were still lower than the initial, they grew closer to it, which improved the legibility. The logo grew more dynamic, too. This was mostly due to the italics.
A blue horizontal bar appeared below the wordmark. On the one hand, it could have had a symbolic meaning (like giving the logo a sort of a solid base to stand on symbolizing reliability of the products). On the other hand, we can’t but mention that the color of the bar was pretty much like the color of the second Price Club logo. So, the bar could have been a visual representation of the link between the two companies.

1997

Costco logo

Both the Costco and Price Club warehouses received a new name, Costco Wholesale.
The logo, however, preserved its overall look. The letters were still red and italicized but got slightly bolder.
The single bar below was replaced by a combination of three bars paired with the word “Wholesale.” Instead of the grayish-blue tint, a brighter and saturated blue was used. The designers used Futura Extra Bold Oblique as an inspiration but slanted and extended the glyphs.

Emblem

Costco Emblem

As the Costco brand appeared in 1983, the need for a new logo became obvious. The original Costco logo featured the name of the company in comparatively discreet shade of red against the white background. It was used in 1983-1993.

Symbol

Costco Symbol

The 1993 update brought about a new italic typeface and a blue line under the word “Costco”. In the 1997 logo, bold letters were used, while the word “Wholesale” appeared under the name of the company.

Font

Font Costco Logo

The typeface featured on the latest Costco logo is a version of Futura Extra Bold Oblique. It was customized by slanting and extending the letters. The author of the original Futura Extra Bold Oblique type was Paul Renner.

Color

Color Costco Logo

Red and white has been the basis of the Costco logo starting from the very first version. The shade of red has altered twice, while the blue color was added to the palette in 1993.