FedEx Logo

FedEx Logo

The FedEx logo has been known as one of the most commercially successful examples of the use of negative space. Due to the white arrow that can be noticed between the letters “E” and “X”, the logo has received more than 40 design awards. Also, it was mentioned in the top-10 best emblems by Rolling Stone magazine.

Meaning and history FedEx Logo

Fedex logo history

In 1971, when the company was established, its official name was Federal Express. This fact was reflected in the first logotype. Although it was far from being a design legend, it still worked well. The name of the company was placed into a rectangular shape divided in two parts by an angled line. The top field was blue and contained the word “Federal” (white), while the second field was white, with the red word “Express”.

Current emblem FedEx

emblem FedEx

The second version of the emblem was presented in April, 1994. It was created by Lindon Leader, the senior design director of the brand consultancy Landor Associates.

As a designer, Lindon admired negative space and its incredible possibilities. His love for things clear and elegant was closely connected with his interest in the Smith & Hawken catalogs of the 1980s. Presenting his simple, clean designs with 30-40% whitespace, he often had to face criticism from his clients. “Can’t we make use of the space?” they would ask.

One of the logos he admired was Northwest Orient Airlines. Here, in addition to the clearly visible “N” it was also possible to notice a “W”, which was created due to the successful use of negative space. In addition to it, the picture could be interpreted as a compass with a little negative tick, pointing northwest. Lindon decided to use the same approach in the design of the FedEx logo.

How was the symbol FedEx created?

symbol FedEx

At the time, the company was still called Federal Express, but the CEO, Fred Smith, agreed to change the name of the brand. There were two or three teams working on the logo, over 200 versions were created. Quite a few of them comprised arrows, but none were hidden.

Interestingly enough, most designers as well as FedEx’s senior executives did not even notice the hidden arrow, while Fred Smith and the global brand manager were among the few people who did spot it.

Font of the FedEx Logo

Font FedEx Logo

The typeface is a customized mix of the two fonts: Univers 67 and Futura Bold. Lindon Leader recalls that in the 1990s these were his favorite typefaces. He experimented a lot with both, changing the distance between the letters, using uppercase and lowercase letters.

At one point, he noticed a negative arrow appearing between the “E” and the “X”. Lindon tried a lot of modifications of both the fonts, but could not create a version in which the arrow looked the way it should. At last, he decided to mix the two fonts. So, he used the “X” from Univers 67 and blended it with the stroke of Futura Bold. As a result of the following modifications, a completely new letterform was created.

Color of the FedEx Logo

Color Fedex Logo

Bright and eye-catching in themselves, the combinations of colors used in different versions of the logo identify the part of the company the logo belongs to. For instance, if the letters “Ex” are orange, then the logo refers to FedEx express, a green “Ex” refers to FedEx Ground, while a red “Ex” refers to FedEx Freight. The other two operating units use a blue “Ex” (Office) and a yellow “Ex” (Trade Networks).