Shell Logo

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Shell Logo
Over its more than 100-year history the Shell logo has made a way from a rather true-to-life depiction of a seashell to a stylized emblem.

Who designed the Shell logo?
Raymond Loewy

In 1971, Raymond Loewy developed the logo for Shell, which the company has been using ever since with only minor updates. Loewy (1893-1986) was an exceptionally prolific industrial designer. The list of his works includes not only commercial emblems, like logos for BP and Exxon, but also such projects as Air Force One livery, Coca-Cola fountain dispenser, and Lucky Strike package.

Meaning and history

Shell logo history
The very first logotype is considered to have been taken from the family coat of arms of a certain Mr. Graham, who was holding an important position at the company at the beginning of the previous century. The original logo, which was adopted around 1900, looked more like a photo of a mussel than a logotype.


Symbol Shell
As soon as in 1994, however, the picture was replaced by a seashell, which also left an impression of a photograph. The 1909 version featured slightly different proportions, yet it still had a photographic quality.


Emblem Shell
In 1930, Shell modified its emblem once again. The changes were subtle, yet they resulted in a cleaner, detailed image. As a result of a series of minor modifications in 1948, 1955, 1961, 1971, and 1995, the Shell logo became what it is now.


Font Shell Logo
Several earlier versions of the emblem included the name of the company, but the standard logo that is used today does not feature a wordmark.


Color Shell Logo
The color scheme sports red and yellow. Shell opted for this sunny, optimistic combination as a way to emphasize its connection to California and Spain, where quite a few Californian settlers were from. Also, there exists a legend, according to which Mr. Graham, a Scotsman by birth, suggested red and yellow, because they were the main colors of his native country’s Royal Standard.

Oil logo

shell oil logoThere have been several cases in Shell’s history when the word “Oil” was included in its emblem. One of the older logotypes sported the lettering “Oil company” – the explanation that was probably necessary when Shell was less known. Also, some of the versions of the Shell Oil logo included the lettering “Premium Oil” and “Shell Helix Motor Oils.”

Gas logo

shell gas logoThe stylized depiction of a seashell in the Shell Gas logo looks the same as in the company’s primary logo, while all the rest is different. For instance, the color palette is based on blue and white, which can be partly explained by the fact that the color of gas is blue. The word “Gas” is given in cursive letters with a flame in the letter “A.”