Shell Logo

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Shell LogoShell Logo PNG

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 visual identity of one of the world’s most reputable oil and gas companies has always been based on the graphical representation of its name, Shell. Since the very beginning of the brand, in 1900, the shell has been the main element of the logo, and only gained additional lettering twice, in the 1940s and the 1950s.

1900 — 1904

Shell Logo 1900
The very first she’ll be created in 1900 and featured a slightly naive and not very confident monochrome drawing of a laying shell, with black stripes over a white body and a delicate black outline.

1904 — 1909

Shell Logo 1904
The emblem was redrawn in 1904 and now the shell was placed vertically, and drawn more detailed, with many black and white stripes, red lurching its structure. To make the look of the logo more powerful, the image was placed on a black background.

1909 — 1930

Shell Logo 1909
The contours of the shell were refined and gained a darker shade in 1909, and the need for a black background disappeared, and the emblem was pretty balanced and solid on its own.

1930 — 1948

Shell Logo 1930
The redesign of 1939 made the shape of the shell beater and the count outs — bolder. The image started looking more modern and sleek, with minimized accents and distinct lines.

1948 — 1955

Shell Logo 1948
The iconic yellow and red color palette was adopted by the company in 1948, and this was the time when the lettering was placed over the shell, written in bold white sans-serif with clean straight contours and thick lines.

1955 — 1971

Shell Logo 1955
In 1955 the contours and accents of the shell were minimized, and the lettering changed its color to red, having its lines shortened and made more delicate. Later, in 1961, the company started placing its iconic yellow shell on a red background.

1971 — Today

Shell logo
The current Shell emblem was designed in 1971 by Raymond Loewy and features a sleek art-deco style shape with a rounded top part and rectangular bottom. The yellow image has a thick red outline and a minimum of red stripes over its body. The cleanest and neatness of the lines make the emblem look elegant yet strong and confident.
As for the wordmark, today it is not an official element of the Shell visual identity, though still can be seen on some of the stations and products. The wordmark in a bold traditional sans-serif featured red color and looks simple yet elegant.

Symbol

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

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

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

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.”