Amazon is a company operator of an eponymous marketplace for the global trade of devices, books, home appliances, and related items. It was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos and has since made him a billionaire and become a Big Four company with a presence in 100+ countries.
Meaning and History
The brand was known as Cadabra at the start and was renamed Amazon a few months later. But the name is not the sole part of the brand’s identity that celebrates this South American river, as the early logotypes depicted the letter A with a pattern mimicking the river. In fact, Jeff Bezos has always wanted to make the branding costs low, so he chose generally the text-based and minimalist design. Below is the complete overview of Amazon’s logo history.
What is Amazon?
Amazon is an international marketplace that offers a wide spectrum of products from laptops to dressing with highly detailed filters, digests, and recommendations. It was founded in the mid-90s by Jeff Bezos and has since become a Big Four company.
1995 – 1997
The original logotype features a black character ‘A’ with massive bars and the absence of a horizontal line. Instead of it, the designers have used a wavy line similar to the path of a river. Below the icon is the domain of the website.
1997 – 1998
The 1997 icon resembles the original one but has a new style. It’s been rendered in a pattern reminiscent of a zebra skin, a rock formation, or even a tree. However, a white empty space mimicking the river course is still present in this version. The ‘amazon.com’ domain remains unedited in this version.
The following logotype depicts a solid text caption without any graphic elements. The elegant and highly legible lowercase inscription with serifs, ‘amazon.com’, stands above the capitalized tagline ‘Earth’s biggest bookstore’ with no serifs. The entire logo is black.
The next logo also disappears after a few months, but forms the basis of the next well-recognized version with a ‘smile’. It shows the capitalized site name with the ‘.com’ prefix, no serifs, and smooth lines, but the central letter ‘O’ stands out with its size and yellow color.
1998 – 2000
At the end of 1998, the well-known image with a yellow arc stretching under the wordmark appears as the brand’s main logotype. The name has lowercase sans-serif letterforms with thick lines and curved edges of the symbols ‘m’, ‘n’, and ‘a’. Notably, the ‘.com’ part is softer than the rest of the lettering.
2000 – 2010s
The latter logo has virtually the same composition with a few changes: the aforementioned arc has been reduced to a small arrow with a detached head. It starts under the letter ‘a’ and ends under the ‘z’, the bottom of which is arched to give room for the arrowhead and thus form a smile. Notably, the tips of ‘m’ and ‘n’ are no longer curved.
2010s – today
Somewhere in the late 2010s, they introduced a new logotype with the ‘.com’ part removed without changing the overall appearance. This logo is still the main for the Amazon brand.
The wordmark goes in a sans-serif typeface with thick and straight lines. The custom parts of the inscription are the character ‘a’ with its lower tip curved and the symbol ‘z’ with a rounded bottom line, making a perfect room to form a smile.
Amazon’s logotype reflects the bright lifestyle where one can get anything if needed using Amazon. The vibrant color code of black for the inscription and orange for the arrow contributes to these feelings.