AT&T is a US-registered transnational corporation that specializes in telecommunicational technologies. More specifically, its products include wireless communication, internet, TV, DHP services, and other solutions to improve people’s lives. The company’s history dates back to the late 19th century, and since then it has become a leading service provider in this field.
Meaning and History
The acronym ‘AT&T’ means American Telephone and Telegraph. The label’s story traces back to 1875 when Alexander Bell and his coworkers registered Bell Telephone Company, whose title was changed to the current one ten years later.
Bell’s organization played a crucial part in creating the telecom industry in the US. It was the main provider for a better part of the 20th century. They made a line of innovations that keep impacting the planet today, including the first commercial communication satellite.
By the 80s, the firm held numerous sectors in the US market, from TV to the newly born Internet, hence creating a monopoly. As a result of the 1984 antitrust lawsuit, AT&T was diverged into several units, to remove the monopoly in the telecommunicational market of the US.
What is AT&T?
AT&T is a transcontinental label with origins in America. It provides a broad spectrum of services and goods, including wireless networks, internet, TV, etc.
1885 – 1900
The very first logotype of the company was a big bell and the tagline ‘Long distance telephone’, written in all caps. The bell was ornamented with several white contours and located in a triple squarish frame.
1900 – 1921
During the first two decades of the 20th century, their logo showed the familiar bell featuring the lettering ‘Local & Long Distance Telephone’. Below it, the inscription ‘bell system’ found its place. The bell stood inside a rounded frame reading ‘American Telephone & Telegraph Co and Associated Companies’ in all caps.
1921 – 1939
For the associated companies, AT&T created a logotype that displayed the familiar circle with a bell. Atop it, they wrote the firm’s title, while the lower part of the frame was occupied by the texting with the name of the head company.
1939 – 1960
In the mid-20th century, the corporation utilized a bolder edition of its 1900 logotype. The bell was made wider in the lower part, and the tongue’s appearance changed too. The caption on it read ‘Bell System’. Additionally, all lines and letters became thicker.
1960 – 1964
1964 – 1966
The 1964 logotype was rather transitional. It featured a bold frame that contained a bell with the ‘bell system’ inscription. The whole logo was executed in blue and white hues.
1966 – 1969
In 1966, AT&T introduced a new logotype that prominently displayed the acronym ‘AT&T’ positioned above the phrase ‘and Associated Companies’. To the left of the letters, they depicted a small emblem enclosed inside the bold frame. The whole logo was black and white.
1969 – 1982
The 1969 logotype was made by the renowned artist Saul Bass. It was a dramatic simplification of the previous version: the bell was made schematic, while the acronym ‘AT&T’ was displayed prominently below it.
1982 – 2003
Due to concerns over AT&T’s monopolistic position, the US administration intervened and mandated its division into multiple entities. As a result, the organization faced restrictions on using its previous logo, prompting Saul Bass to reimagine the signature. Departing from the bell sign, Bass introduced a 3D planet to signify global connectivity.
The fresh crest, nicknamed the Death Star, demonstrated a fragmented circle, made up of twelve distinct stripes of varying thickness. Positioned below it was the acronym ‘AT&T’, rendered in the elegance Omnes script, that was used before.
1999 – 2005
In a redesign effort in 1996, the logo underwent modifications to create a more streamlined and balanced composition. The number of lines in the improvised globe was reduced from twelve to eight, while their thickness was increased
2005 – 2015
In 2005, AT&T underwent a significant logo transformation to reflect its expanded scope of services. The modified logo featured a striking 3D effect, achieved through the addition of a radial gradient and distinct boundaries for the globe. Notably, the coloring of the lines was swapped, with white lines now against a blue backdrop. The lowercase lettering signified a more contemporary and approachable brand image.
2015 – today
The subsequent logotype was created in collaboration with Interbrand. It shows the familiar globe with the white and blue stripes reversed. The image is still 3D, but now it’s more minimalistic. To the right, they placed the capitalized acronym.
During the 1969-2005 period, the AT&T acronym was executed in Omnes. It’s an angular script with extra bold lines. The lettering was presented in the upper case. Later, they rewrote the name caption with the simple lowercase sans-serif script. The final version depicts the name in a similar script, but in uppercase.
AT&T experienced a gradual transition in its color scheme, moving from the traditional black-and-white to its iconic combination of black, white, and blue.