Established in 1837, P&G is one of the largest (if not the largest) consumer packaged goods company in the world with operations in 75 countries and more than $83 billion in sales in 2012. Its two key areas — beauty and grooming and household care — include some of the most well-known consumer brands like Pampers, Gillette, Tide, Ariel, Downy, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Oral-B, Crest, Dawn, and Always. Earlier this year, without calling much attention to itself, P&G introduced a new logo designed by Landor.
With the leadership of P&G Design, we were inspired by P&G’s heritage as a soap and candle company. The company’s original logo was a star that barge workers painted on cases of Star Candles to identify them. The symbol later evolved into a mark with moon and stars.
The moon and stars serve as a reflection of P&G’s unique ability to touch the lives of consumers throughout the phases of their day, their life, and across generations. The system is fluid and flexible, allowing the design to be innovative, beauty-inspired, or heritage-driven, depending on the need.
— Landor case study
The P&G serif wordmark has been around for what seems so long, and it appears on so many packages, that it’s almost invisible. Just a piece of text added to the side or back of your shampoo. In a strange way, that is good, since this is a parent company logo that is there to endorse the consumer brand that is the one that needs to get all the recognition it can get. But it seems P&G would like to get some recognition of its own in, as Landor explains, “an effort to build awareness and trust.” Maintaining the existing wordmark, Landor has wrapped it inside a circle with a crescent moon that references the old logos. I love the concept and the ability to bring back some of the company’s heritage in a contemporary way but in an era of gratuitous swooshes and bad gradients, to anyone that doesn’t know the logo history of P&G (as will be the case with most humans), the new logo is hard to decipher as a moon. Still, I think it’s a great 100-year evolution. In application there is stuff placed in halves and quarters of circles that are overlaid and have text and more stuff — it’s not necessarily to my delight but, for a giant corporation, this is probably as creative and loose as it gets. Overall, a positive evolution.