The Forward-Thinking Logo of FedEx
Forward Motion Simplified: The History of the FedEx Logo
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight – the choice is simple. Since 1971, FedEx has been keeping the world on time by shipping and receiving people’s valuables with both efficiency and heart.
The wide variety of unique deliveries FedEx makes every single day are more than just making shipments, it’s also about human connection. From helping businesses grow and prosper to keeping the long-distance love of family and friends alive, this is a brand rooted in the notion of universal connection.
“But can this universal concept really be communicated and reflected through a simple logo?”
This was the exact challenge facing executives when Federal Express underwent a massive rebranding in 1991, evolving into the modern incarnation relied upon so faithfully by package-sending enthusiasts.
In a nod to its expedient style, the company was shortened to “FedEx,” and required a more suitable logo which would similarly reflect its reputation of express service. By that point, the organization had achieved the coveted status of a North American household name.
The original Federal Express logo featured a slightly rotated and round sans-serif font interchanging the patriotic colours of red, white and blue – and the company’s first instinct was to go with only what they knew.
The premier incarnation of FedEx’s new banner featured much of the same – a similar colour scheme on top of a sans-serif font, only this time sans the rotation.
For three years the deliveries continued like clockwork, never quite reaching the growth projections the ‘hip makeover’ had promised. That is, until CEO Fred Smith stepped in and decided that the company’s core visual needed to deliver just a little more visibility. Having accepted the need to properly rebrand his company to play to the increasing relevance of its newly-abbreviated name (FedEx), Smith reached out to Landor Associates in 1994 seeking a little bit of their magic touch. Enter the winning bid which came from the now world-famous designer Lindon Leader.
Finally Pointing in the Right Direction
Ever the experimental professional, Lindon Leader was able to leverage a certain shape created between the custom fonts of the “E” and the “x” to create the perfect symbol embodying the FedEx mantra. That shape was a sleek arrow that, to this day, serves as a perfect reminder of the forward motion the brand continually strives for. All this from one man’s creative ability to see the forest beyond the trees.
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