Sad news today that 131-year-old Kodak has filed for bankruptcy.
As good a time as any to take a quick look at the Kodak logo evolution.
Image (above) and text (below) via Kodak website
Kodak is the first company to integrate its name and look into a symbol.
Focus moved to the Kodak name and the red and yellow “trade dress” color.
The corner curl was introduced.
The mark retained the red and yellow colors and the Kodak name, but a box and graphic “K” element were added.
A more contemporary type font streamlined the Kodak name within the existing logo.
The box is gone, simplifying the logo. The rounded type font and distinctive “a” give the name a more contemporary look.
Kodak logo designed by Brand Integration Group, 2006
“The type-only successor to the brand’s 1971 vintage yellow-and-red K/arrow symbol is intended to offer a ‘more international and universal impact’, and to distance the company from its film and processing past.”
Quoted from Michael Evamy’s Logo.
Kodak was born in April 1880, when George Eastman leased the third floor of a building on State Street in Rochester. He began to manufacture dry plates for sale, and one of his first purchases was a second-hand engine priced at $125.
“I really needed only a one horse-power. This was a two horse-power, but I thought perhaps business would grow up to it. It was worth a chance, so I took it.”
— GEORGE EASTMAN
15 years ago Kodak’s market value was $31 billion (via Reuters).
The word “Kodak” was first registered as a trademark in 1888.
“I devised the name myself. The letter ‘K’ had been a favorite with me — it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with ‘K.’ The word ‘Kodak’ is the result.”
— GEORGE EASTMAN
More Kodak history here.
Kodak signage via Techweek
Kodak signage via Below Stairs