Mobil logo old

Mobil logo sketch

And the resulting 1964 wordmark…

Mobil logo

“The idea of the red O came about partly to reinforce a design concept to use circular canopies, pumps, and display elements for a distinctive and attractive look. It also served to help people pronounce the name correctly (Mo-bil, not Mo-bile), and of course to add a single memorable and distinctive element to an otherwise very simple lettering style.”

Images/excerpt from Chermayeff & Geismar‘s superb new book, Identify, published by Print Publishing.

You might also like:
An interview with Tom Geismar.
An interview with Sagi Haviv.

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October 11, 2011


I was always a fan of the Mobil logo, however I always felt that something was missing from the end. I don’t know if it’s because I am used to there being an “e” at the end of the word or if I just think the Mobil Pegasus would have fit well.

I was born in 1971, so when I grew up the “new” design shown was the only Mobile identity I ever knew. It wasn’t until they reincorporated the Pegasus that I realized the style and panache the 1964 wordmark destroyed. It was part of the san-serif-make-everything-look-modern that Chrysler likewise did (pentagon star replacing older seal mark). As a combination of nostalgia, love of the shape, and removal of austerity, I was happy when the pegasus came back. On looking at the site now, looks like it’s gone again in the Exxon Mobil merger.

Oh, and I also grew up during the NASA worm era, and was way happy that the meatball was restored.

Call me curmudgeon and non-visionary, but i’ll stick by it.

Fun and educational.

Brandon Aragon say’s “def not helv” and I’m all “how does one parse the nuances with such confidence?” so I throw ’em into a font sampler . . . and the difference is pronounced.

Avant Garde is geometrical, apparently perfect circles while Helv uses complex curves (there is no doubt a lovely esoteric term for that.)

Futura isn’t that similar, really, with generally narrower strokes, Cap M outside strokes are angled, not vertical.

The latest Mobil logo is very timeless and I would never have guessed it was made nearly 50 years ago. It’s a very approachable logo with it’s simplicity although I don’t think the red O makes any different to how you pronounce it because it doesn’t have an E on the end therefore to me it should only be said one way.

¿Is it true that it was designed in Mexico and that Chermayeff & Geismar took all the credit? If this is true and all the info is leaked, wow! This could change a lot of things.

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