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Royal Philips brings its logo into the digital age

Chris Dickman Fri, 11/15/2013 - 10:55

Netherlands-based Royal Philips describes itself as "a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting." The Philips shield, with its stars and waves, has been in use since the 1930s, with the stars said to represent the firm's early role in industrializing and globalizing lighting. The waves symbolize radio transmissions, a tip of the hat to Philip's involvement in creating the first global wireless communication platform. The circle was meant to evoke "the world and the people whose lives we touched."

Here's how Philips explains the thinking behind the latest version of the logo, shown above: "The new shield is modernized for use in this digital age while retaining its heritage of stars and waves. In designing the new shield, the stark symmetry was replaced with curvier lines in the waves and in the top edge of the emblem. With two thicker and softer waves and a solid fill, the shield was made to look more robust, visually impactful and easier to apply on digital platforms. The trusted Philips shield continues to communicate the company’s commitment in delivering new healthcare and lighting technologies as well as innovative and locally relevant consumer products that make a real difference across the globe."

You can see the evolution of the logo through the years in the infographic below. My guess is that the design was primarily motivated by the need to make the logo "easier to apply on digital platforms," something that's increasingly driving corporate logo redesign. The new logo also plays a role in a significant brand repositioning, which sees the venerable firm building on "the company’s heritage of creating innovations that matter to people." You can see the thinking behind this in its Innovation and You microsite.