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The Evolution of 5 Oil and Gas Logos

Companies spend vast amounts of time and money on branding and marketing in an effort to sway consumers into using their services or products. But most of us are so immune to these marketing initiatives, like color and logos, that we do not even realize how it affects our mood or behavior. For example, if a company wants to grab your attention, it will use the color red as this activates your pituitary gland and increases your heart rate which causes you to breathe more rapidly.
 
And these branding principles apply to oil and gas companies, too – whose logos have evolved over the years to keep up with changing trends in oil and gas, such as company name changes and new technologies, but also to keep up with the changes in modern day branding and advertising.
 
Even Lord Browne, former CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007, once said that “in a global marketplace, branding is crucial in attracting customers and business. It is not just a matter of a few gas stations or the logo on the pole signs. It is about the identity of the company and the values that underpin everything that you do and every relationship that you have.”
 
And when properly used, it can be extremely beneficial to any branding campaign.
 
So we’ve made a list of five oil and gas companies who’ve changed their logos throughout the years to suit consumer and design trends and we want to know from you . . . how does it make you feel? Send us an email at marketing@castagra.com, or Tweet us @castagra.
 
1. British Petroleum (BP)
 
BP
source: BP and Inc
 
British Petroleum held a competition in 1920 to its staff asking for designs for a company emblem. Mr. AR Saunders from BP’s purchasing department won the employee competition in 1920 and designed the first BP mark, a ‘B’ and ‘P’ with wings on their edges, held by the outline of a shield. Without having any strict brand standards in place, the colours used inside the shield were highly varied until 1930 when rules were enforced to keep consistency in BP’s branding. The oil and gas company’s logo was later changed to green, perhaps to show that BP is a green brand and cares for the environment.
 
2. Shell
 
Shell
source: Shell
 
Marcus Samuel was a shopkeeper who sold antiques and decorative shells and formed a merger in 1907 with the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The official logo of Shell, then became, not so surprisingly, a shell. Although Shell is not sure how the logo came about, it could either point back to Samuel who sold ornamental shells or to an investor called Mr. Graham whose Spanish family coat of arms bore a shell emblem.
 
3. Chevron
 
Pacific Coast Oil
source: Chevron
 
chevron_standard_logo_evolution
source
 
Chevron was originally called Pacific Coast Oil (PCO) in 1879 and had an unmistakably vintage logo with a busy scenic background. PCO then merged with Standard Oil Company in 1931 and the Chevron logo we see today started to fall into place with v-shaped striped colors but with the name “Standard” on top of the logo. Chevron’s logo hasn’t changed much over the years except for it replacing Standard’s name on the regularly used v-shaped banners.
 
4. Esso
 
Esso Old 1
source
 
Esso steered clear from the typical route to oil and gas branding of simple colors and patterns and instead added a tiger to its simple emblem after the Second World War. Esso’s slogan “add a tiger to your tank” led to the sale of an astonishing 2,500,000 Esso branded bumper stickers and petrol cap stickers in the UK. Esso’s logo itself, sans the tiger, has changed subtly over the years with mild differences in fonts and colors.
 
Esso Old 2
source
 
Esso New
source
 
5. Texaco
 
Texaco
source
 
Like many oil and gas companies Texaco has changed its logo over the years to keep up with company name changes. The original Texaco logo in 1901 was a simple red and eye-catching star. A green T was then inserted into the star to represent its original name, Texas Fuel Company. The logo has continued to incorporate the color red and a star in its branding over the years.
 

TNphoto Tatsuya Nakagawa
Tatsuya Nakagawa is the VP of Marketing and co-founder of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings, cold weather tank coating applications, and its durable frac tank coatings. Castagra is used by the world’s top oil and gas field services companies.