April 12, 2023
By: Gareth Mankoo
Verizon is a memorable brand name, whether you’re a smartphone-using teenager or a technology business leader. The brand has been known for generations as a reliable connectivity and network provider.
The Verizon logo has dramatically changed over the years, not only because the designed emblem took on a new look but because the company was renamed in 2000.
As a network and connectivity business, the logo has a good recall value. Customers see it in their communication with the brand, Verizon splashes the big bucks to advertise, and sometimes it is visible on smartphones as they boot up.
With excellent recall comes the challenge of being visually refreshing so customers aren’t visually fatigued. Let’s discover what makes the famous logo memorable and loved.
The journey of the Verizon logo is unique. Only a few brands see a name and branding change the way Verizon has. We will explore the journey of the brand and its logo design in its rich 40-year history.
The Bell Atlantic Corporation succeeded Bell System and was founded in 1983. The company’s logo reflected the former brand name in a simple yet memorable style. So, Verizon was referred to by a completely different name.
The brand used a thick-outlined black bell set inside an equally thick black ring as the emblem. The lockup had the wordmark to the right of the emblem.
The “A” in the Atlantic had a single wave-shaped design carved into it. The uniqueness of this design gave the first logo a much-needed dose of charisma. If the Bell Atlantic logo were to be used in the age of social media branding, it would make for a great profile picture with its minimalism.
The company used its first logo for about 15 years. The designers then gave the it a facelift by adding more brand colors and character. The bell emblem and the wordmark both turned white. The Atlantic lost the wave in the A and was written in full serif glory. Instead, the designers introduced three wave-shaped strokes under the lockup.
The logo's top portion containing the lockup was blue, whereas the bottom with the waves was written in cyan, with white waves streaked across its surface. The logo was primarily horizontal, which may have affected its adaptability and usage across media.
With the dawn of the new millennium, the company underwent a significant change, with a new name and proposition. The new Verizon logo was designed by San Francisco-based design agency Landor Associates. Here was the arrival of the new name, “Verizon,” and a unique, modern brand identity that carries on to this day.
The logo had an italicized black wordmark with the “z” sticking out in red. The bottom of the red alphabet had a line with a gradient, fading to white. A large, red tickmark stretched across the length, with a gradient fading to white at either end. The thin red tickmark would become an essential visual identifier for the brand.
The logo wasn’t popular among significant advertising and design circuits as it was considered complex, and gradients in logos are rarely found.
For five years, the Verizon logo with the tick mark above it jostled for place and relevance. In 2015, the company redesigned the logo to its current avatar.
The tickmark didn’t have the unsettling gradient. Instead, it was presented as a solid fill, almost like a superscript. The wordmark was no longer italic and was given an intense, bold look.
The credit for the “corrected” Verizon logo goes to the Pentagram agency. The bold, black font is modern and acceptable even in modern applications.
Today, the Verizon logo has overcome the shortcomings of the earlier gradient version.
Verizon has changed its logo several times throughout the years, with the last redesign held in 2015. But could the famous design be reimagined once again?
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Customers have seen the red tick mark on a Verizon logo for the last twenty-three years. Today, it is easily recognizable as a powerful mnemonic for connectivity.
The Venitian red and black color combinations work well together, creating ample branding opportunities for everyone involved in designing the brand and its assets. The logo lends its two primary colors to communication in an exciting way.
Designers and creatives find the colors universal and adaptable to create unique adaptations of the brand’s messaging by leveraging the simplicity and utility of the logo.
Eventually, it all comes down to how well the brand delivers. After acquiring the likes of AOL and Yahoo! In 2015, the company has grown beyond bounds, expanding its customer base and business. The latest of the four Verizon logos was released after the purchase of AOL.
Only a few brands with the stature of Verizon have emerged after a significant name and branding change.
The merger that inspired the formation of the new brand is considered the biggest in US business history.
On July 27, 1998, Bell Atlantic and GTE, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, signed a merger agreement.
Bell Atlantic was even more significant than GTE, and the coming together of both communications giants impressed its presence among customers.
In September 1999, Bell Atlantic and London-based Vodafone AirTouch Pic joined hands to create a wireless network superpower. It led to the new entity being named Verizon.
The idea was to consolidate the best aspects of all parties involved.
The company's name is inspired by two independent words: veritas, which indicates reliability and dependability, and horizon, which tells of the brand’s forward-thinking attitude.
The company was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2004. In addition to telephony, Verizon is also a leading provider of advanced business communications and information technology solutions for governments and businesses. The company has steadily acquired its lesser competitors, building a solid presence across the spectrum.
Today, Verizon employs around 120,000 individuals, working towards enhancing communication systems for customers and businesses. It has come a long way from its earlier Bell Atlantic days.
In January 1982, the US Department of Justice filed suit against AT&T, which divested itself of 22 local operating companies. The company announced Bell Atlantic Systems as a subsidiary of traditional, cordless decorator telephones.
In 1984, Bell Atlantic found itself in court over FCC delays in charging tariffs. Along with regional holding companies, Bell Atlantic innovated itself and created its services niche.
What are some commonly asked questions about the Verizon logo? Get your questions answered with these three FAQs.
Verizon's first logo was a red letter "z" that looked like an electric spark from the outside. However, the current Verizon emblem is simplified to a single red checkmark in honor of the "veritas" in the company's Latin name, which means "trustworthiness."
Verizon's logo was updated in 2015 with the company's purchase of AOL. The revised badge maintained the red and black color scheme of the original badge but had fewer red features and was conceptually streamlined.
Verizon's slogan is "Built Right." Verizon claims that these words serve as the inspiration for their work as they develop networks that help advance civilization around the globe.
The Verizon logo and its reinventions are testimony to the company’s roller-coaster amid competition, legal issues, and innovation. Yet, today the logo is recognizable and an emblem known to generations. As telecommunication gets more competitive and services more varied, Verizon will continue facing formidable competitors in the space it operates.
The logo teaches us an important lesson in design. Not everyone can pull off gradients in a logo. The Instagram logo is a rear example of the effective use of gradients in branding.
Another important lesson from the Verizon logo is how simplicity trumps complexity. From the large and loud tickmark hovering above the wordmark to a simple superscript at the end, we see how the logo has become more legible and flexible for use across media.