Originally sold as decorative objects by London business Marcus Samuel & Co, oriental seashells quickly became the foundation of the business, before the word shell first appeared in 1891 as their trademark for kerosene shipments destined for overseas.
The Shell transport and trading company was formed 1897 and shortly afterwards adopted the original mussel shell as its icon. Things have come a long way since then.
1901, the original mussel shell.
1904, the mussel shell is replace by that of a scallop, paving the way for the logo as we know it today. Things slowly evolved until 1971 when the current icon by designer Raymond Loewy was introduced.
On a side note, Raymond was also responsible for the earlier BP and Exxon mobile logo designs, shown above. But, I digress…
What do you think?
Other than tweak to the colour in 1995, and the eventual removal of the company name for many applications, the shell logo has remained unchanged and is undoubtedly one of the worlds most iconic designs.