Logos and more

eBay.com Logo - Design and History


eBay Inc. is an American Internet company that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell goods and services worldwide. In addition to its original U.S. website, eBay has established localized websites in several other countries. eBay Inc also owns PayPal, Skype, and other businesses. eBay.com is now one of the largest internet sites in the world and hosts millions of auctions at any given point on time.

The eBay logo has intrigued me because its so simple and childlike in a way, but I have never been able to find out the origin of the logo until I stumbled upon one of the articles listed below in the reference section.


eBay.com started as an auction site in September of 1995 under the name AuctionWeb. The first logo that it put up was simple black text that said Auction logo on a black and white gradient bar. This logo was apparently referred to as the "Death Bar" logo (shown above)

The current logo was designed by Bill Cleary of the CKS group. The current logo was picked out of the many logos that were designed. Some of the key aspects are listed below

  •  The primary colors of the logo depict fun, excitement and childlike energy. 
  •  The overlapping letters of the logo are suggestive of the bonding within the eBay user community. 
  •  The letters are not on the same level, they have what graphic artists call €œbaseline shift€. It gives the logo an offbeat feel and shows that company is not averse to change and that its a dynamic company that is always evolving. 
  •  The unusual capitalization of the letters also shows that company accepts change when it is for good. Letter B is not capitalized in the logo even though the name of the company is written as eBay. Designers at CKS thought a capital B would look like a roadblock in the middle of the logo so they capitalized letter Y instead.

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Buy.com Logo - Design and History


Buy.com is one of the original online retailers in the United States. It began selling computers and electronics in 1997 , the company has since diversified its offerings to categories such as software, books, movies, music, games, toys, digital cameras, cellular phones, and magazines. Buy.com over the years has tried very hard to be like Amazon.com but clearly lags behind in the technology.

The Buy.com logo has undergone one major change over the years when in Jan 2000, it changed its logo to the simple Buy.com text. The original logo was a Big B enclosed in a C. I am not sure if its was meant to indicate Buy.Com. Since the big change in 2000, the logo has undergone some minor changes especially in the area of the tag lines such as

 - Lowest Prices on Earth
 - It's All Good
 - The Internet Superstore


As of 2013, Buy.com is now called Rakuten.com so effectively this logo is now dead.

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Amazon.com Logo - Design and History


Amazon.com is a pioneer in the online retailing business. The company was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 and began as an online book store. However today Amazon sells anything and everything under the sun including CDS, DVD, Baby Products, Furniture, electronics, clothes etc. You could say that they sell everything from "A to Z".

The Amazon logo represents the very same message that they sell everything from A to Z and the arrow below the logo represents the smile that customers would experience by shopping on the Amazon.com website.

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Yahoo Logo - Design and History

Yahoo Bang Logo

Yahoo! Inc. is an global Internet services company. It provides a range of products and services including a web portal, a search engine, the Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, news, and posting. It was founded by Stanford University graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo in January of 1994 and incorporated on March 2, 1995. Yahoo! has been one of the most visited websites on the Internet,with more than 130 million unique users. The global network of Yahoo! websites received 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007, making it one of the most visited U.S. websites.

The Web site started out as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" but eventually received a new moniker with the help of a dictionary. The name Yahoo! is an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," but Jerry and David insist they selected the name because of its definition: "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth."

The original Yahoo logo which stands today is bright red in color and went well with the uncouth definition. The Yahoo philosophy back when the site was created was to be very quick and so possibly the simplicity of the logo went with that philosophy. Over time, the logo has changed and there exists a purple version.

Some of the other variations include the Y! Bang logo or the Yahoo Messenger logo.

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Google Logo Design and History


The Google logo is a very simple logo made up of a simple font and some basic colors. It seems almost amateurish. The simplicity of the logo could possible represent the simplicity of the search engine. There are numerous debates/discussions on the web about the Google logo. One discussion centered around the two O's in Google, representing infinity.

The logo was designed by Ruth Kedar.  The logotype is based on the Catull typeface.

Every once in a while, you will see the Google logo change to represent a current topic  e.g The Olympics, World Cup etc. These logos are called Google doodles. The doodles are currently created by Dennis Hwang and he has created over 150 doodles since he started working at Google. Apparently, the first doodle was produced by the founders Larry and Sergey. The logo was created when they attended the Burning Man festival in summer 1999. They put a little stick figure on the home page logo in case the site crashed and someone wanted to know why nobody  was answering the phone.

For more on the doodles, visit the official Doodle page.  

Click here for an interview with Dennis Hwang

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