3M Logo

3M Logo
3M Logo PNG

3M is a multi-structure conglomerate from the United States, covering a wide range of activities. In addition to the production of consumer goods, it is engaged in the production of industrial products, tools for maintaining workplace safety, and health care products. The product range includes about 60,000 items offered under several brand names. For example, it specializes in adhesives, fire protection, window films, insulation, orthodontic and dental materials, automotive cosmetics, laminates, abrasives, electronic circuits, medical software, and others. The company is headquartered in Maplewood, Minnesota (near Saint Paul). Production sites are located in more than 70 countries all over the world. The year of the company’s foundation is 1902.

Meaning and History

3M Logo History
Evolution of the 3M Logo

In the early 20th century, five businessmen banded together to start a mining company in Two Harbors. They were Hermon Cable, John Dwan, William McGonagle, Henry Bryan, and Danley Budd. They decided to specialize in corundum, but the mine turned out to be anorthosite, which had no commercial value. Dwan immediately withdrew from the founders and took his share. In 1905 the company became the property of Edgar Ober and Lucius Ordway. In addition, it moved several times to other cities.

The company is very diversified, so it is divided into four business groups, producing products for industry and security, transport and electronics, consumer goods, and health care. It covers so many different areas that it has grown out of its old name by making it “cypher.” The brand was originally called Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation, then MMM. Then it was abbreviated 3M by the number of letters M. This is reflected in the brand identity.

1906 – 1938

3M Co (first era) Logo 1906

The debut logo shows a black diamond positioned horizontally. It reads “3M CO” in white letters twice in different configurations. The geometric figure is enclosed in double frames, forming a wide band in which the company’s full name is indicated. It is placed in a circle.

1926 – 1938

Three M Logo 1926

A simple emblem consisting of text was used in parallel for some time, as the designers replaced the number 3 with its verbal designation. Therefore, the individual symbol has “Three M’s” written. The “M” has two large dots on the sides, and the “Three” has serifs on each stroke.

1937 – 1942

3-M Logo 1937

The desire for brevity was particularly evident in 1937 when the one letter and one number logo was approved. The “3” and “M” are in bold type. Between them is a diamond-shaped hyphen with a diagonal slant. The primary color is black on white.

1938 – 1942

3M Co Logo 1938

The emblem is multi-part: it has several parts with many elements. The center, as before, is a horizontal black diamond with white lettering. Under it are the letters “B” and “A,” as well as the designation “SINCE 1828”. Around it is the updated company name – “Minnesota Mining & MFC CO.” Below is the city and state where the company operates – “St. Paul Minn.” The word combination is separated on both sides by wavy strokes.

1942 – 1944

3M Logo 1942

After experimenting with graphic elements, the firm received the simplest possible emblem. It has only two details: the number “3” and the letter “M.” They are wide, with serifs and a thin white border.

1944 – 1948

3-M Logo 1944

A short hyphen appeared between the “3” and the “M” again. The style of this logo is similar to the 1937-1942 version. They have the same bold letters with pointed ends. The difference is in the separating hyphen: it is slanted to the other side.

1948 – 1950

3M Logo 1948

The redesign brought minor changes: the delimiter between the number and the letter disappeared.

1950 – 1951

3M Company Logo 1950

This period is notable for the appearance of the oval, which the developers subsequently used several times. They also updated the writing style of the name, opting for a serif font with fine side strokes on the right-hand side. Under “3M” is the word “COMPANY” in thin letters.

1951 – 1954

3M Logo 1951

The designers removed the oval frame, leaving only the corporation’s name. In addition, they colored the lettering white and added shadows to it, making it three-dimensional. The developers kept the serifs.

1952

3M Logo 1952

At the same time, there was a similar version with elongated black symbols.

1952 – 1954

3M Brand Logo 1952

The oval on the logo has a black filling. On its background is the company name, written in white lettering in upper case. The letter “M” has wide serifs. At the bottom is the word “BREND,” done in a subtle grotesque style.

1953 – 1954

3M Line Brand Logo 1953

A black frame complements the logo. A thin line surrounds the outline lettering “3M” with shadows on the right side. At the bottom, the designers placed the word “Line” created from three pieces of rope. The first piece is used for the “L,” the second for the dot over the “i,” and the third for the letters “ine.” A miniature “BREND” inscription can also be seen here, which is also made in outline.

1954 – 1955

3M Company Logo 1954

The designers returned to the 1952 version by surrounding the black oval with two laurel branches. They also replaced the word “BREND” with “COMPANY.”

1954 – 1957

3M Company Logo 1954-1957

This emblem differs from the previous one in only two details. It has no laurel wreath, and the word “COMPANY” is in a larger font.

1955 – 1958

3M Research Logo 1955

The company management reverted to the 1954 logo.

1955 – 1957

3M Company Logo 1955

The “M” has smooth serifs, and the “3” has dots on the ends. At the top, it says “PRODUCT OF,” and at the bottom, it says “RESEARCH.” Both words are in the same style as the abbreviated brand name.

1956 – 1957

3M Logo 1956

The design became strict and geometric. The emblem used classic lettering and numbers.

1957 – 1958

3M Brand Logo 1957

The company chose the old mark to represent its identity, dating back to the 1950s. The only difference between the two is in the frame. It is now thinner.

1958 – 1960

3M Brand Logo 1958

In this case, the designers returned to the 1954 emblem with a wreath of laurel branches.

1960

3M Brand Logo 1960

Using the previous logo, they removed the word ‘BREND’ and replaced it with “COMPANY.”

1960 – 1961

3M Logo 1960

After another update, the logo was similar to the 1951 version; only it was no longer in white but in black. And another thing: the letter “M” was higher than in the old logo, so it was equal to the number “3”.

1961 – 1978

3M Logo 1961

To modernize the graphic symbol, management approved a very original modification of the logo, created by Gerald Stahl & Associates. The letter and number serifs are present, but they are placed “backwards” – not outside but inside. There is a white line and two pluses (+) in the lower area of the “M.”

1978 – today

3M Logo

A topical sign offered by Studio Siegel & Gale. It consists of a large inscription “3M” colored in red. The letter and number are closely spaced and merge at two points. They are flat, smooth, and chopped.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

3M Emblem

Despite the abundance of logos, they are monotonous and include two basic elements: a letter and a number. Occasionally an oval, rhombus, laurel wreath, and clarifying inscriptions also appeared.

3M Symbol

The 3M logo now uses the Helvetica Black typeface designed by Eduard Hoffmann & Max Miedinger. The color palette is uniform: it has always consisted of black and white. But the current version of the logo is colored red.