Telecommunications company CenturyLink is renowned for providing broadband access over a global fiber-optic infrastructure. But it is called differently – Lumen Technologies. The CenturyLink brand has been retained only for a specific customer category: residential and small businesses that use copper networks. Corporate business representatives, in turn, receive a wide range of digital services, including IT consulting, voice products, web security, cloud storage management, IoT, and much more.
Meaning and History
The renaming of CenturyLink into Lumen Technologies is not the only global change in the history of the giant operator. This company repositioned itself several times, changing the name, concept, and visual identity elements. Its earliest predecessor was the Oak Ridge Telephone Company, which pioneered telephony. It was bought by the Williams family in 1930 when subscribers had to water the land to improve the quality of the connection.
In 1946, Clarke Williams decided to automate the system and purchased everything he needed, but the banker who promised to issue the loan suddenly died. An acquaintance of Joe Sydney Carter provided the required amount. Inspired by his success, the entrepreneur began buying up other telephone companies in different states. When there were 15 of them, he united them into the Central Telephone and Electronics holding.
The telecommunications corporation has constantly been experimenting with names and logos. Moreover, in the latter case, she followed the path of simplification, abandoning complex graphic symbols. Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) has chosen a minimalist wordmark with a short blue dash as the only striking element.
1968 – 1971
Central Telephone and Electronics was formed in 1968, three years after the death of George Lee, who was Clarke Williams’ father-in-law and helped him run his business. Having lost an irreplaceable manager, the owner of telephone networks decided to combine them into one structure to simplify control over all access lines. The headquarters has moved to the city of Monroe.
1971 – 1999
In 1971, the Central Telephone and Electronics holding became the Century Telephone Enterprises corporation. She immediately began buying up smaller independent companies and was one of the first to enter the cellular market in the US. Its logo was a reflection of high technology. The graphic element looked like a diamond and consisted of clusters of different sizes, which could be interpreted as a symbol of a connection or a transmitted signal.
On the right were the first two words of the company name, written one below the other. Different fonts were used for them: bold, contrasting line thickness, and narrow with letters extended upwards. They were united by black color, square shape, and lack of serifs.
1999 – 2010
In 1998, the company began preparations for a rebranding to merge Century Cellunet, PTI Communications, Century Long Distance, and Century Telephone services under the name CenturyTel. The new brand was approved in 1999 and at the same time began to use the logo with a blue oblique lettering “CENTURYTEL” on the background of a red ring. Even though all the letters were capitalized, the first “C” and the eighth “T” stood out noticeably in height. The two red arcs above and below represent an abstract rotation orbit.
2010 – today
Following the merger with the telephone operator Embarq Corporation, the company was renamed CenturyLink. In 2010, the new name became official. As part of the restructuring, a green round emblem appeared. It consisted of twelve small green triangles arranged in a ring and pointed inward with sharp angles. The black lettering “CenturyLink” took place to the right. The designers visually divided it in half, highlighting the second part in bold. This version of the logo and the brand name is still used for some of the corporation’s services.
2020 – today
In 2020, the telecommunications company received a new name – Lumen Technologies. It is reflected in the modern word sign, which contains a short inscription “LUMEN.” The design follows the tradition of 1971-1999 when the logo featured a square typeface. Visually stands out only the capital letter “E,” divided into two parts. It consists of a blue stripe (top) and a black line curved at right angles (bottom).
Font and Colors of the Emblem
One of the typefaces on the Century Telephone Enterprises logo was similar to Salzburg Serial Regular, a modern geometric sans serif from SoftMaker. In 1999-2010, bold Gothic italic with extensions at the ends was used for the inscription. Then the typeface changed: the first part of the CenturyLink logo resembled the Urbano Regular, and the second – the Urbano Bold.
The last logo with the word “LUMEN” is the most unusual one. The designers chose a square font with rounded corners and sans serifs. In doing so, they made the letter “E” stylized by repainting the top stroke in a bright blue to contrast against the black lines.