Colgate is a dental care brand created by the Colgate-Palmolive Group. The parent company was founded in 1806 by William Colgate, a Baptist soap, candle, and starch manufacturer. Toothpaste entered the assortment of the company later when the management passed to Samuel Colgate. The son of the founder launched it by introducing a hygiene product called Colgate in 1873. The tube packaging was invented by a dentist named Washington Sheffield, and in 1896 the company launched a line of experimental products called the Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream.
Meaning and History
The visual identification of the world’s most famous toothpaste has always remained unchanged in red and white colors. Originating at the end of the 19th century, it never switched to another palette: only the style or font was transformed, but its color did not. At first, cans were used for packaging, but after Washington Sheffield offered tubes, the paste was produced. The first logo appeared a year after the line’s release and has been updated eight times since 1897.
1897 – 1948
The debut emblem was decorated with white lettering on a red background, executed in smooth letters. The brand name was on two levels: at the top was the big word “Colgate’s,” and at the bottom was in small print “Ribbon Dental Cream.”
The emblem in this form was immediately placed on a cardboard box, where the tube was packed. It was located on all sides, which was very convenient: when the goods were placed on the shelf, the inscription remained visible. The red background clearly distinguished the white name, which evoked a sense of purity, freshness, and radiance.
1949 – 1963
The original version lasted about 40 years, receiving an update only in 1940. The designers changed the font to be crisp and modern, following the toothpaste’s new name – Dental Cream with Gardol. Naturally, the inscription “Colgate” remained. The text was written in uppercase letters, except the “with” preposition, written in small lowercase letters. In this version, words are geometrically balanced, provided with straight and clear angles, evoking a sense of confidence and protection.
1963 – 1980
In 1963, the company redesigned the logo with a new style. In this version, the brand name begins with a capital letter, and all other characters are lowercase, with smooth and elegant lines. The developers have also placed a geometric element of blue and white color “With MFP” on the package. He was on the left. The updated emblem looked minimalistic but recognizable. Moreover, it was this format that formed the basis of the actual symbolism.
1980 – 2001
The 1980 changes only affected the font. It was smooth sans-serif italics, and the word was written in the same style as before, although the typeface was changed to Magistral Bold Italic with a rounded “C” and pointed corners “g” and “a.” Half of the horizontal stroke has been removed from the letter “t.”
2001 – 2004
In 2001, the logo was updated again. The lettering has become more complex, and the letters have acquired smooth transitions with slightly visible curves. In this interpretation, the font already resembled Sanstone Heavy Italic, but with some trimmed lines. The color palette has remained unchanged.
2004 – 2009
During this period, the company added volume and dynamics to the emblem, so the white letters had a burgundy shadow. This technique made the inscription convex, solid, and bright. The font was also slightly modified, keeping the corporate identity.
2009 – present
In 2009, the lines in the words became softer, and the edges became sharp on the contrary. In general, two versions were proposed – flat and with a shadow, which is still in use today.
2017 – 2018
In 2017, the manufacturer decided to add some freshness to the logo, which changed the spelling “Colgate.” He lengthened and arched the “g” tail, creating a semblance of a smile. Although the experiment was not entirely successful, the designers supported this idea.
2018 – present
The current logo features a combination of the 2009 and 2017 emblems, accompanied by a white smile under the word “Colgate.” This option looks friendly and accurately reflects the brand’s mission. The font belongs to the FreeSet studio, developed in 1992 by Manvel Shmavonyan and Tagir Safayev.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The Colgate brand immediately settled on a logo with the name of the toothpaste. The reason is the need not only for a colorful but also for an informative label on the product itself. Over the years of the brand’s existence, the logo has had several designs: each of them was dominated by the name, red background, and white letters. Starting in 2017, the developers noticed the similarity of the curved tail of the letter “g” with a white-toothed smile and implemented this idea. Later, they separated the graphic from the text.
The typeface used in the Colgate logo is close to several types of fonts at once. It is as close as possible to FreeSet Demi Bold Oblique and Vera Sans Bold Italic, designed by Jim Lyles and published by Bitstream. The corporate palette consists of a combination of white and red colors.