FedEx is a worldwide postal, courier, and logistics company. Founded by entrepreneur Frederick Wallace Smith. It has been working since 1971. Located in the city of Memphis, Tennessee (USA).
Meaning and History
The company’s debut logo is recognized as one of the most commercially successful examples of the use of negative space, where every detail, even hidden, works on the idea. This unobtrusive concept is highly appreciated by experts.
As a result, the emblem received over 40 design awards and entered the top 10 best according to Rolling Stone magazine. And all thanks to the white arrow, which is disguised in the logo. It runs along the border of the words “Federal” and “Express”, located vertically, and ends with a point between the letters “E” and “X”. Symbolizes speed, movement, striving forward.
1973 – 1994
In the first years of its existence, the company was called Federal Express. It is it that is reflected in the debut logo. The phrase is located in a blue-white rectangle and is placed at a slight slope, as if directed upward. “Federal” is painted in white and placed on a blue background, “Express” is made in red and occupies the lower tier of white. All letters are uppercase, “SS” stylized and elongated, “A” without an internal crossbar.
1991 – 1994
In parallel with the first logo, a second one was introduced, presented in a different design – simpler and more understandable. It came at a time of rebranding, which naturally affected the redesign of branding. It is based on an abbreviated version of the name: Fed + Ex. The author of the updated version is Lyndon Leader, a leading design specialist from the consulting group Landor Associates. As a professional, he admired the so-called “negative space” and its hidden capabilities. He preferred clear and elegant things, adhered to the concept promoted in the 1980s by Smith & Hawken.
That is why Lyndon chose the Northwest Orient Airlines logo for the role of reference, where the “N” and “W” look beautiful. This approach interested him, and he proposed a logo in a new design. It became additional and was used not in advertising, as the first, but in business papers. Due to the graphic lightness, it was well read, because both parts were different in color: the initial three letters were dark purple or blue, and the final two were red.
1994 – present
The current version consists of two bases, each of which begins with a capital one. As in the previous logo, it is composed of two words. Only the color has changed: instead of the previous colors, light lilac and pastel orange are used. Moreover, “d” and “E” are now written together.
Back in the days when the company was called Federal Express, the CEO of Fred Smith was already thinking about changing the brand name. Three teams worked on branding, which presented a choice of over 200 options. Some of them were marked with arrows in the form of arrows, but none were disguised. But once the head of the company and the brand manager noticed a hidden arrow, choosing the right logo.
Font and color
The inscription is an individual combination of two fonts: Futura Bold and Univers 67. They were the result of Lyndon Leader. In order to present them favorably, the designer experimented a lot: measured the letter spacing, changed lowercase and uppercase, aligned the characters in height.
At a certain moment, he noticed: a faint arrow is traced between the upper and lower words. After going through many working versions, the designer mixed two fonts: for “X” he used Univers 67, for “E” – Futura Bold. So it turned out a completely new font.
The color palette of the logo depends on the specific application. But in any case, these are bright and attractive combinations that attract the eye and make you attract attention. For example, the logo with the orange part refers to FedEx Express, with green – for FedEx Ground, with red – for FedEx Freight. There is also an office option with a blue “Ex” and a commercial and commercial with a yellow ending.