Olympus Logo

Olympus LogoOlympus Logo PNG

The Olympus logo symbolizes endless development and the potential of optical technologies. The emblem portrays the corporation as strong, modern, and dynamic. The symbol combines calmness and confidence with constant growth and improvement.

Olympus: Brand overview

Founded:12 October 1919
Founder:Takeshi Yamashita
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Established in 1919 by Takeshi Yamashita and originally named Takachiho Seisakusho, Olympus originated in Tokyo, Japan, with a core focus on producing microscopes and thermometers. The Olympus brand was officially coined in 1921, and the company soon gained traction with its Zuiko range of camera lenses. Besides lenses, the company ventured into manufacturing other optical items, such as binoculars and eyewear.

In 1942, reflecting its growing portfolio, the firm adopted Olympus Optical Co. The 1950s saw Olympus diversify its product line to include groundbreaking offerings in both photography and healthcare. For instance, the Semi-Olympus I camera and the world’s inaugural practical gastrocamera for medical diagnostics were launched during this period.

As the years unfolded, Olympus became a frontrunner in multiple niches, such as microscopes, cameras, and medical imaging tools like endoscopes. In 2003, in line with its global standing, it rebranded itself again, this time as Olympus Corporation.

Today, with its global headquarters in Tokyo and a workforce of around 30,000, Olympus is commanding in the optics industry. The company boasts an overwhelming 70% market share globally in the endoscope segment and leadership roles in other specialized optical devices. However, it’s worth noting that Olympus has recently navigated a series of controversies, including accounting fraud and corruption incidents.

Meaning and History

Olympus Logo History

The first Olympus logo appeared no earlier than 1920, as the company initially produced thermometers. The lenses depicted on the emblem became a subject when the lead designer developed a microscope, and the company started manufacturing scientific and medical devices. The initial emblem demonstrated the company’s dependency on its major owner, Tokiwa Shokai. Subsequent rebrandings represent the path to becoming an independent brand and entering the global arena.

What is Olympus?

A company that manufactures photographic equipment of its eponymous brand, with series OM, IS, E, PEN, and IZM. It has central representations in Japan, the United States, and Europe, including branches in 40 countries, employing 31,000 people. The company also owns a medical division that produces devices for endoscopic studies.

1919 – 1921

Tokiwa Logo 1919

In 1919, a company named Takachiho Seisakusho was founded. Its logo featured a black rectangle with a schematic representation of a lens, initially produced for microscopes and later for cameras.

Takachiho is the Japanese equivalent of the Greek Olympus. This small town on the island of Kyūshū is where Japanese gods descended. The Sun Goddess Amaterasu hid in a cave in Takachiho. She also sent her grandson here to rule. His love for an earthly woman gave birth to Japan’s first emperor.

Thus, when Takeshi Yamashita named the company Takachiho, he intended to convey that the company’s products were of the highest quality as if made by gods.

The center of the emblem features the words “Tokiwa Tokyo.” This is the name and location of another corporation, Tokiwa Shokai, where the founder of the new enterprise worked. This company owned the majority of shares in Takachiho and marketed the products of the young subsidiary.

On the upper platform of the lens is a feature resembling a mountain gorge, hinting at the famous Takachiho gorge with unique cliffs. This feature resembles the letter “M,” as the city is in Miyazaki Prefecture. Nearby, the letters “G” can be spotted, making “GM” the initials of Tokiwa Shokai’s director, Goro Matsukata.

The black color of the background indicated the desire to make Japan a high-tech country.

1921 – 1970

Olympus Logo 1921

In 1921, the company finally stabilized, stopped producing thermometers, and focused on microscopes. A trademark, Olympus, was created and registered for them. The name served as an analogy to the Japanese Takachiho but was more understandable to European consumers whom Takeshi Yamashita targeted.

The lens image from the past was used for the new emblem; yet, while the initial emblem showed a view from the side and above, this one displays a side and below perspective. The change in angle represents the company’s growth and prosperity. The new Asahi microscope allowed for a 600-fold magnification. Such a level of equipment was a first in Japan.

The word Olympus is written in Greek to emphasize its connection to Greek myths. Below it, Tokyo is indicated as the location of the headquarters.

In 1949, the company changed its name to Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.

1970 – 2000

Olympus Logo 1970

In 1970, Olympus introduced a radically different logo. The absence of graphic drawings and large blue capital letters indicated a modern and robust manufacturer ready to compete with European brands. The logo conveyed reliability and professionalism.

Interestingly, despite the logo’s substantial presence, the devices differed from competitors by their lightness and very small dimensions, which customers appreciated.

2000 – today

Olympus Logo

For the new millennium, the corporation developed a logo representing a future technology manufacturer.

The inscription Olympus, as a symbol of technological harmony and perfection, remained unchanged. A yellow stripe at the bottom brought freshness and novelty to the emblem. It seemed to illuminate the name, placing it in rays of sunlight. Thanks to this feature, the logo became optimistic and inspiring.

This stripe is called an optical pattern within the company, indicating Olympus’s technical innovations and active development. Like a beam of light after refraction through a lens, a trail speaks to optics as the company’s primary focus.

Font and Colors

Blue and yellow represent the sky and the sun, showcasing a tandem of light and technology for extraordinary results. Photos taken with the company’s cameras are snippets of pleasant memories to carry into the future. Blue signifies harmony, order, and beauty, while yellow represents joy and pleasure.

The font resembles Zurich Std Ultra Black Extended with simple and light lines.

Olympus color codes

Marian BlueHex color:#253e91
RGB:37 62 145
CMYK:74 57 0 42
Pantone:PMS 287 C
GoldHex color:#ffd600
RGB:255 214 0
CMYK:0 15 100 0
Pantone:PMS 109 C