SAP Logo


The SAP logo demonstrates progressive thinking and the development of machine intelligence. Software development from scratch, a new approach to accounting, and database management characterize the company and are reflected in the emblem.

SAP: Brand overview

Founded: 1972
Founder: Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, Klaus Tschira, Claus Wellenreuther
Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Until the end of the 1990s, few people knew what SAP was doing. Her efforts were not focused on marketing, and the sellers communicated in their incomprehensible jargon – “SAPanese.” The fact is that this organization was founded in 1972 by several engineers developing artificial intelligence technology. They left IBM when the project they had been assigned became unclaimed. Having taken their experience, colleagues opened a separate company and began to create software for financial accounting systems themselves. The name SAP is associated with the German term Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung and its English counterpart System Analysis and Program Development. The brand’s owners had no idea that they would someday have to do business in South Africa, where SAP stands for South African Police.

Meaning and History

SAP Logo History

The software company has grown remarkably over the past half-century. Her identity has evolved with her – visual symbols that help identify SAP in the service market. The very first trademark logo was as striped as the IBM graphic because, at that time, horizontal lines were associated with computers. The design was developed by Peter Leyh, one of the five founding engineers of SAP. Colleagues gathered together in the kitchen of Juergen Hachenberger to watch the traditional Friday football match. And then Leyh, sitting at the kitchen table, drew what became the debut logo: a black square with a white brand name.

Later, a triangle was added to the quadrilateral, making the geometric figure look like a rectangular trapezoid. After numerous experiments with colors (within the blue palette) and textures (a solid fill replaced the stripes), the current version of the logo appeared. In the course of evolution, the square and the triangle merged because, in 2000, the dividing line between them disappeared. A year earlier, the horizontal stroke of the letter “A” became arcuate. This is how the “brand smile” of SAP appeared.

2000 – 2011

SAP Logo 2000

The software developer has moved into the new millennium with an improved logo. It was a clear and understandable “SAP” lettering inside a dark blue trapezoid. White letters took up almost all the space, but there was not enough space for them, so there were no spaces between “S,” “A,” and “P.” The designers made it so that “A” smiled affably, demonstrating the company’s friendly attitude towards customers.

2011 – today

SAP Logo

In 2011, the base changed to light blue, with a trendy gradient at the time. In 2014, SAP executives attempted to get rid of the trapezoid and make the inscription orange, but the experiment failed. The public did not accept the radically new image, so the company was forced to return to the 2011 design, which continues to be used to this day.

Font and Colors

SAP Emblem

SAP’s experience proves that brand recognition is impossible without a conservative approach to identity. Almost all software vendor icons share a common structure. The only time the designers changed the traditional shape of the emblem and repainted the inscription in orange was met with dissatisfaction from shareholders, customers, and employees of SAP. Therefore, returning to the old style turned out to be the only right decision.

The typography of the logo is based on the classic bold sans-serif. But the developers have made it a “flavor” by modifying some of the strokes. They arched the straight horizontal line in the middle of the “A” to make the arc resemble a smile and make the “S” smoother.

SAP Symbol

Although the lettering is almost always white, SAP’s favorite color is blue. The trapezoid is either dark blue or light blue in the latest logos, with a gradient currently used.

SAP color codes

Deep Sky Blue Hex color: #00b7f1
RGB: 0 183 241
CMYK: 100 24 0 6
Pantone: PMS 312 C
Spanish Sky Blue Hex color: #05a4e5
RGB: 5 164 229
CMYK: 98 28 0 10
Pantone: PMS 801 C
French Blue Hex color: #1773c8
RGB: 23 115 200
CMYK: 89 43 0 22
Pantone: PMS 285 C
Denim Hex color: #1d62bd
RGB: 29 98 189
CMYK: 85 48 0 26
Pantone: PMS 285 C