IBM had a drastic change in its logo design through the years.  Originally IBM was known as ITRCO (International Time Recording Company) and had a five letter logo with a hierarchy that caused to viewer to read the letters in the correct order.  After incorporating the Computing Scale Company to produce commercial scales, the company changed its logo.  Unlike the previous design, the first letter is difficult to distinguish as the “C” encompasses the entire logo.  When the two companies completely merged under one board to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR), a combination logo was created.  Although it still has elements of the CSCO logo (the pointed letters and the font curvature) the main layout was taken from the of the ITRCO logo.  The first actual IBM logo appeared in 1924 when the company’s name was officially changed to Business International Machines.  Because of the “international” nature of their sales, their logo is representational of a globe.  The transition from punch-card tabulating business to computers started with the simple Beton Bold type face very similar to the IBM logo known today.  In order to signify the change in management from Thomas J Watson Sr. to his son, the logo was changed to a solid and grounded black design.  The lines were added in by Paul Rand in 1972 to signify speed and dynamism.  The colour blue was chosen because it was readily available on low resolution screens and showed the public that their computers could display in colour.  The IBM logo is now white with a black border.  This is because it’s cheaper and easier to print on computer cases then a blue design while having a high contrast that is quickly noticeable (IBM).
Works Cited
IBM. "IBM Logo." IBM. IBM. Web. <>.  


  1. I wonder why the strokes (in the M) of the 1947 are uneven with one thin. I see they have changed little since that time, with dramatic changes due to company mergers before stablizing in 1947.History of modern design: graphics and products since the Industrial Revolution By David Raizman (google books) page 291 mentions that Rand used a square serif display known as City Medium, produced in Germany in 1930. The strong figure ground contrasted with the close space.

  2. Very cool! I think IBM is really good. My dad worked in computers for a long time and he always had an IBM laptop. It brings back memories.

  3. very informative! your blog is very creative.


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