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Should We Mention the Date of Establishment in a Logo?

If, as a business owner or a graphic designer, you’ve been deliberating on whether you should use an establishing date in a logo, this article has been written to help you. Even if you weren’t even thinking about the subject, this article will still give you a fresh perspective.

What is the date of establishment?

In the context of branding, this date is mentioned in an organization’s logo (or other branding material) to communicate the age of the company to the consumer/audience. This age signifies only one thing- experience in the work that the organization does. Since, experience very often corresponds directly with expertise, addition of a date of establishment is a positive branding feature.

Younger's Export Pale Ale label
W. M. Younger’s Pale Ale label. Image by Kim Traynor, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When the date of establishment is dead weight

You need your logo to be as simple as it can. In some contexts, it is therefore not wise to overload it with the estd. element. One of those contexts is of brands in the technology industry.

Using a date of origin in the tech brand logo is irrelevant because technology, by the very virtue of it, is constantly evolving, and quite fast.

The following example will illustrate the point better. A company, which has been making web-browsers since 1995, makes one in 2018. Another company that was founded a year ago also makes a web browser that not only tops the features, but also offers better security and stability than the one designed by the 33-year-old company. So, in the ever-changing world of digital technology virtual products, legacy is hardly ever a virtue.

When old is better

In contrast to digital technology, legacy is can be sought after in the automobile industry. The concept of legacy is not just about being part of a old group with some history, it also has practical grounds.

Royal Enfield Logo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is the very nature of internal combustion engines that makes it very hard to design a perfect machine from scratch. This is something that even veterans struggle with. It takes a couple of iterations before an engine model achieves true refinement, and a vehicle its best potential. This means that years actually add value to a vehicles design and development.

Old food that is not stale

Gourmet food brands, and any food brands in general, benefit from a history. It has to do with how human society associates flavours to certain period to betterment. It is like collective nostalgia. In some cases, particularly, alcoholic beverages, products that are literally old, years old. This antiquity applies to beverages like red-wine and whiskey.

Wine label New Almaden Vineyard Chas. Lefranc proprietor
Wine label, New Almaden Vineyard, Burgundy Wine, California wine label and ephemera collection, courtesy, California Historical Society, via Wikimedia Commons


Photo of French's Mustard
Image by Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0, via Flikr

When used for other food items originating from bakeries, confectioneries, or any other similar joints, the estd. Element suggests a proof for the quality of flavour that has lasted the test of generation and is still relevant.

Lucky Brand Jeans, by Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0, via Flikr

The above cases may make it seem so that only rebranding efforts need to be concerned with the question of date of establishment. But, in truth, totally fresh brands can also implement a “estd. 2018” element. In such cases, it will work as a stylistic choice, but ten years down the line, it will have become an integral part of the logo.

Aeropostale jeans label
Aeropostale jeans label, CC BY 2.0, by Mike Mozart, via Flikr

So, as you may have gathered from this article, it is not just about the necessity that the date of establishment bears to your logo. It is more about analysing that if you actually use it, would it add value to the brand, in the present or the future. If the answer to this deliberation is in the affirmative, then your logo should proudly feature a establishing date.

Laksh is a professional writer with more than 10 years of experience in visual design. He loves to write about brand design and colors.

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