If you have driven by a construction site in the recent past, you’ve probably seen one of Caterpillar’s machines hard at work. A leading manufacturer of construction equipment, the company is one of the best known in the industry. Part of the reason the company is so identifiable is due to its logo, which can be seen on all of their products. The recognizable Caterpillar logo is fairly new, though, and it’s much different than the logos that the company has had in the past. The evolution of the Caterpillar logo is actually quite interesting to observe.
Caterpillar Logo Design Elements
If you’ve seen construction equipment out on the job, you already know a bit about what to expect from Caterpillar’s logo. It’s big, it’s easy to see, and yes – it’s yellow. It’s the kind of logo that absolutely evokes the company’s primary product and that’s incredibly useful for consumers. The shape itself varies depending on which of the two logos you’re looking at – it’s lean and ranging when the company uses its full name, but blocky and industrial when the company uses the short form of its name.
The color’s big thing here, and it works very well. The yellow on the logo is the same as the yellow of construction equipment. There’s no chance you can mistake what this company does once you see the logo, nor can you mistake to whom the equipment belongs once you are familiar with the color. The logo’s font is big and burly, which represents the kind of strength that one would want from a construction company. Everything in the logo units for one singular vision in a way that’s rare.
Changes and Evolution
Astonishingly, Caterpillar’s CAT logo is fairly new. Back when the company was founded in the 1920s, the logo actually looked more like its namesake – a caterpillar. This logo would only last for a few years, though, after which Caterpillar would stick with a very basic and straightforward word shape all the way through 1967. This straightforward shape matched the straightforward nature of the company. In 1967, the logo would be accompanied by a stylized C, only to assume its current form in the 1980s. The move towards an easily-recognizable symbol was likely to capitalize on a booming construction market.
While Caterpillar and yellow go together famously, it’s actually a very recent partnership insofar as branding is concerned. The original logo was red, after which it would switch over to a simple black and white until the modern logo came into use. The black and white color scheme is simple and industrial, something that definitely makes sense for a company that largely sells to industrial clients. It’s not until the 1980s that it seems like Caterpillar actually makes a push towards non-corporate, non-industrial clients and thus the company has to figure out a way to make sure that their logo is visually appealing.
Caterpillar’s font choices have never been too creative. The most daring was its original, wavy caterpillar font from the 1920s – something that made sense during a boom period. Once the Great Depression hit, though, the company got a great deal more serious. It would use variations on the same font style all the way through 1957. The big change came in 1957 as construction and industrial clients started looking for a more industrialized look in their fonts. Even today, Caterpillar’s materials use a very strong, very bold font in order to inspire confidence.
The Caterpillar logo doesn’t take a lot of influences from other businesses. Instead, it takes bits and pieces from the industrial and construction items that it manufactures. Instead of look at other companies, then, it’s best to take a look at various construction equipment – except for one factor. The sole yellow element in the logo is reminiscent of the John Deere logo, though this may well be a coincidence.
There are few companies that have followed in CAT’s lead. A few other construction companies do use similar logos, but the switches were made around the same time. It may well be that CAT was simply ahead of the curve when it came to switching out its logo.
- Caterpillar is responsible for all of America’s railroads.
- Caterpillar machines move about fifty percent of the quarry rock in the world.
- The yellow color of Caterpillar machinery is trademarked as Caterpillar Yellow.
- Caterpillar started life as a farm equipment company, not a construction equipment company.
The Caterpillar logo is definitely one that represents the company. It’s strong, it’s solid, and most of all, it is yellow. Next time you drive by a construction site, take a moment to appreciate how well the logo works with the machinery.