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eBay Logo Design History and Evolution

eBay Logo Design History and Evolution

When it comes to online auctions, eBay is still king of the hill. It might not be the first online auction site, but it is certainly the first to become part of the public consciousness. By offering a way for people around the world to buy and sell their goods, it became a marketplace unlike any other. One part of eBay’s online presence that’s always been important is the eBay logo. It’s changed less than you might assume over the years, but the evolution has shown a major difference in how the company wants to be perceived by users.

eBay Logo Design Elements

The eBay logo is about as simple as it comes. The only major element is the name – no cute mascot, no clever shape elements. Just the letters that spell out eBay, all assembled in a way that can be easily read. It’s very clear that you’re not just looking at a logo here, but rather than you’re also looking at a website address. It doesn’t take any work for the consumer to go from looking at the logo to going directly to the site.

EBay’s logo is colorful and fun, using red, blue, yellow and green in a way that provides contrast without hurting the eyes. The font is all lower-case and very easy to read, in a style that wouldn’t be too uncommon on a more traditional auction sign. In fact, the most striking thing about the logo is how simple it really is – this isn’t a logo that takes advantage of all the tricks the internet has to provide, but rather one that puts the user experience above all other aspects.

Changes and Evolution

1. Shape

The original logo for eBay was incredibly similar in terms of shape to the current logo. The major difference is in the spacing of the letters – instead of being level, they were stacked on one another in a vaguely overlapping manner. The logo looked fun and whacky, something that was very much in tune with the internet of the time. As the business became more established, though, the shape went to a straight line of text.

2. Color

Ebay has never changed its colors. Red, blue, green and yellow stand out well on a white screen and catch the eye of the user. There hasn’t been a need to change out the colors because they still match the energy of the company today. By keeping these colors in play, the company is able to call back to its roots without having to ignore its current goals.

3. Font

The original font for the eBay logo was a bit closer to a comic font, one that was popular during the earlier days of e-commerce but that has been largely phased out today. The old logo font looked a bit more entertaining and fun, promising that eBay was more than just a buying-and-selling experience. As more users began to use eBay and businesses began to dominate the listings, though, it became logical for the company to move towards a more business-like font. Today’s font looks similar to the old version, just a bit more grown-up.

Influences/ Inspiration

There’s a lot of obvious design influence in both the old and new eBay logos. The old logo definitely takes nods from major brick and mortar stores of the time, especially including stores like Toys-R-Us. The modern logo is more in line with Web 2.0 e-commerce sites, with a simple design that’s easy to put into a clickable link.

The eBay logo is also wuite reminiscent of the Google logo, especially when it comes to the color scheme. Its evolutions is also similar, in that both brands gave up something of their playfulness for a more straight forward, reliable look.

EBay is more of a follower than a leader when it comes to logos. Many other companies have similar logos, but they’re also a product of the same influences as eBay. A number of other similar online auction sites use a similar color scheme, though, less as an homage and more as a tool to confuse uneducated users. Ebay’s logo works well for the company, but it’s simply impossible to adapt to another due to its simplicity.

Trivia

Conclusion

The changing nature of the eBay logo says a great deal about how e-commerce has changed since the company was founded. What was once fun and interactive has been brought down to a more business-like level, one that places utility above all else. While the company may have lost some of the fun in its logo, it has still kept a very similar identity. This has helped the logo to continue to work well for the company since the change.

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