UPS has utilized four logos during its 105-year history, with the most recent logo being unveiled in March 2003 as part of the company's global rebranding initiative.
Through the years, the UPS logo has evolved to reflect the evolving business strategy of the company. But during each redesign, the changes were gradual.
Below is a quick look at the evolution of UPS's four logos:
UPS worked with FutureBrand, a global branding and marketing consultancy, for nearly two years on strategic research and detailed planning leading up to its March 2003 rebranding. As part of the rebranding, UPS adopted its fourth logo, marking the first change in the logo in 42 years.
The most visible change was the removal of the bow-tied package above the UPS shield, symbolizing UPS's expansion from package delivery into a broader array of supply chain services. For the past 10-plus years, UPS has developed an extensive array of supply chain services to complement its package delivery expertise. In fact, in a period of three years, the company made more than 25 acquisitions to expand its supply chain capabilities, including freight services via ground and air, as well as ocean and rail; financial services; business mail services; and 3,000 retail locations with The UPS Store®.
Quite simply, the bow-tied package restrained UPS's ability to represent these new services. (And although it did not heavily influence the decision to remove the package, strings are no longer appropriate because they can get caught in UPS's modern automated sorting systems.)
Paul Rand, a renowned brand designer, created UPS's third logo in 1961. The logo significantly simplified UPS's identity, using a bow-tied package above the familiar shield to express the mission of the company. At that time, package delivery was UPS's sole service offering.
UPS's second logo was unveiled in 1937 and included another mainstay of the company's identity - which was simply "UPS," for United Parcel Service. By this time, the company had grown significantly and was providing delivery of merchandise for multiple retail department stores. Incorporated into the logo was the phrase, "THE DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR STORES OF QUALITY."
UPS's first logo was adopted in 1919, not long after UPS founder Jim Casey merged his company with a local rival delivery service. It established the prominent shield that continues today. (In fact, UPS employees still refer to the company's logo as the "shield.") The original logo features an eagle carrying a package with the words "SAFE, SWIFT, SURE" emblazoned on the side. Those qualities of reliable service endure today.