Dr. Fritz Eichler and Stefan May's 1970 logo for The Gillette Company.
Following the acquisition of German company Braun by Gillette in 1967, Braun’s in-house team, under the guidance of Dr. Fritz Eichler, was tasked with crafting a new logo for what would become The Gillette Company. Their explorations took them through a meticulous process considering, not just aesthetics, but the deeper sense of what the logo should embody. At the core of their efforts lay a fundamental question: should a logo serve merely as a testament to corporate prowess or as a communication tool for consumers, reflecting ‘fairness’, ‘decency’, and quality? This query became the cornerstone of the project, aligning it with Gillette's ethos of internationality, reliability, and quality.
The new logo had to transcend borders and speak a universal language while harmonising with The Gillette Company’s diverse product range. This included, not just razors and razor blades, but brands such as Right Guard, ‘Flair’ felt-pens, and ‘Paper Mate’ ball-point pens, amongst many other products across a variety of categories for a multitude of people. The challenge lay in projecting Gillette beyond its razor-focused image and transferring some of the goodwill accumulated around these products on to its other brands, showcasing its multifaceted capabilities and progressive outlook.
Studies conducted by American design and branding consultancy firm Sandgren & Murtha suggested that the name Gillette had its advantages and could serve as an effective umbrella for the entire company, incorporating all of variety of products. With this recommendation, management settled on "The Gillette Company”.
Prior to the project, there had been no uniform use of the company’s name. The design treatment of ‘Gillette’ was determined ‘arbitrarily’. Lettering would change from product to product. By formalising the visual presentation of the name, it would be possible to amplify the presence of Gillette and build equity around an image which could be more easily leveraged in the future.
It was decided that The Gillette Company ‘sign’ should consist of two components: a logotype - ‘The Gillette Company’ - and a logo. The logo should have a ‘self-assertive unobtrusiveness’ that expressed the ‘high standard of quality’ people could expect.