Yusaku Kamekura's 1963 unused logo proposal for Shell
The following is a first-hand account of renowned Japanese designer Yusaku Kamekura’s (Fuji Bank, Expo ‘75) experience developing a design policy proposal for British oil giant Shell. Kamekura writes of his experience in Issue 44 of ‘Graphic Design’ which was published in the winter of 1971.
Shell’s red and yellow ‘Pecten’ symbol had been in use since 1900. This had been revised a number of times with subtle abstractions made along the way. Although this had become internationally recognised, and having just undergone a redesign in 1961, it was felt that the logo was perceived as dated and two versions, one for marketing and another for ‘institutional’ purposes, had added to the work required to maintain the corporate identity. Four designers were given the task of modernising Shell’s image, with the proposal put forward by French designer Raymond Loewy of C.E.I. (Coop) being rolled out in 1972.
Keep reading to discover how Kamekura approached the Shell commission. Discover how his logo was presented across gas station and truck liveries. And see the ‘winning’ proposal but forward by Raymond Loewy, one that remains in use and largely unchanged today.