History of the Lego Logo Design Evolution
For every company worldwide, logo design plays a substantial role. It drives brand awareness and creates the company's sense of identity. Most company logos may seem simple before our eyes. In many cases, we take them just as mere means of identification. However, most logos represent specific meanings, generally the company's key ideas and beliefs.
Today's best logo designs have often transformed over many years to become what they are now. They started as basic concepts long ago but were refined and adapted to keep pace with the changing times.
In this article, we will explore the fascinating design history behind one of the most iconic logos in the world – the LEGO logo. We will explain how the idea came about and the factors that led the logo to evolve over the decades.
The History of the LEGO Brand
The iconic LEGO brand has captured the imaginations of children and adults worldwide for over 90 years. What began as a small carpentry workshop in Denmark has become one of the planet's most beloved and recognisable toy companies.
The LEGO story began in 1932 when Ole Kirk Christiansen opened a modest woodworking business in Billund, Denmark. Initially, the company produced simple household items like ironing boards, stepladders, and wooden toys. It wasn't until 1934 that Ole Kirk adopted the name LEGO, derived from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, meaning “play well.”
Ole Kirk's son Godtfred joined the company in 1942 and began experimenting with different materials and manufacturing techniques that would allow LEGO to produce more versatile and durable toys. Godtfred pioneered the development of the now-iconic LEGO bricks in 1958, which could be locked together in limitless combinations. This ignited the LEGO System of Play concept that remains central to LEGO products today.
Under Godtfred's leadership as Managing Director, LEGO bricks evolved from simple rectangular blocks to more specialised pieces like doors, wheels, and windows. New themes like Town, Space, and Castle launched throughout the 1960s and 70s, allowing children to build intricate worlds and act out stories. Introducing minifigures in 1978 added a roleplaying element and a cast of characters that could inhabit the LEGO universes.
The LEGO Group has blossomed into an influential global enterprise since its humble beginnings. LEGO products are sold in over 130 countries, with LEGOLAND theme parks worldwide. While trends and technologies have changed dramatically since 1932, LEGO has stayed true to its mission of inspiring creative play and sparking wonder in children's minds. Even in today's digital age, the endless possibilities of those simple plastic bricks continue to fire up kids' imaginations. LEGO's founding principles of quality, creativity, and fun live on in every set produced.
LEGO Logo Design Evolution
The LEGO logo has undergone an impressive evolution since the company was first established in 1932. Over the past 90 years, the iconic logo has been redesigned and refreshed numerous times, making LEGO one of the companies that have changed its logo the most frequently.
The driving forces behind the logo transformations have primarily been introducing new LEGO products and expanding into new markets, especially the lucrative American market. While the logo has seen dramatic changes in typography, shape, and colour over the decades, the LEGO name has endured throughout.
The first official LEGO logo was created in 1934, two years after the toy company was founded. This original logo was basic, simply spelling the company name in black capital letters without any decorative shapes or embellishments. It established the LEGO brand while it was still young and relatively unknown.
Over the next few decades, the LEGO logo evolved significantly as the company grew. The first major redesign came in the 1950s as LEGO began releasing early versions of the interlocking bricks that would become their signature product. The logo changed to an oval, adding a more dynamic and kid-friendly feel.
In the 1960s, the LEGO logo took on a rectangular shape with rounded edges as the company further expanded its building set offerings. The font also shifted to a bolder, blockier typeface reminiscent of the LEGO bricks.
As LEGO sets became popular globally in the 1970s, the logo was redesigned with a brighter red colour for more international appeal. The rectilinear shape was maintained, with a bold yellow outline bringing vibrancy against the red lettering.
In the late 1990s, the logo was transformed again with a softer curved shape and darker shades of red and yellow as LEGO aimed to appeal to a more sophisticated, mature audience. This logo marked the company's evolution beyond just children's toys.
Most recently, in the 2000s, the LEGO logo has returned to its iconic square shape, evoking a sense of stability and tradition while still using bold, bright colours. Despite its evolution over 90 years, the LEGO name remains instantly recognisable, representing quality and creativity across generations.
History of the LEGO Logo Design
This is the most incredible section of this piece, pointing out LEGO worlds logo concepts as one of the best. We will learn how the LEGO logo appeared and the year when it happened.
We’re going to start from 1934 when the first logo was unveiled and then take you through up to when the final and the present iconic form was designed. Let’s begin!
1934 to 1936
The first LEGO logo was designed during the company's early years. This bold, black text logo was LEGO's purest and simplest design. The logo featured the company name “LEGO” in a bold, black font without any enclosing shape or imagery. This clean, minimalist logo lasted only two years before being replaced by a new design. Though short-lived, the first LEGO logo began the brand's evolution and set the stage for the following iconic designs.
1936 to 1946
In the early 1940s, LEGO faced a growing need to include its logo on its products. With no logo that could easily be incorporated, the company set out to redesign it. The new LEGO logo featured the italicised brand name “LEGO” positioned between two straight parallel lines on either side. This text-based logo was one of LEGO's longest-lasting, remaining used for about ten years. The redesign enabled LEGO to finally add its mark to its building toys, meeting the demand for logo visibility.
1946 to 1950
The Lego logo underwent a colourful transformation in 1946. The company unveiled a multi-coloured logo, using orange and black text for the first time. The bright colours symbolised confidence, happiness and energy, giving the logo a more lively, official appearance than earlier versions.
During this evolution of the logo, Lego experimented with two variants. The first featured the word “Lego” in orange letters, paired with a black cursive “Klodster” at the bottom. This sleek, modern design expressed Lego's commitment to professionalism.
The second variant took on a three-dimensional form, with finer graphical details and a brown and black base. Unlike the first version, this traditional toy packaging-inspired logo was mainly used on wooden toys rather than corporate documents. The 1946 redesign marked Lego's transition to a colourful, upbeat brand image that stood out from competitors.
1950 to 1953
The evolution of LEGO's logo designs has been driven by key events and innovations in the company's history. When LEGO began producing plastic toys in 1949, they needed a new logo to mark this milestone.
In 1950, LEGO unveiled a dramatically different logo to celebrate their plastic bricks and establish a renewed brand identity. The new design featured a bold, circular black outline containing the words “Billund Denmark” in white. At the centre sat a stylised white LEGO logo, encapsulating the brand's spirit of creativity and imagination.
This logo announced LEGO's transition to a modern toy company and set the stage for its rise to global popularity. Over the decades, LEGO has updated its logo to reflect new eras and product lines. Still, that simple 1950 logo marked a turning point by boldly announcing LEGO's bright future in plastic toys and play.
1953 to 1955
The LEGO logo has gone through several evolutions over the years, each aimed at better connecting with its core audience – children. In the 1950s and 60s, LEGO began associating its brand more directly with the end-users of its products through its logo design.
The emblem featured the LEGO name in a mix of red, yellow and white, which evoked a sense of joy and friendliness for kids. The logo took two shapes – a rectangle or oval – with LEGO lettering.
One early rectangular design had the LEGO name in red with a white outline, all set on a vibrant yellow background. This fresh, colourful look helped strengthen LEGO's branding among young builders.
Later oval versions also used the red LEGO lettering but with variations on the outlines and striking lines through the centre. One had a thin black shape around white lettering and a bold white strike-through line. Another used a thick black design around the white LEGO name with a matching thick black line crossing through it.
The evolution of the LEGO logo during this pivotal era reflects the company's focus on making its brand more childlike and approachable. The colourful, friendly logo designs sought to inspire creativity and promote connections with the target audience.
1955 to 1960
The LEGO logo underwent gradual refinement rather than dramatic redesigns during the late 1950s and early 1960s. While the basic oval shape was retained, the emblem was subtly modified to create a stronger brand identity.
The most notable change came in late 1959 when the logo was transformed from an oval into a bold rectangular shape. Additionally, the colour of the LEGO lettering switched from black to bright yellow, with thicker black outlines for more excellent legibility and impact.
This refined, rectangular LEGO logo created in 1959 would become the basis for all future iterations of the iconic brand's visual identity. The period represented an evolution toward a more memorable, recognisable, and evocative logo of the LEGO brand.
1960 to 1964
The LEGO logo has undergone minor changes since 1960 but retains a similar overall look. In the 1960s, LEGO moved away from its earlier oval logo designs and introduced a new logo that featured the LEGO name in white lettering with black outlines inside a red rectangle. This logo also included the word “System” written below the LEGO name, referring to the LEGO System of Play.
While this logo has evolved over the decades, the essential elements of the white LEGO lettering inside a red rectangle have remained consistent from the 1960s until today. This design continuity over many decades contributes to the timeless and recognisable quality of the LEGO logo. Even with minor changes to update the look, the LEGO logo retains the iconic styling established in the 1960s.
1964 to 1972
The LEGO logo from 1960 to 1964 saw one of the most vibrant redesigns in the company's history. The previous rectangular logo was paired with a new multicoloured rectangle. This new addition featured five colours – yellow, red, blue, white and black – arranged vertically in that order.
The original 1960-64 logo remained on the left, now joined by the colourful new rectangle on the right. The inclusion of multiple bright colours conveyed a sense of joy and playfulness. This era represented a transition for LEGO, as the brand began expanding beyond its trademark bricks into new and creative toy sets. The revamped logo, with its burst of colour, reflected this evolution.
1972 to 1998
In 1983, 40 years after the founding of the LEGO Group, the company entered the US market. This significant milestone led to further evolutions of the LEGO logo, even though the design had already become relatively consistent.
The most noticeable change was replacing the multicoloured rectangular background with a solid red square. The LEGO lettering in the centre was updated to a bold font with thick double outlines in black and yellow. While these tweaks made the logo appear more substantial and striking, it retained the overall friendly and approachable spirit that has defined the LEGO brand.
The 1983 logo update coincided with LEGO's expansion into the sizable US toy market. While staying true to the company's values, the revised logo helped usher in this new growth phase in LEGO's history. The bolder, more vibrant aesthetic matched the brand's increasing prominence worldwide.
1998 to Date
The LEGO logo has undergone subtle yet meaningful evolutions over the decades, reflecting the company's core values while adapting to the times. Though the basic brick-inspired letterforms remain intact, designers have tweaked spacing, proportions and colours to keep the logo fresh.
For instance, the letters were squeezed together in the 1990s for a more unified look. And the vibrant red background gave way to more straightforward black or white backdrops, symbolic of LEGO's timeless appeal. Still, the logo retains its quintessential playful, geometric style – inspired by those iconic interlocking bricks.
The LEGO logo truly has an extensive and fascinating design history. Perhaps most importantly, it shows how a brand can thoughtfully evolve its image while remaining recognisable and authentic to its origins.
One key lesson I've learned is that creativity often thrives under constraints. LEGO designers had to work within strict spatial and geometric confines to update the logo. This required clever problem-solving and vision to modernise within those limitations. It's a good reminder that constraints can lead to innovation!
The evolution of the Lego logo provides essential lessons for brands looking to refine their visual identities. While Lego has updated its logo over the years, it has maintained brand consistency by keeping the name and essential design elements intact. This adherence to its core identity has allowed Lego the flexibility to adapt its logo to new styles and technologies without sacrificing recognition.
At the same time, Lego has leveraged design innovations, especially in colour, to stay fresh and appeal to changing consumer tastes. Its early embrace of bright, eye-catching hues gave it a distinctive edge in the toy industry. Lego created a cohesive brand image by aligning its logo design with its colourful, youthful products.
Striking this balance between consistency and evolution has strengthened Lego's brand over decades of changes in the marketplace and consumer preferences. Companies should follow Lego's lead by maintaining their core identities while also being open to updating visual components like logos. Refreshing a logo can revitalise a brand but requires thoughtfully balancing continuity with change.