Despite regular calls to re-design the mark, the Sherwin Williams Color Your World logo remains one of the oldest and most enduring corporate symbols still in use. It is also pretty sinister..
But how about the most sinister logo?
Only here at The Logo! Factor will you find that award, doled out to the Sherwin Williams Paint Company for their Cover the World design (above left). Dripping (quite literally) with Spectre like imagery (Octopus graphic at right,) it’s highly unlikely that such a concept would get off the ground today, let alone become the graphic representation of one of the biggest corporations around. World domination isn’t exactly the type of theme that big-wig companies like to be linked to (even if the plan is – bwahaha – knocked about during those ever-so-secret board meetings.) That kind of stuff is best left to advertising apocalyptic sci-fi movies like War of The Worlds to which the logo bears more than a passing resemblance (if you squint and turn the poster upside down, which isn’t a stretch at all, nosiree Bob.)
Color Your World logo history.
Designed by advertising manager George Ford in 1895 – although there were initial misgivings about the design, general manager Walter Cottingham believed it was a bold depiction for the fast-growing company.
The Cover the World design replaced the original Sherman Williams idea – a paint-covered chameleon – and became the official company logo and trademark in 1905. It remains (design tweaks notwithstanding,) one of the oldest and enduring logos in commerce.)
Here’s some of the original artwork as it evolved:And the logo proper as you’re likely to run into at the hardware store:
There’s been regular calls for a redesign (the “pouring of goo” anti-environment nature of the design is often mentioned as a rationale) including a Fast Company Design gig a few years back, when a call for “which logo should we rebrand?” was answered resoundingly with “Sherwin Williams Paint!!!”
“It looks like they’re PRO-pollution of the environment as long as it’s done with their paint.”
Fun fact: The Earth in the logo has been knocked off its axis which allows the can to pour paint directly onto Cleveland, Ohio – Sherwin Williams’ corporate HQ.That War of the Worlds thing at the beginning? Still not seeing it? Well, let’s flip the suckered martian hand and globe up upside-down.Just like I said. Most. Sinister. Logo. Ever.