The Amazon logo decodes the hidden meaning, evolution and history


Last updated August 2, 2023

Amazon is a leading multinational technology company and one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms. Like many other big companies, it is known for its unique and impressive logo that effectively conveys the brand message to the target audience. The logo is a remarkable design and has helped make the company a household name. But its logo has a long evolutionary history.

Amazon was founded on July 5, 1994 in Seattle by Jeff Bezos, and it was an online marketplace for books at the time. Today, the market has expanded significantly, covering almost all product categories.

The company has several subsidiaries, such as Amazon Web Services (cloud computing), Kuiper Systems (satellite internet), Zoox (autonomous vehicles), and Amazon Lab126 (computer hardware R&D). The company is now the world’s largest online retailer and marketplace.

Before we explore the history and evolution of the Amazon logo in more detail, first know what the logo means.

Hidden meaning behind the Amazon logo – History and evolution:

The Amazon logo may seem like a simple design at first glance. But it has its message for its target customers. What could be the hidden meaning of the logo? Here’s how we can decode it:

Hidden meaning

An essential feature of the Amazon logo is its arrow. It is yellow and can be seen from afar. But it has a meaning that defines the brand for its consumers.

We all know what a smile means. It means the person is happy and satisfied in life. A smiling person spreads happiness everywhere, because a smile is contagious. This is why Amazon chose the arrow as the element of joy in the logo.

The logo features an arrow that looks like a smile on the face. This reflects a customer’s happiness and satisfaction after purchasing from Amazon.

Additionally, the arrow connects the letters a to the letter “z” in the brand name, indicating the availability of products to consumers.

History and evolution of the Amazon logo

The Amazon logo is a famous emblem that people recognize as a reliable symbol of online shopping. But the logo design was different from what it is today. The logo started its journey on a humble note in 1995 and gradually got a new Amazon logo for its target audience. But it’s still a simple design that people easily connect with.

Here’s how the Amazon logo evolved:

1995 – Literal version of company name

The Amazon brand takes its name from the longest Amazon River in the world. Its first logo in 1995 had the river as the main element. The letter A in the brand name formed a trapezoid. A long, wide white curve in the middle of the letter represents the river.

Turner Duckworth designed this old Amazon logo with a stylized “A”, which was the main element of the design. The black letter also symbolized the contours of the South American river.

The company and website name “” was also incorporated into the base of the logo with the caption “The World’s Largest Bookstore”.

The wordmark was written in a simple sans-serif font. Thus, the logo clearly showed that the store had the ambition to be the world leader in its sector.

This logo became the Amazon brand identity at the start of the digital age. Back then, designers had limited access to logo design tools. Experts and critics didn’t like the logo much. Many considered the river in the logo to be old-fashioned and clichéd. This is why the logo only lasted two years, until 1997.

1997- Detailed and refined version

1997: The e-commerce giant redesigns its logo with some changes in response to criticism it receives. This time there were a few details that represented the growth of the business.

The logo was still black and white but featured a zebra pattern inside the letter A. The designs resembled tree branches, representing the company’s expansion. But the company kept the “” wordmark at the bottom of the logo base. The wordmark was also there in anticipation of the dot-com hype at that time.

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However, the logo design needed to be more appealing and have a nice aesthetic.

1998 – Just the wordmark logo

In 1998, the company realized that the letter “A” with the river inside the logo was not enough to fully express its brand message to the new target customer. The world was quickly going digital, and everyone was talking about it. This is why the company opted for a complete redesign of the logo.

So, initially, he opted for an “” logo and created three versions of it. THE Amazon logo change had the brand name in a simple serif font. The slogan “The largest bookstore in the world” was incorporated under the brand name.

But this logo couldn’t stay for long either and a newer version replaced it. This time, “” appeared in capital letters to convey the brand’s dominance. Its main attraction was the large yellow letter “O” in the name. The company got rid of the slogan. This design continued to represent the company for several months.

Then, at the end of the year, a new wordmark with a yellow swish underneath appeared. The rustle was slightly arched and later became the basis for the current design of the smiling company. Additionally, the company name appeared in the Officina Sans font. The company name “Amazon” appeared in bolder font to produce contrast for easier visibility, while the “.com” portion was lighter.

professional logo

2000 – Today: wordmark with a smiley Swoosh

The company developed a new Wordmark logo in 2000 which continues to be the brand identity. So the wordmark was changed slightly, with the previous yellow bridge-like curve transformed into an arrow that resembled a smile.

This time, the designers used the yellow swoosh to connect the letters “a” to “z”, conveying the brand’s message that the company can buy everything in the store. This signaled the wide variety of products available to consumers.

But the smiling arrow also represents the company’s happy customers who smile after receiving the products at their doorstep.

2021 – Amazon Phone app logo – Redesigned under public pressure

Amazon has used a logo as a shopping cart symbol for five years. It had a brown box meaning plain packaging. At the top there was a blue adhesive strip with jagged edges. But soon, people protested against this logo because the strip reminded them of the toothbrush style of Adolf Hitler, the dictator.

The company therefore rethought the Amazon Hitler Logo by removing the uneven edges of the blue stripe. Now the blue ribbon looked plain, without the edges. It was designed as if someone had carefully folded it, indicating the unboxing of the product inside.

After Amazon made the changes to its Amazon app logo, Amazon brand spokesperson explained the decision by saying: “Amazon is always exploring new ways to delight our customers. We designed the new icon to spark anticipation, excitement and joy when customers begin their shopping journey on their phone, just like they do when they see our boxes on their doorstep.

2022 – Launch of the Prime logo

The company launched Amazon Prime in April 2022 for customers who could get free shipping and faster delivery by paying a monthly fee. The Amazon Prime logo includes the old Amazon logo with the yellow smiling arrow. But the word “Prime” was also added to the side in blue to express excellence, speed and a friendly investment in the brand’s excellent service.

Amazon Logo Design Elements

Amazon’s logo is a great example of how it conveys its brand message through strategic design elements. The logo has creative elements that make it look unique and attractive.

The arrow

The Amazon logo features a prominent arrow, which has become the brand’s visual identity. It has an arrow starting from the letter “a” and connecting to the letter “z”. So, this means that the e-commerce company has everything in store for consumers.

Additionally, the arrow is shaped like a smiley face, indicating a happy and satisfied customer. The arrow design resembles a face. It is yellow, the color of hope and the sun.

Character font

Amazon uses the Amazon Ember font for its brand name in the logo. It is a sans serif font that designers incorporate to convey the feel of a brand. This was a font designed specifically for Amazon.


The Amazon logo has black and yellow in its main logo. The Amazon brand name is in black to convey its authority in its niche area to consumers.

The arrow is yellow, which gives the logo a distinctive look. Since the arrow is shaped like a smile, its yellow color expresses satisfaction and happiness on the consumer’s face.

We can therefore say that the Amazon logo had to go through its evolutionary phase to reach the current design that it represents for consumers. The logo can attract the attention of customers and convey a brand message.

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Amazon is a leading e-commerce and technology company with a global presence. Its impressive and unique logo, a wordmark with a smiling arrow, is today the famous symbol of online shopping. The logo was initially a simple letter A with a river design inside. Later it was changed to a black and yellow only wordmark.


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