The 1990s carried on from the 80s with multicoloured branding and freestyle, vernacular typography but as technology begins to advance more quickly, there is a return for some to cleaner more minimalistic looks, last seen in the 50s.

Here are our top five logos, born in the 90s:

 

1990: Gap

At the start of this decade, we see the launch of the Gap branding – a simple stylish condensed serif font inside a simple blue box. It goes on to become a top brand and symbol for relaxed american fashion, with stores in every corner of the world and a devoted following. This logo is so loved that an attempted re-brand by the owners in 2010 lasted only one week as the backlash to the new logo forced a complete reversal and return to this logo.

 

1992: Windows

A couple of years later we see the first 'flag' Windows logo with its multicoloured wavy window. The squares symbolise the pixelated / digital theme that a tech company wanted in the early 90s, along with a sense of motion. They kept the traditional stacked typography until 1995 when the sans serif was introduced, the colours were muted and the icon was angled for a more dynamic feel but retained all its core features.

 

1994: Friends

The iconic and long running American TV series Friends was first seen in 1994, delivering 236 episodes in 10 seasons to an adoring, global fan base. The logo has a casual feel with the playful coloured dots placed between each letter, creating a very extended design, perfect for TV screens. The hand-written typography has an 80s feel but as the logo was used on plain backgrounds, it managed to retain style and sophistication – and decades of merchandise opportunities!

 

1994: FedEx

In the same year we see the launch of the new FedEx logo with bright colours and a bold closely tracked serif font. This logo is regularly noted as a great piece of logo design, regardless of era, thanks to the clever arrow visual effect between the E and x. This type of hidden visual is a clever trick and appears effortless.

 

1997: BBC

Towards the end of the decade, BBC returned to its roots with a clean and minimalist logo that has only seen minimal changes since. The simple placement of the letters into three individual squares has a direct link to the BBC logos we saw back in the 50s. Evolution since this version has been minimal with most notably a reduction in the size of the letters.

 

During this decade you see a greater emphasis on longevity in logo design with most brand equity being well respected. We were still very much in the offline world world for most of this decade but you can clearly see technology creeping in and affecting logo design in the desire to simplify and modernise.