43. Bayer

Year Company Founded: 1863

Year Logo Introduced: 1881

Logo Designer: Hans Schneider (1904)

Company Founders: Friedrich Bayer, Johann Friedrich Weskott

With humble beginnings as a company manufacturing synthetic dyestuffs, Bayer did not develop a logo until 1881 when it became a joint stock company with greater distribution. The first Bayer logo centered around an illustration of a lion and was based off of the coat of arms of Elberfeld, the city where the company was headquartered at the time. After a series of revisionings from 1886 to 1895, the Bayer logo became an intricate drawing of a winged lion half-perched on a globe. However, after Bayer's invention of synthetically-produced aspirin, and the introduction of the "drug of the century" onto the world market in 1899, Bayer had to simplify its logo in order to achieve recognizability around the world. Thus, in 1904, Bayer introduced the now iconic "Bayer Cross" logo. Designed by a Bayer employee, Hans Schneider, the logo of "Bayer" was written horizontally and vertically with an intersection at the "Y." Initially, the logo was only imprinted on the aspirin tablets produced by the company, rather than being used in marketing or packaging, but it remains in use to this day and is still a key element in the brand's image.

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