The History of and Story Behind the Chevron Logo


Most Americans are familiar with the current Chevron logo. It is prominently displayed at fuel stations to indicate the company that supplies the fuel. It’s almost everywhere you go when traveling throughout the country. Chevron goes back more than 100 years. The first logo was nothing like the modern version. Chevron has an interesting backstory to go with the evolution of the logo. Here is the story behind and history of the Chevron logo.

The company wasn’t always Chevron

According to 1000 Logos, the Chevron company began in 1879 as The Pacific Coast Oil company. The very first logo was a rendering of the name of the company in a delicate and ornate script styling offered in a simple black and white. The company grew to become the largest of its kind. Standard Oil purchased Pacific Coat Oil in 1900. They kept the original logo until 1906.

A gap in the history

Our research showed a deficit in the recording of the logo for the company between 1906 and 1911. Standard Oil of California launched after the Standard Oil Company broke apart, according to The University of Vermont. This was a tumultuous time in the history of the massive oil company that would eventually become known as Chevron. Standard Oil adopted the trademark Chevron, and the first logo appeared in the form of a chevron with a white V shape in the middle of two black “V” letters on the top and bottom. The name Standard Stations Inc. appeared at the top of signs in a standard clean font, all in capitals in white against a black background. A second iteration of the three-bar Chevron logo appeared shortly after featuring a darker blue background, the name Standard Chevron in gray at the top. The image was inset in blue, white, and red chevrons with Standard Stations Inc repeated at the top, outlined in light gray.

Addition of Wings

The logo changed during the years of WWII in a time when businesses and private citizens rallied in support of the troops with encouragement for victory. The logo reflected this desire through a winged V in the logo to stand for America’s pending “victory” in the war. The logo read “Chevron Gas Station with prominent wings protruding from the tops of the V letter.

Chevron and Calso

Chevron was the trademark used in the western part of the United States. The Vermont market adopted the name Calso, as well as other states in the northeastern United States. Gas station signs went up in red with white lettering with a simple CALSO name that elongated the letter “L” to draw attention to the name. This change occurred in 1946.

The Chevron logo evolution in 1955

Two new versions of the logo appeared for Chevron in 1955. The three-bar chevron was displayed in blue, red, and white in one rendition with the words Standard in a bold white capital font at the top of signs with the word station in smaller white lettering. The second logo featured the name “Chevron” in red with a pair of wings on the V against a white background with the word “Gasolines” in blue beneath and the three-bar chevron in blue, red, and white at the bottom. A circular blue border encloses the logo.

Coming together in 1958

In 1958, the Calso stations changed over to the logo designs that were used for 1955 advertising to bring consistency to all Chevron trademarked stations.

A new logo for 1969

Logo Fandom reports that Chevron developed a new logo in 1969. This modern iteration reduced the number of bars to two. The name Chevron features a capital “C.” All lower case letters appear in black against a white background with a blue bar below and a red bar beneath. This rendition is the logo we see at the present

The evolution of the Chevron logo

According to 1000 logos, There have been no less than three logotypes for Standard Oil since the early 1930s. Lippincott Mercer developed the logotype with a font that is close to designers Robert Slimbach and Carol Twombly’s Myriad Pro-Bold font, with a few slight modifications. It’s necessary to give all credit where it is due. The logo has undergone several changes through the decades with the adoption of bright colors that symbolize the colors red, white, and blue of the American flag, as well as decreasing the number of bars to just two instead of three. The angular Chevron image is one that has been around for a long time. It is easy for Americans to recognize the brand because of its familiarity and heavy presence over the years. It’s something that most of us have grown up seeing in our everyday lives.

Final thoughts

Chevron has had its ups and downs through the tough financial times and market volatility that has marked turbulent times for the fuel industry. The Standard Oil company has managed to maintain its footing and the Chevron logo still promotes the steadfast giant in the industry that has kept Americans fueled up and on the road for well over a century. The Chevron image reminds us all that regardless of hard economic times, we’re a great nation. We consistently seem to find a way to rebound and move forward.

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