The History of and Story Behind the Venmo Logo


Venmo is a unique payment system that allows users to send and receive payments. The logo presents an interesting case in the history of branding because there are so many of them, and you can even customize the original version for your website if you stay within the guidelines that are set forth by the company. If you’re into the history and stories behind logo creation and development, this is one for the books. Here are some facts about Venmo’s logo that we found to be fascinating.

The origins of Venmo

Businessweek recently covered the history of the payment processing company called Venmo. The business was founded by Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon Ismail. The college friends met in 2001. The pair launched a music startup they named Venmor, adn it let people send texts to musical bands. They got the idea for a payment system when Magdon Ismael forgot his wallet and needed money. Kortina lent him funds, and when he went to pay him back, he realized that using a check was a cumbersome process. He formed the idea for using Venmo to allow users to send and receive payments with a simple text message. The pair incorporated a social networking platform to make payments easy and hassle-free.

The original Venmo logo

The website shows the first Venmo logo. It was designed with a chunky and fun font type with the first letter of the brand name capitalized. The rest of the letters that spell out Venmo are in lower case. Uniquely, each of the letters is set in a different color. The “V” is dark blue followed by characters in light blue, green, yellow, and red. We couldn’t find any information about who developed the first logo, so we assume that it was created by the founders of the business and that it was used to draw attention to the new business. Venmo’s logo changed after it was acquired for $26 million by Braintree. The business is listed as a sister company of PayPal.

The basics of the Venmo logo

We investigated the Venmo logo further on Shutterstock. On this site, we found 22 renditions of the Venmo logo. There were a few of these that reverted to a modernization of the original logo but in different font sizes. When we looked for a timeline that was associated with the evolution of the symbols, we couldn’t find anything about the recorded history, nor about the designers who contributed to the development of the Venmo logo. What we did find was a consistent message that suggests users who use Venmo on their business sites were free to create their versions, as long as they stay within the guidelines set by the owners.

Characteristics of the Venmo logo

We did note that the Venmo logo has evolved. We assume that this change happened after its acquisition by Braintree. The logo features a curved letter “V” in the brand name. Most iterations feature the name Venmo in light blue, but in a variety of fonts. Some Venmo logos feature unique stylization with 3D effects, but in general, they stick to the current styling seen on the official home page.

Freedom to design your version?

According to the Venmo website, users are free to customize certain aspects of the Venmo logo. You can use the name Venmo spelled out, or opt to use the abbreviated version. The permissions do come with a strict guide for maintaining protocol. You can use the logo in a brand setting for placement on social media pages. The use of the shortened version of the logo is allowed only when the Venmo brand is already there. The rationale for this rule is to avoid confusing it with any other brands. When used with more brand images, the site recommends using a monotone version of the Venmo logo if there is a color competition. Aside from this, the preferred color is blue, whenever possible. It’s okay to use the logo in white if the background is dark.

Other requirements

The owners of the Venmo logo insist that any use of the Venmo logo grants an equal distance to all of the logo edges for consistency. They want the logo set apart. They even provide rules for the spacing of the letters and logo in its entirety. The logo must present in a size that is at least .5 inches in width with an equal amount of clear space. The owners of the brand are clear about what you can and cannot do when using the Venmo logo and altering it to fit in with your company’s theme as a means of payment processing.

Final thoughts

Venmo has a unique approach to branding. As we move into a new technological age, any logo used to offer a service for other businesses must establish rules that prevent the original copyright from improper use. We attempted to discover the origins of the Venmo logo without success. There has been no emphasis placed on the importance of who developed the current version. There are multiple renditions of the logo on the internet. It is because the company has granted this freedom, to a degree, to its customers for the sake of convenience when using Venmo as a payment processing option. It would be interesting to know who sketched the first Venmo logo and who developed its current version. We assume the founders created Venmo’s first logo. Without more information to suggest otherwise, it’s a reasonable conclusion. The more recent edition was likely created by a design team that works for the parent company of Venmo. Still, it’s an interesting story. You will see a variety of versions of the Venmo logo, as it is one that can be customized to suit the users’ preferences within Venmo’s guidelines.

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