When Red Bull was launched in 1987, it didn’t just introduce us to a new product but to a whole new product genre – energy drinks. With passing time and fine branding skills, the Austrian company has become the one-stop-shop in energy drinks today, giving tough competition to any other similar brand in the market. A regular sponsor of various artistic and sporting events, the Red Bull logo is a common sight in advertisements, sporting banners, social media, and on department store shelves.
While there are many factors behind Red Bull’s success, much of the credit goes to its strong brand image. The iconic blue and silver product packaging, along with the red and gold fighting bulls on the front are true to the brand’s identity. But where did the idea vent from? Who supposed that a pair of fighting bulls was the perfect representation for a beverage company? From 1987 till date, let’s take a close look at the growth of Red Bull and its exemplary logo.
Red Bull – A Brief History
An Austrian energy drink company launched in 1987, Red Bull is a part of the Red Bull GmbH, which was started in 1984. Its history dates back to 1982, when Dietrich Mateschitz, during one of his official trips to Thailand bumped upon a refreshing Thai drink called Krating Daeng. Mateschitz was apparently suffering from a peculiarly bad case of jet lag when he sipped on the caffeinated brew, and guess what?
The jet lag vanished. Keen on sharing his wonderful discovery with the world, he teamed up with Chaleo Yoovidhya (the inventor) and came up with a modified formula for the same. He used a brand new label for its bottle, and introduced it as Red Bull. Surprisingly, the Thai name Krating Daeng also translates into English as the same brand name – Red Bull.
Consumers liked it so much that it was soon holding a massive share of all energy drinks in the market (both sold and on shelf). Even today, it’s one of the best-selling energy drinks in the world. It has a yearly revenue of 9.804 billion and the numbers speak for themselves. The drink might not actually get you flying, but it instantly charges you up. With the hectic lifestyle that most of us lead today, it’s certainly a welcome drink.
Evolution of the Iconic Red Bull Logo
Dietrich and his business partner, Yoovidhya, not only introduced an energy drink but also developed an effective marketing strategy around a creative brand logo. The official emblem features two humped bulls (in fighting position) in front of a golden halo – a perfect depiction of action, strength, and stamina.
Right below this impressive emblem is the brand name ‘Red Bull’, dazzling in red. Seen on multiple advertising channels, including newspapers, television, hoardings, merchandise, and restaurants, it’s almost impossible to overlook this exemplary logo design. The Red Bull logo is so catchy and fascinating that it has managed to sell approximately 7.9 billion cans of its potent drink in 2020. Needless to say, the brand remains the topmost producer and seller of energy drinks in the world. Thanks to their rigorous marketing policy, the brand has a strong manifestation in almost every country in the world.
Shockingly, though most famous brand logos have evolved with time, Red Bull is yet to do so. Would you believe it if we said that their official emblem has remained untouched for over thirty years? That’s perhaps because the company still keeps faith in its attractive and meaningful logo.
The Red Bull Logo (1987 – Now)
The Red Bull logo had its birth in 1987. It was inspired by Thai culture wherein it illustrated the posture and spirit of two confronting bulls. The designer featured the bulls in red while creating a golden halo in the backdrop. The wordmark ‘Red Bull’ was placed below the suggestive image. The logo looks simple, yet powerful, fearless, influential, unique, and unforgettable.
Unique Design Elements of the Red Bull Logo
The Red Bull logo is an exceptional illustration of contemporary and sustainable design in the beverage industry. The depiction of the fighting bulls, the ethereal disc, and the custom lettering make the logo stand out from the crowd. Also, these unique graphic elements increase the logo’s relevance and acceptability.
The logo’s unique personality reflects in the designer’s use of font. When you look closer at the letters R and B, you notice a custom font that has been used to draw the audience’s attention. However, there’s a striking resemblance with the Futura SH-Dem Bold and Avant Garde Gothic typeface.
Current marketing strategies require uncomplicated logos with a plain layout. With simple fonts and fewer graphic details, the Red Bull logo is highly scalable. This basically means that the template, the layout and columns, easily contracts and expands according to the size of the screen that it is being portrayed on. In short, the Red Bull logo can flow regardless of the advertising platform.
Red, the most prominent color in the Red Bull logo, denotes the powerful and dominant character of the bulls. Alongside, it also signifies love, health, energy, courage, willpower, and positivity. Red is the perfect shade for its brand identity because the drink evokes similar feelings after consumption.
Gold, the second most important color in the logo, has been used to emphasise the background of the bulls and their outlines. This dazzling hue stands for wealth, success, prosperity, and luxury. It also conveys feelings of energy, freshness, grandeur, and happiness.
Red Bull offers energy drinks in several flavors, typically called editions. Based on your location, you may find different flavors like simple cola, original, sugar-free, and total zero. Some other popular editions are red watermelon, ginger ale, and summer edition dragon fruit. The company earned a whopping €6.31 billion in revenue as of 2020. The brand’s proprietorship hasn’t changed for nearly thirty years. The original owners still own their respective shares.
Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Red Bull
- The Red Bull cans are 100% recyclable. Furthermore, the manufacturing is done in a single location, which saves wastage of almost 80% of renewable resources.
- The very first version of Red Bull was way sweeter than the European version.
- In an attempt to target the younger generation and create a cult of followers, Mateschitz commissioned some university students to organise parties in offbeat places. He would also give them extra Red Bull to tie on their cars’ top on their way back to school.
- The very first sporting event organised by Red Bull was the Dolomitenmann – termed as “the world’s toughest team relay race.” The game involves running, white-water kayaking, mountain biking, and paragliding.
- Despite several health claims, a Red Bull contains the same quantity of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee, i.e. 80 mg. However, a 16-ounce Starbucks Grande contains a huge 330 mg!
- Red Bull wasn’t introduced in the United States until 1997. It was first introduced in California.
If there’s only one purpose that a logo has to serve, it’s to make a brand unique and instantly recognizable. And whether you like the Red Bull emblem or not, it has done exactly that. It might not be the classiest and most pertinent of logos, but it has definitely nailed the branding game. The logo is big, powerful, and bold, much like its energy drink. Cheers!
Head of Design at DesignBro and is responsible for UI/UX Design, managing the global designer community, and ensuring quality levels of both designers and designs remain high.