Black History Month is celebrated across the United States and Canada every February. Top brands, organizations, and artists across the country create works of art to honor black culture. Businesses devise innovative ways to share the importance of African-American history. Brands adopt Black History Month Logos to attract the audience and share the beautifully diverse black culture.
A logo is the face of a brand. It lets the audience know what they can expect from it. Companies spend a substantial amount of time creating a good logo, and when they’ve found one that exemplifies the brand to the T, they jealously guard it. A good logo is relevant and simple and conveys the key personalities of a brand in a few seconds. Designers use a combination of colors, fonts, and symbols to create a logo that leaves an everlasting impact on the client.
While it is crucial to guard the face of the brand, it can sometimes help to go for temporary makeovers. Makeshift logo changes work wonders for a brand, especially if they are tied to a socially relevant cause such as Black History Month. From universities to social networking platforms to educational institutions, top organizations have adopted a Black History Month logo to celebrate black heritage, traditions, and values. We will explore some of these logos in this article, but first, let us understand what Black History Month really is.
What is Black History Month?
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the startless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carter G Woodson, a historian, proposed the idea of marking a time to celebrate and honor Black History. In 1926, Black History Month was celebrated for the first time in the United States.
February was selected as the preferred month because it coincided with the birthdays of Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Fredrick was an African-American abolitionist, social activist, orator, and writer. Lincoln was the popular US president known for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863—legislation that guaranteed free life “to all persons held as slaves” in the United States of America.
According to the White House, it is “both a celebration and a powerful reminder that black history is American history.”
Now that we know a little about Black History Month, it is time to explore some logos that depict the important month that celebrates American history.
The Yahoo logo celebrating Black History Month this year was designed by Trap Bob, a Washington, D.C.-based artist.
Apart from the four colors, black, yellow, red, and green, that represent Black History Month, the artist has used shades of blue and pink. Replacing the two “O”s of the wordmark are an image of a black girl and an earth-like planet, which symbolize the diversity of the Black culture.
“My design’s theme is a mix of black girl magic and how out of this world Black history is,” said the D.C.-based designer.
“I wanted to give a futuristic feel and outlook that celebrates where we are and where we’re going.”
In 2021, IBM observed Black History Month to celebrate “racial inclusion” along with highlighting “Black IBMers” who make crucial contributions in the world.
The logo is executed in red, black, and green, three of four colors that represent Black History Month. Red represents blood without which freedom cannot be achieved. Black represents the color of the race, and green is symbolic of vegetation.
Apart from celebrating diversity, IBM shared perspectives on varied issues that matter all through the month.
The IBM newsroom wrote, “Workplace diversity continues to be a priority for IBM as we honor those who have made the company not only what it is today, but how strong we can all be tomorrow.
LinkedIn changed its logo using red, black, and green to celebrate Black History Month in 2021. While some people took offense to the changed logo and went on to explain what the colors of Black History Month meant, there were those who felt the altered icon showed solidarity.
The LinkedIn logo depicts the diversity of the black culture and highlights the platform’s inclusive nature.
Google is known for its catchy doodles. The number 1 search engine in the world celebrates Black History Month every year to highlight the lives of various historical figures. In 2021, Google joined the month-long celebration by highlighting “the life and work of Audre Lord, a black writer, feminist, and civil rights activist who challenged and explored Black female identity.”
Interesting read: How doodling is taking brands’ graphic design by storm.
Amazon’s black employee network’s (BEN) mission is to “recruit, retain, and empower Black employees.” The network centers “Black History Month planning around ACE—Acknowledging, Celebrating, and enabling” the diverse community.
The BEN logo features all the primary colors associated with Black History Month. Amazon’s iconic curved arrow symbol, which resembles a smile, has also been placed below the lettermark. The logo looks neat and resonates with the month-long Black history celebrations.
YouTube celebrated Black History Month in 2021 by replacing its logo every Monday all through February. The reimagined logos were designed by Black artists, which appeared in the top-left corner of the Home feed.
Among the designers who created the Black History Months were Leandro Assis, a Brazilian-based graphic artist, and North Carolina-based Keisha Okafor.
The redesigned logos were impactful and depicted Black culture and history beautifully.
In 2020, the Sacramento Kings, a professional basketball team that competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA), celebrated Black History Month. The Kings put the spotlight on various black leaders from the Sacramento region and players all through the month.
The NBA logo above was redesigned by replacing blue and red with black. The combination of black and white makes the logo appear sophisticated and acknowledges Black History Month.
Good read: The 15 greatest sports logos of all time.
NBA teams reimagined
In 2017, graphic artist Hebru Brantley created new logos for all the competing teams of the NBA. Brantley came to the limelight for creating the artwork for Chance the Rapper’s “Angels” video album. The graphic artist reimagined the logo of all the 30 teams of the NBA. Apart from creating logos tied to the Black History Month celebration, the designer also renamed some of the franchises.
Each logo has been carefully created to attract the audience and share insights on Black history.
Black History Month Logos help brands and organizations express their solidarity with American history. In 2020, Macy’s participated in the month-long celebration by organizing special appearances by influencers, comedians, and celebrities from varied fields.
In a press release, Shawn Outler mentioned, “We are strongest when we are representative of the many communities we serve and we are thrilled to offer our customers engaging Black History Month events that honor and reflect the Black experience and its impact on global culture.”
The colorful logo portrays the Black History Month-themed windows that were on display all through February.
In 2020, Marymount University celebrated Black History Month by educating students about the contribution of the African-American people. The month-long celebration aimed at informing everyone associated with the university about “the true story of Blacks in America.”
Brooke Berry, Dean of Students, mentioned, “The story of Blacks in America is not limited to poverty, crime, and entertainment. Black people are inventors, historians, innovators, leaders, and change-makers.”
The Marymount University logo depicting the month-long celebration has been executed using the primary colors of the annual observance. The African continent is beautifully sewn with the BHM wordmark, which oozes sophistication, and class.
A good logo expresses the uniqueness of your brand; however, temporarily changing the logo, aligned with a socially relevant cause, can help you connect with the audience at a deeper level.
Black History Month logos give brands a chance to share their unique perspective on African-American history. Not only does the month-long observance provide an opportunity for brands to talk about their values, but it also helps them highlight their inclusivity.
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Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.