85 years of PLEXIGLAS®: A brand logo changing over time

Simple, playful, modern and clear: The evolution of the PLEXIGLAS® logo has always reflected the zeitgeist. The quality of the inspirational material for which the logo stands, however, remains unchanged.

Despite PLEXIGLAS® being protected under trademark law in 1933, the brand only received its registered trademark in 1939. And as the product was continuously developed, so the brand reinvented itself over the following decades. What was initially viewed as the epitome of cutting-edge design was soon replaced by a new, more current design. Over the course of our 85-year history, creative marketing employees have created a total of ten different versions of the logo, some of which are award-winning. A journey through time:

A brand must always transmit a feeling of the qualitative characteristics of the product it represents. “A brand has to be timeless,” says Laura Tils, PLEXIGLAS® brand ambassador in the Acrylic Products business unit at Evonik, “while simultaneously in keeping with the times.” What initially sounds like a paradoxical statement does have a plausible explanation: As the “markets, products and customer expectations change over time, the brand presence also has to be continuously developed further.” The different designs of the PLEXIGLAS® logo reflect the 85-year history of the brand acrylic glass in an interesting fashion.

A transparent product becomes visible

Although PLEXIGLAS® was a successfully established product on the growing plastics market after its launch in 1933, the brand received its first visual identity in 1939. The brand name on the first logo is simple and clear, depicted in a curved and italic font and integrated in a circle.

The logo from 1942 shows the “PLEXIGLAS® rune”. It depicts the letters P and X and is combined with the brand name in capital letters to form a cohesive logo.

In the early 1950s, the sales department asked for a change to the logo, moving away from the writing in capital letters to the signature in cursive script. This logo was developed in 1951/52 and initially combined with the “rune” logo. The combined logo was however perceived to be too blocky, which soon resulted in only the writing and the recognizable underlining being used.

In 1957,the “PX rune” was brought back and used in the logo. The brand name is no longer mentioned, but “RÖHM & HAAS KUNSTSTOFFE” is now incorporated into the logo.

Small king and great success

1963 heralded the birth of“King Acrylius”, an advertising motif for a large-scale campaign. The name was derived from the material name acrylic glass. The hand-drawn advertising figure was designed to emphasize the “regal” position of PLEXIGLAS® amongst its competitors based on its excellent product characteristics. “King Acrylius” was the first face of PLEXIGLAS® and helped create an emotional advertising message and a more personal customer approach.

“King Acrylius” also had a starring role in the 1965PLEXIGLAS® advertising film, “253,000 Hours”, with the film winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. The “kingly” campaign led to the birth of the modern writing with the letter X prominently protruding. The simple black and white version of the PLEXIGLAS® brand logo proved to be a lasting success and was only replaced after 37 years.

Clear lines for one of the brands of the century

In 2002, a new logo was developed. It heralded the return of the product name depicted in capital letters and included the additional writing of “the original from Röhm”. This was the company’s attempt to push back against the inflated use of the term “Plexiglass” for all types of plastics and set itself apart from the competition. The blue “PLEXIGLAS® turbine” symbolizes an extrusion snail and thus references the manufacturing process for extruded sheets.

The repositioning of the brand once again required a new logo, which was revealed in 2011. The claim now reads “The Original”, with the “turbine” having been replaced by the “swing”. It represents openness, limitless creativity and dynamism. “The current logo expresses the fact that PLEXIGLAS® continues to prove itself in the most varied applications, from architecture and automotive manufacturing, to medical technology, to power generation,” says Tils. “After 85 years, PLEXIGLAS® is still the inspirational plastic from which the future is shaped.”