The Netflix logo is a brand in itself. It speaks volumes about this famous OTT platform offering movies and web series streaming services. The letter ‘N’ in the bright red against a dark black background instantly catches the attention. But it took decades to get a logo like this. Here, we are going to explore the Netflix logo history, its evolution, and its meaning altogether.
You might have enjoyed seeing your favorite movie or web series on Netflix. Each time you explore the platform for a film, the iconic brandmark catches your attention. This single-lettered logo is one of the world’s most recognizable symbols today.
But, the logo had a different design earlier than it does today. The Netflix logo history shows that the logo evolved over the years, with the company’s business, and became an iconic symbol.
Before taking a look at how the logo evolved in its journey of more than two decades, let us now talk a little about Netflix’s background. The subscription-based streaming service company started its journey in California in 1997 when Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings founded it. It was then known as the first rental DVD Company in the world. People were fond of seeing movies on DVDs, and the business grew rapidly.
Mark Randolph, one of the founders, revealed on Twitter how the company started. He wrote, “Netflix was originally named Kibble. We were concerned about building a service that looked good but that nobody wanted to use. So, we chose Kibble to remind us of the old advertising adage: ‘It doesn’t matter how good your dog food advertising campaign is if the dogs won’t eat the dog food.’ Today, Netflix has over 283 million users across the globe. Its logo is amongst the most iconic logos from entertainment industry around the world.
But the Netflix symbol looked different. Initially, it had a history of gradually going through different design phases. The logo design changed over the years, with the company adding new offerings to its kitty.
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Discovering Netflix logo history, evolution, and meaning
As Netflix’s business in the entertainment industry grew over the years, its logo design also underwent different changes. Starting its journey as a combination logo of an illustration and wordmark, it is now a minimalist design.
Here is how Netflix logo design evolved:
1997-2000: The celluloid tape logo
The Netflix wordmark was first launched in 1997 when the company started its DVD rental business. It was a capitalized serif logo font showing the company’s name with a black and purple film reel. The celluloid film tape had curled around the first word NET and swirled over it in a big way.
The logo was in a black serif typeface, representing the company’s authority in the film industry. The color scheme also gave it a unique identity. The black color of the tape in the logo gradually faded into purple, which evoked a feeling of specialty and luxury while watching the movies on the platform.
2000-2001: Logo for Unlimited Rentals
The company had an entirely new brandmark in 2000, scrapping the old Netflix logo. This was because the company had set new business goals and ambitions. The company jumped in the business of unlimited rentals, which previously was based on per-rental payments.
The new logo was a stretched-out disc or oval shape with thick yellow parenthesis on each side. Since the yellow color represents happiness, it symbolized the joy of watching a movie on a DVD.
The typeface also changed entirely from the previous serif uppercase to thin sans serif in lowercase. Its color was also changed with the letters displayed in white. There was a yellow-outlined box with rounded corners resembling a TV screen over the letter ‘’I.’’
2001-2014: Logo for New Age Streaming Service
In 2001, the company recreated its logo, a modernized Netflix symbol of the company for the film industry. It was the first version of the Netflix logo that we see today. The company name was in black and white color featuring bold 3D shadows. It was set against a powerful red colored background.
From 2001 to 2014, the Netflix logo remained unchanged. However, the company has transformed its business. It was entirely into streaming service by 2007, and the company started streaming its content by 2013.
2014 – Today: Netflix Red Wordmark
The company had an entirely new brandmark in 2000, scrapping the old Netflix logo. This was because the company had set new business goals and ambitions. The company was now in the business of unlimited rentals, which previously was based on per-rental payments.
The text was in an energetic shade of red, which today we know as Netflix Red. It was a simple and minimalistic design with a single-color scheme.
According to Netflix.com, “The wordmark remains an essential identifier of our brand. While our goal is to lead with the N Symbol, we enlist the Wordmark to ensure brand recognition in low-awareness markets or when production limits the use of color. The wordmark should appear in our brand standard Red.”
2016 – Today: A ribboned symbol
In 2016, the OTT platform developed a new company logo design two years after launching the Netflix wordmark. It had the letter ‘N’ — the company’s initials as a logo. It was designed as an eye-catching monogram for mobile apps and social media platforms.
On mobile screens, logos should be simple monograms to catch the eye. So, the ‘N’ logo could be immediately located on mobile screens, amongst other applications.
The new logo is a patented ribbon-folded N, which helps make the platform instantly visible on tablets and small screens of mobile phones. The OTT platform mentions on it official website that the ‘N’ letter logo is special to its branding. It says, “There is power in owning a letter of the alphabet: it’s universal and instantly identifiable as shorthand for our brand.”
Now Netflix has two logos, the wordmark and the ‘N’ logo, that the company uses on various platforms. Both of these logos are simple and minimalist.
So, Netflix logo went through its phases of evolution and today it is among the branding visuals that people immediately recognize.
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Netflix logo is an iconic visual that people recognize instantly across the globe. But, the design evolved over the decades from a cluttered combination logo to a modern minimalist symbol. The changes in the logo were made to accommodate the new offerings to its services.