The Caterpillar Logo: Transformation Through Time
It first appeared 92 years ago suggestive of the motion of a “crawling caterpillar” and went through its most recent changes in 2017 when it took on (temporarily) a unique look to celebrate joining forces with TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, now in theaters. Take a look back at the various iterations of the Cat logo and get the scoop on how we updated it for the movie. Which version is your favorite?
The Holt and Best companies merged in 1925 to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co., and we registered our first logo with the U.S. Patent Office that same year. If you get the feeling it’s crawling like a caterpillar, you’re right. The mark was a literal representation of our name, which was derived from the way Benjamin Holt’s steam tractors moved on their tracks.
In the 1930s and 1940s, we moved through a succession of simpler, more streamlined logos. The most notable change? The switch from red to black as the primary color. Then, in 1957, we changed it up by going with all caps and a bolder, more construction-like font.
Nicknamed “Block C,” this abstract mark rolled out in 1967. We’d used previous logos mainly for product identification, but this was our first official corporate symbol. As our company and product line grew, it was time for a unifying identity—one that would increase recognition of Cat products and present a consistent face around the world. “Block C” was also the first identity system to extend to Cat dealers, too.
The logo we all associate with Caterpillar and Cat products today debuted almost 30 years ago in 1989—just a few years after we changed our name from Caterpillar Tractor Co. to Caterpillar Inc. The now-famous yellow triangle inserted into the letter A is meant to signify optimism, support and energy.
When the opportunity to join forces with TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT came along, we jumped at the chance—and decided to do something special and memorable with our logo at the same time. By bringing the metallic look and feel of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT to the Cat logo, our customized mark (used only for this campaign) unifies these two iconic brands.