This is how the Leica logo has changed over the past 100 years

This is how the Leica logo has changed over the past 100 years - this graphic appeared in a 2011 Leica advertisement with the slogan “When you keep being different from everything, changing makes no sense”:

Via Petapixel, iA Inc.

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  • J.L. Williams

    I’m calling shenanigans. As we all know, there was no “Leica” in 1913, when E. Leitz was a maker of microscopes and other optical instruments. The company didn’t decide to build Oskar Barnack’s prototype camera until 1924, and was planning to introduce it as the “Leca” until a last-minute change just before its public debut in 1925. Right, LHSA-types?

    • John-F

      You are absolutely right, There was no Leica in 1913. Oskar Barnack’s camera was first presented at the 1925 Leipzig Spring Fair. It was supposed to have called the Leca, but apparently legal issues were raised because of a French camera: the Eka, which in French would be referred to as ‟L’Eka‟ (pronounced Ley-Ka), which in French sounded too closed to Leca.

      At the last minute, Ernst Leitz II decided to add the letter ‟i‟ between the e and the c (i.e. LEItz Camera). The story goes that Ernst Leitz might have been inspired by another Leitz product: the Leifa (a sort of direction indicator, or early turn signal for the automobile).

      Ironically, to this day, the French (who are BIG Leica fans!) still pronounce Leica ‟Lay-Ka‟ and not ‟Lie-Ka‟ …

      • Reza Hosseini

        Lay-Ka? Sounds even more russian to me 😉

    • Bill Rosauer

      You are correct. Back in 1913, the company was E. Leitz being run by the Leitz family. 1913 was the year Oscar Barnack created the camera he called the Lilliput, the UR Leica. Leica did not start using this logo until the 80’s with the change in name from Wild Leitz and the spinning off of the camera division from the Schmidtheines. Until that time, the iconic red dot read Leitz. Ironically, Wild Leitz later changed its name to Leica, which if you recall your history that in 1925 when the decision was made by Ernst Leitz II to make the camera the microscope people were against it. When Leica Camera was spun off, it then had to license the Leica name to use for Leica Camera. It was not until around 2005 when Leica Camera
      was purchased by Andreas Kaufmann and his family investment group ACM, that Leica resumed its ascendancy in the camera world and became the company we know today.

  • Technologically Leica cameras changed as much.

    • Reza Hosseini

      . . . . . which was not necessary to take the real good pictures, IMHO.

  • Reza Hosseini

    I love this Advertisement and what it stands for!

  • William Bridge

    Just the proof that Leica’s logo is indeed a very good design.

  • eric

    Not comparing the two companies but to me Leica logo design is iconic in the same way coca cola’s design is iconic. When you get it right the first time you don’t really need to change it. Just makes the brand even more powerful when it can retain a classic appeal.

  • Ric Ricard

    I wish we had this sort of logo consistency with the apps on my iPhone and iPad. It’s so frustrating when my “Next Issue” app magically becomes “Texture” one morning. It’s annoying when Netflix changes from red to white overnight. So much wasted brain energy trying to figure out how my favorite apps have changed since the last time I used them.

  • Henry Throop

    For what it’s worth, this ad is probably a reference to a 1963 campaign by VW.

  • Omar M.

    The 1973 logo is clearly the best.

    EDIT: On second thought, the 2003 design looks a bit better. They should’ve stuck with that one.

  • DouglasGottlieb

    The logo is perfect. Even it the ad is not quite accurate, the sentiment is.

  • Man, it’s been years since I owned anything with the logo on it (I do still have some minor Leica/Leitz bits), but just seeing the logo evokes such emotions… and memories of smell, touch, every store I’ve visited, the feeling of turning the shutter speed dial with those satisfying clicks…

    I sure miss holding a Leica…

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