Talk about standing the test of time: More than 130 years after James Wood Johnson co-founded Johnson & Johnson, his handwritten signature is still being used as the company logo to this day.
In fact, it's one of the longest-used company emblems in the world.
"Johnson & Johnson was founded on the principles of saving and improving lives," says company historian. "James Wood Johnson took this mission so seriously that he literally signed the family name to the company's products."
To commemorate the anniversary of the company’s first public listing on the New York Stock Exchange on September 24, 1944, we're taking a look back at how the logo has evolved over the years—including some of the surprising places it has surfaced.
James Wood Johnson's Famous Signature First AppearsDuring the company’s initial year of operation in 1886, co-founder James Wood Johnson signed the first official Johnson & Johnson check made out to a local railroad freight master, including the name of the company written in a similar style.Read More
A Logo Is BornThe company's earliest products, which were used in sterile surgical procedures, featured a logo that resembled Johnson's signature, including large loops on some of the letters and the connection of the ampersand to the second "Johnson."Read More
Delivery ... By Horse-Drawn CartThe company’s logo began to appear on horse-drawn wagons that delivered such products as first aid kits and medicated plasters to local retail customers.Read More
A Logo for Products for Little OnesRead More
Logos With Many LooksIn the first half of the 20th century, products featured logos in a variety styles—some that looked more like the Johnson & Johnson logo in use today (as seen on the BAND-AID® Brand adhesive bandage tin at right), and others that looked more like actual handwriting, explains Gurowitz.
"But in the 1950s, the company standardized all its packaging to adopt the logo that we see today," she says.Read More
The Logo Appears in Another LanguageWhen China opened up to Western businesses, the Johnson & Johnson logo appeared in Chinese, such as on the company's consumer products, like BAND-AID® Brand adhesive bandages.Read More
The Signature Gets Sealed With a KissIn a nod to sustainability, the company fashioned an innovative solution for leftover lipstick containers manufactured for its Neutrogena business: “Lipstick walls” depicting the company logo are now showcased in seven company locations in the U.S., Brazil and China.Read More
The Art of AnimationJohnson & Johnson unveiled an animated version of the logo on its redesigned corporate website, adding a bit of whimsy to the iconic signature.Read More