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The History Of The Intel Logo

Intel is one of the most well-known computer and technology companies in the world. Even those not familiar with the ins and outs of PCs know that Intel processors allow most of them to run.

Through its many decades in business, Intel hasn’t seen many changes when it comes to its logo and visual branding. However, in the past few years, the company has gone through a rebrand, and its visual identity across platforms has been updated and refreshed.

With the new updates, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the history of the company’s logo and how it has changed over the years. So, where did the logo begin, and where is it now?

Let’s discuss this famous technology company and go through an overview of the evolution of its straightforward logo.

About Intel

The multinational technology company, Intel Corporation, is based in Santa Clara, California, and is the largest global semiconductor chip maker.

Intel specializes in producing motherboards, microprocessors, semiconductor chips, graphics chips, and flash drives for several electronic systems. It’s the world’s largest enterprise and ranked 45th in the Fortune 500’s most profitable US corporations list as of 2020. 

It was founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, who invented semiconductors themselves. Gordon E. Moore was a chemist and scientist known for the law of the same name that he discovered, and Robert Noyce was a physicist who co-developed the integrated circuit, aka the microchip. 

In 1968, they launched their facility in Mountain View and later relocated to Santa Clara in Silicon Valley. Intel was a key factor in the rise of Silicon Valley as a high-tech center of industry.

Moore and Noyce left Fairchild Semiconductor to start their firm, and Arthur Rock, who would become an investor and chairman of the board of directors, helped them find financing to gain their start-up capital. 

Initially, the new organization was called NM Electronics, named after the first letters of the founders’ names, Noyce and Moore, and including the basic field they represented, electronics. Later, the owners wanted to showcase the specialization of their brainchild a bit more and rebranded it as Intel. The name came from the phrase INTegrated ELectronics, where they took the first syllables and created a simple, accurate name that rolled off the tongue.

However, it turned out that when they went to trademark the name it was already owned by the Intelco hotel chain. The company had to acquire the rights to the name, and they toyed around with it until they came up with the first logo of their company.

In 1971, Intel created the first commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004. It was a notable advance in integrated circuit technology because it shrunk the central processing unit of a computer. That meant small machines could now perform calculations that could previously only be done by large machines could do. 

Quite a bit more technological innovation was required before the microprocessor could become the basis of what would become known as the “personal computer,” but Intel was also responsible for one of the first microcomputers in 1973.

In 1972, Intel opened its first international manufacturing facility in Malaysia that hosted several Intel operations. By the 1980s, Intel opened assembly facilities and semiconductor plants in Singapore and Jerusalem, and it would create manufacturing and development centers in China, India, and Costa Rica throughout the 1990s.

Until 1981, most of their business was concerned with the production of SRAM and DRAM memory chips. However, by 1983, the increased competition from Japanese semiconductor manufacturers had made the market significantly less profitable for Intel. 

As a result, and thanks to the growing success of the IBM personal computer, which was based on an Intel microprocessor, Gordon Moore was convinced (CEO since 1975) to shift the company’s focus to the production of microprocessors. This changed fundamental aspects of their business model from commercial devices to personal computers. Moore’s decision to sole-source Intel’s 386 chip helped the company to see continued success through the years.

By the end of the 1980s, progressed by its impressive position as a microprocessor supplier to IBM and IBM’s competitors even as the personal computer market saw incredible growth, Intel embarked on a 10-year period of unprecedented expansion as the chief, and most profitable, hardware supplier to the PC industry.

They became part of the winning “Wintel” combination and would become a staple among PCs.

Moore stepped down as CEO in 1987, and Andy Grove succeeded him. Shortly after, the company launched its Intel Inside marketing campaign in 1991. This campaign allowed Intel to associate brand loyalty with consumer selection and by the end of the 90s, its line of Pentium processors was a household name.

In 2005, the then-CEO Paul Otellini reorganized Intel in an effort to refocus its core processor and chipset business toward platforms, including enterprise, digital home, digital health, and mobility.

In June of 2005, Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, announced that his company would be using Intel’s x86 processors for their Macintosh computers. This represented a change from the PowerPC architecture developed by the AIM alliance and many viewed it as a win for Intel. Though some believed it was a risk because of Intel’s current offerings at the time and the belief that they were behind those of AMD and IBM.

In 2006, Intel unveiled its Core microarchitecture and received widespread critical acclaim. The product range was viewed by many as an exceptional leap in processor performance and helped Intel to regain some lost strength in its field. In 2008, Intel introduced the Penryn microarchitecture, fabricated using the 45 nm process node.

Later that year, the company received more positive remarks thanks to the release of their processor with Nehalem architecture.

Today, Intel is one of the most well-known chip and technology companies in the world and looks to the future to see what innovations it has yet to make.

Intel Logo Over Time

The Intel logo has only had three versions, with the most recent version being created in 2020. While there have been changes, some of which were quite noticeable, there have also been constants throughout the company’s branding since its inception.

Now, let’s look at the history of the logo icon Intel has used over the years and how it has changed since its beginnings in 1968.

The Original Logo (1968-2006)

The original logo, often dubbed the “dropped-e” logo, was designed by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. The company’s founders created the logo with blue insignia featuring a clear sans-serif font. The “e” letter sat lower than the surrounding “t” and “l”, creating a look as if it had fallen or dropped from the line. The logo was used from Intel’s start in 1968 until the end of 2005. That’s a long time for any logo, especially a tech company.

In the early 90s, the Intel Inside logo also debuted. It was often used in parallel with the previous iteration. It was part of a new marketing strategy set forth by the then CEO, Andy Grove. This logo and accompanying campaign allowed more consumers to familiarize themselves with the  Intel processors inside their beloved computers. 

The company created the unique “Intel Inside” emblem in 1991 and included elements from the Intel Inside advertising campaign. In the same period, the Intel jingle theme came around. More on that later.

The Vortex Appears from 2006 to 2020

At the end of 2005, the company decided to update its corporate symbols, and designers revealed a new version on January 3, 2006. Authored by FutureBrand studio, the previous logo inspired the base of this updated design that featured minor adjustments. The developers replaced the previous font with Neo Sans Intel from Monotype’s Neo Sans category and tweaked the typeface again in  2014. This created the Intel Clear version that appeared during this second interaction of the design, created by Red Peak Branding and Dalton Maag.

In addition, the logo saw the addition of a new graphic element– the so-called “vortex.” It encircled the word “Intel” and was made up of two stripes with varying thicknesses. On one side, the lines were wider than on the other. Outwardly, these stripes looked a bit like arches surrounding the words. 

The lowercase “e” had also been moved up to be level with the rest of the letters. For “t,” the artists removed the left half of the letter’s crossbar, and for the “i” and “l,” they cut corners of the letters and rounded the other one on the lower part of the letters’ legs, making look as if they had been sliced through to create the straight line down.

The Current Intel Logo (2020 – Present) 

Since its inception, the Intel logo has grown much simpler and has let go of the vortex. Andrew Mirakian Design took over the Intel Rebrand and created an entirely new visual branding presence for the respected technology company.

The rounded angles of the “i” and “l” are now totally squared off. This look was designed to lend an air of stability and help the brand to convey a sense of “reliability” and “endurance.”

The “n” and “e” also saw a redraw. They became broader and the overall shape was changed just a bit. The “n” also has a much more classic shape in this current version.

On the whole, the subtle modifications made to the logo shape and style work together to direct the viewer toward a singular message— the Intel brand is both “traditional and reliable.” It looks to showcase how the brand’s longevity and long history have stood the test of time and can be something consumers can trust.

The overall shape of the logo was also created with an “underlying geometry,” according to Andrew Mirakian Design. Intel’s new logo displays impressive symmetry, balance, and proportion across all the letters, which provides an understated yet iconic appeal.

Also according to the design firm, the dot of the “i” was created to show the potential and power capable of the Intel processor.

The logo is straightforward and this small square is the only piece with an attached symbolism, stated as “the only symbol Intel needs.” The designers created it to be the link between Intel’s visual branding and represent the power inside Intel.

Sonic Emblem

In addition to the graphic emblem, Intel has a unique sound or sonic logo. To create the now infamous D♭–D♭–G♭–D♭–A♭ xylophone/xylomarimba jingle, also called the “Intel bong,” Intel leaders commissioned Walter Werzowa, who used to be a member of the Edelweiss band.

A Los Angeles-based music production company, Musikvergnuegen, produced the jingle, and the audio mnemonic received a modified tone following the launch of Pentium 3, Pentium 4, and Core processors.

Intel Logo Key Elements

There are a few things that have been updated since the logo’s creation in the 60s, but several aspects have remained the same. The most significant parts of the logo are detailed below.

1.  The Square

The “core” of the updated Intel master brand visual language is an iconic graphic device, that the team at Andrew Mirakian Design calls “The Spark.” The Spark is a “corner-to-corner relationship between a small square and a larger square.” They designed it to represent Intel technology as the “spark” or ignitor for bigger, world-changing ideas.

The square relationship and singular blue square dot over the “i” connect the visual identity across platforms. The graphic device is present in all aspects of Intel’s updated brand identity and visual marketing. Its’ presence and meaning inform everything from the new badge designs to marketing layouts and more.

That square is now the connecting feature that all Intel symbols, icons, and visual marketing assets use as a common thread.

2. Blue Coloring

The light blue shade that the current version of the Intel logo uses was designed to symbolize Intel’s power in people’s minds and ties into the company’s history. Unlike warm colors, such as yellow, red, or orange, which are often connected to strong emotions, blue is supposed to be geared more toward a person’s intellect and conscience. 

Blue is often used in the marketing of high-tech products and innovations, especially those connected to computers and the Internet. Blue can also symbolize loyalty, wisdom, and peace. Today’s current logo also uses the strength and consistency of black text on a white background- traditional yet strong.

The design team wanted the new logo, marketing identity, and colors to reflect Intel’s impact on a diverse world and provide a venue for dynamic expression. That’s why the new visual language also embraces a bold, expanded color palette. While it maintains a strong connection to that Intel Blue and is still a blue-first brand, using other bright colors in its marketing assets also allows the brand to complement a variety of styles and expressions. You’ll see those warmer shades mixed in with its traditional branding in several marketing campaigns.

3. The Font

The custom sans-serif typeface used in the logo has a handful of unique features. The corners of the letters feature sharp edges, while “i” also has the aforementioned square on the top instead of a circular dot. The bar in the “t” is back but shorter and kept contained.

The new font used is a specially designed typeface named Intel One, created for the brand through the marketing rebrand done by Andrew Mirakian Design. They created a proprietary brand font family as pictured above. The design team states that the font was created to take into account and incorporate the modern, geometric sensibility the new logo centers on in addition to a high standard that upholds those of modern typeface design.


Intel has been around for decades and while the company has seen both growth and setbacks, they’ve persisted. This updated rebranding reflects the company’s efforts to stay current, keep working toward a brighter future, and outlast the competition.

Only time will tell what the future holds, but it’s unlikely that the world will ever forget Intel and its icon logo complete with accompanying sound.

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