History of a Trademark
For our current logo, we wanted unity of form and concept: the ripple expresses the flow of energy and energy is our business, our passion and our means of facing challenges.
The concept of a brand or logo is an age-old one. Showing possession or a status belonging, it can be said that a logo is born together with ownership.
The story of the ERG logos begins with the symbol of a dice (1) used by the Edoardo Refinery Garrone. The story goes that the acronym ERG appeared for the first time when the initials of the one-man company founded in 1938 by Doctor Edoardo Garrone were written on the symbol of a dice (in Italian “dado”, which is also an affectionate diminutive of Edoardo)
The dice symbol was used, adopted by the refinery and in the first sales outlets, until the end of the sixties, when Garrone S.p.A. petroleum products, and Edoardo Garrone Raffinerie Petroli were divided, and the latter adopted the logo with the panthers which was changed from a round symbol (2), to a rectangular one half-way through the eighties (3).
This symbol, the logo of the ERG network which could be seen on roads all over Italy (in the meantime ERG had also purchased service stations from Elf and Chevron), was changed at the end of the eighties, when the part depicting the three panthers was erased, leaving a navy shield with white writing as the trademark of the holding company and of the Group (4).
The new ERG logo, however, had two problems: as it used to be part of a fuller logo it had very little personality. The energy and the slant of the first two letters E and R was brusquely interrupted by the roundness of the letter G, which gave the impression of being “askew”.
Gradual alterations were made of two kinds: 1. the design of the lettering was altered (the G in particular); 2. the volumes and colours of the logo were altered. The final result was a new lettering, mainly used in is positive version as blue lettering on a white background, and not inserted in any geometrical shape. The character used was a new one (it could not be found in printers catalogues) and it became the new trademark/logo of the Group which, in its visual communications, no longer presented itself as the ERG Group but simply as ERG.
The ERG logo, which had been the trademark of the parent company for some time, became – like a family surname – the prefix to identify all the main Group companies.
Halfway through the year 2000, with the commencement of electricity production, ERG went from being an oil company to a company producing energy in a broader sense. The new strategic positioning (ERG a world of energy) and, at the same time, the need to revamp the image of the service stations, made an evolution in the design of the ERG brand necessary. And so the ripple was born, the new symbol of ERG energy which accompanies and characterises the new ERG logo.
Ripple is an Anglo-Saxon expression which defines the effect – known to everyone but which does not seem to have a name in Italian – of the birth and propagation ad infinitum of concentric circles in a liquid. It appears, for example, when we thrown a stone into water. From that energy, from that harmonic expansion emanating from a single centre, the inspiration was born for the new ERG trademark.
In line with the policy 'ERG, a single brand’, the logo is the same both for corporate use and for product applications (service stations).
The prevalently positive use of the design (8) and the possibility to use a signature distinguish the institutional applications from product applications, for which an exclusively negative use is made. (9)
A further development in the positioning of the ERG Group, which for some time now has also been engaged in the sector of renewable energy, has led to the need to communicate and enhance awareness of its mission already through its trademark, where the colour of the Ripple has changed from blue to green. (10) Each Group company is assigned its own specific trademark, composed and approved based on the forms and lettering of the ERG trademark.