Web and graphic designer Christian Annyas has collected and dissected 100 logos from U.S. and Canadian railroad companies. He provides a fascinating overview of the evolution of the logos from 1845 to 2000.
He says, "The first North American railroads were built 50 years before the first logo was trademarked (Bass Brewery, 1876). Stationery was created by printers, not designers. That’s the reason why the images above – from three different companies – look so similar. They were made with existing wood type fonts and if you look closely you’ll notice they all use the same ‘stock image’ of a locomotive."
He continues, "The early designs all have a certain handmade quality. Most of them are simple, bold, black and white. And timeless. Some of them can still be seen on box cars and locomotives; they still remain powerful."
Cool, right? Seem them all and learn more at Annyas.com: Railroad Company Logo Design Evolution