As with the Marshall logo, the original ‘spaghetti’ style Fender logo (above) is by [someone unknown], although general chatter suggests it was based on Leo Fender’s own signature with the ‘F’ being simply reversed! It’s a detail like that that can really create a truly ownable brand mark. Not happy with letters the right way round? No problem, just reverse them! :)
Fender has used several styles of logos, usually referred to as: “Spaghetti”, “Transition”, and “CBS” which were used to adorn the headstocks of their guitars.
The term ‘spaghetti’ wasn’t official, but was penned by Fender enthusiasts and collectors in later decades. This original version of the logo was used in the 1950’s and 1960’s on most of the Fender instruments, including: Esquire®, Broadcaster®, Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazzmaster® guitars as well as several other Fender instruments of that period.
“Transition” Fender Logo
The gold logo (above) with black outline was called the ‘transition logo’, and was designed by adman and graphic designer, Robert Perine.
The main reason for deploying a new logo was that Robert wanted to cut down on all the various Fender trademarks in use, and thus adopt one single logo type.
Perine’s new Fender logo was used up and till CBS took Fender by the reigns which was introduced in 1967. The gold version of the logo was called the ‘transition’ logo simply because it spanned the ‘spaghetti’ style Fender logo of the 1950’s, and pre Fender CBS-era of the late 1960’s.
CBS-era Fender Logo
Information on the CBS-era Fender logo is somewhat scarce, but it was a thick black logo that was used between 1968-1980.
You can see the difference in all 3 versions below, the last one being the style used by CBS until the 1980’s when Fender changed back to using the “transition” and “spaghetti” logos, depending on the model.
Current Fender Logo
What’s interesting is that the Fender logo you know see on the website (below), white lettering on red background, is pretty damn close to the first ‘spaghetti’ style logo but for a few positional changes, curves and proportions.
I have crudely over laid both the original, and new logos (below), for comparison. The red lettering is the logo currently is use whereas the slightly pixelated black/grey version is the original ‘spaghetti’ style Fender logo.
Who designed the current Fender logo?
I can’t find any information on who ‘tweaked’ the newest logo now used by Fender, but I think it’s safe to say that who ever designed the first one takes credit for the Fender logo overall give it’s closeness to the original logo design. Unless you disagree?