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Spam logo (c. 1987–), cans, website

Contributed by Daniel Swan on May 28th, 2021. Artwork published in
circa 1987
.
    Spam can as sold in 2021. Smaller text is set in .
    Source: https://www.spam.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Spam can as sold in 2021. Smaller text is set in Helvetica Condensed.

    ITC Souvenir Bold is the brand typeface used for Spam. From Wikipedia:

    Spam (stylized as SPAM®) is a brand of canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation. It was introduced by Hormel in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. […] It has become the subject of a number of appearances in popular culture, notably a Monty Python sketch, which repeated the name many times, leading to its name being borrowed for unsolicited electronic messages, especially email. […] Hormel claims that the meaning of the name “is known by only a small circle of former Hormel Foods executives”, but a popular belief is that the name is a contraction of “spiced ham”.

    It is also the subject of a SPAM Museum located in Austin, Minnesota which documents the food’s colorful history.

    The logo in all-caps ITC Souvenir was probably introduced around 1987, coinciding with the company’s 50th anniversary, see comments.

    Spam can from 1987. “50th anniversary” is in .
    Source: https://www.ebay.com southernhockey101. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Spam can from 1987. “50th anniversary” is in Helvetica.

    Wall of spam outside of the the Cannon Theatre, Toronto, during the first day of ticket sales for SPAMalot, 2006.
    Source: https://www.flickr.com freezelight. License: CC BY-SA.

    Wall of spam outside of the the Cannon Theatre, Toronto, during the first day of ticket sales for SPAMalot, 2006.

    Spam website (2021). ITC Souvenir Demi is used for headlines, and is being paired with  for text.
    Source: https://www.spam.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Spam website (2021). ITC Souvenir Demi is used for headlines, and is being paired with Clear Sans for text.

    Teaser graphic on the website, set in ITC Souvenir Bold.
    Source: https://www.spam.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Teaser graphic on the website, set in ITC Souvenir Bold.

    Typefaces

    • ITC Souvenir
    • Helvetica
    • Helvetica Condensed
    • Clear Sans (Intel & Monotype)

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    1 Comment on “Spam logo (c. 1987–), cans, website”

    1. Thank you for this contibution, Daniel. I have adjusted the design date for the logo: It looks like the version in ITC Souvenir was introduced only in the 1980s – probably in 1987, coinciding with the company’s 50th anniversary, but not before 1983.

      A very early logo version from 1939 features rounded sans-serif caps. These are most likely custom drawn. This basic theme was maintained for several decades. In the early 1980s, Hormel used Frankfurter as the display typeface in ads. While stylistically very similar, the logo then was still custom, and not set in Frankfurter.

      “Spam and eggs … a new kind of breakfast by Hormel” ad from 1939. Image via Jussi (CC BY).

      From top to bottom: Labels from Spam’s 1937 debut, 1943, the 1950s, and 1970. Photos: Hormel Foods, via eater.com.

      “Tastes so good. You’ll think it’s junk food.” ad from 1980, ft. Frankfurter for the display type. Image: eauctionmanagement.

      “Surprise!” ad from 1983, again with Frankfurter for headlines (but not for the logo). Image via eauctionmanagement.

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