Pierre Burelle did not fool around in 1966 when he decided to formulate a new logo for his growing company, Plastic Omnium Industries. He contracted Raymond Loewy, who already had designed a number of industrial classics, including the curvaceous Coke bottle and the timeless logos for General Motors and Shell Oil.
What emerged, predictably, was a distinctive, clean design combining an acronym for the company's name with a line stating its full name.
But simple as the design is, it is not without a twist. North Americans might ask whether the stylized 'O' precedes the 'P' in the logo because the components of the company name read differently in French than in English. They don't.
The initials are backward in any language, explains Philippe Claye, president of North American operations, 'specifically so everyone will ask the question, 'Why?' It helps them remember us.'