Johnson & Johnson is signing off on a new logo.
The health care giant said Thursday that it will replace the well-known signature script it has used since 1887 with a modern look that reflects its sharpened focus on pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
The original script — based on co-founder James Wood Johnson's signature — will still be seen for now on consumer products like baby shampoo from Kenvue, a new company recently spun off from J&J.
Johnson & Johnson itself narrowed its focus to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The new look, which includes a different shade of red, aims to recognize J&J’s shift into a “pure play health care company,” said Vanessa Broadhurst, a company executive vice president.
The signature logo was “one of the longest-used company emblems in the world,” J&J declared in a 2017 website post.
But it started showing its age in an era of texting and emojis.
Many children no longer learn to write cursive in school, noted marketing consultant Laura Ries. People may recognize the signature, but they weren’t necessarily reading it, she said. The new logo, she said, is easier to process.
“Because it’s easier, it almost even draws your attention to it,” said Ries, who wasn't involved in the logo change.
Ries also noted people likely identified the script logo more with the Kenvue products they see on drugstore shelves, such as Band-Aids, Listerine and Tylenol.
“Everyone washed their baby with Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo,” she said.
A Kenvue spokesperson said the J&J branding on products like Band Aids will gradually be removed.
The signature logo also could be found on bottles of the company’s now-discontinued talcum-based baby powder, which generated lawsuits alleging that it caused cancer. J&J has insisted that the powder was safe.
The consumer business helped J&J become the world’s biggest health care products maker, with annual sales topping $90 billion. But its pharmaceutical and medical device divisions had easily surpassed it in size when the spinoff was announced in late 2021.
New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J also said Thursday that it will relabel its Janssen pharmaceutical business Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine. Its medical devices and technology segment will be called Johnson & Johnson MedTech.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.