Here’s Why the 7-Eleven Logo Looks Like That
Why is it 7-Eleven and not 7-11? Why does the current 7-Eleven logo have a lowercase N? We answer the questions you’ve puzzled over for years.
You probably only think about 7-Eleven if you’re in the mood for some late-night munchies or a Slurpee. You definitely don’t contemplate the details of its fluorescent sign. It’s a big red and orange seven. The only thing it could possibly mean is cheap junk food available whenever you want it. What more could we ask for? It’s the dream!
But once you take a good, hard look at the unmistakable 7-Eleven logo, you become consumed by grammatical and typographical conundrums. We often overlook company logos because we see them daily! We bet you didn’t know there was a hidden symbol in the Baskin Robbins logo or what about that hidden detail on the Starbucks logo? Investigate the world of logos, naming, and spelling with the classic 7-Eleven logo. When you’re done go treat yourself to their infamous frozen treat!
7-Eleven: Meaning and history
The company’s legal name is 7-Eleven. Why not 7-11 or even Seven-Eleven? Or why not be named after 7-Eleven’s hours? And why is the N in Eleven not capitalized?
In 1937, Southland Ice Company started selling grocery staples and beer out of its icehouses. The business grew so dramatically that the company turned these icehouses into “convenience stops” called Tote’m stores, named as such to invite customers to “tote” away their spoils. The stores’ logo used a large totem pole as the T.
By 1946, Southland had several shops under the names Tote’m and City Ice and wanted to give all of its stores a common name. It was Tracy-Locke Advertising that chose the famed “7-11” to reflect the store’s new extended hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Confused? It wasn’t until 1963 that stores adopted the hours we know today. A location near the University of Texas decided to stay open past 11 to accommodate students shopping after a late football game. Sales boomed, and the store decided to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The rest of the company followed suit.
7-Eleven logo details
With this new name came a new logo: a large red “7” with “Eleven” spelled out and running through the numeral (visually similar to Tote’m’s totem pole T, but 7-Eleven, Inc. doesn’t know if this connection was intentional), all placed over a green four-leaf clover to symbolize good luck and good fortune. And for the record, “Eleven” had all capital letters.
So why was 7 a numeral and 11 wasn’t? 7-Eleven, Inc. tells Reader’s Digest exclusively, “The specific reason is unknown.” Womp.
However, we do have some clarity about the other notable details in the 7-Eleven logo. Southland president Joe C. “Jodie” Thompson requested a new design that would stand on outdoor signs, which is why you don’t associate four-leaf clovers with Slurpees.
Then, of course, there’s the mildly infuriating lowercase N in the otherwise capitalized Eleven. “One theory is that Thompson’s wife thought the logo seemed a little harsh with all capital letters and suggested that the capital ‘N’ be changed to lowercase so the logo would look more graceful,” 7-Eleven, Inc. tells Reader’s Digest.
So there you have it. You will never be able to absentmindedly pass a 7-Eleven sign ever again. Next, learn why so many logos are red—you’ll notice many of your favorites have this similarity! Then, read up on the history of the Pringles man and how he became the company’s mascot.
- FoodBeast: “How 7-Eleven Got Its Name And Why It’s Open 24 Hours”