Sonic is a fictional humanoid hedgehog who basically just tries to protect the world from the evil forces on a regular basis. He’s easily distinguishable as fast, blue and sarcastic 3ft tall creature, and this franchise focuses on his adventures. However, it’s admittedly been in decline the past decade.
Meaning and History
Sonic was created by the Japanese arcade company ‘Sega’ in 1991. They wanted to compete with Nintendo and their breadwinner Mario so badly, it also prompted them to create a cute character that would appear in many of their oncoming arcade platformers. After that, he was of course developed into a unique character.
What is Sonic?
Sonic the Hedgehog is a media franchise launched by Sega in 1991. It focuses on the adventures of Sonic, a blue human-like hedgehog, and his friends, usually in the fight against evil Dr. Eggman, aka Dr. Robotnik. The franchise includes over 30 individual video games and many movie and show adaptations.
1991 – 1999 (Japan)
The first Japan-oriented logo featured a very much Latin spelling of the franchise name – ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ in uppercase. That being said, they put the ‘the Hedgehog’ part below the key character’s name and reduced it in size to fit its width.
Appearance-wise, the entire image was light blue to match the character himself. The letters, for this reason, were also cartoonish and blocky. They hadn’t a universal width, so the thickness of the lines varied even inside the very letters.
1991 – 1999 (World)
The international logo was rather different. It featured the same writing as the Japanese emblem, but in a completely dissimilar style, for whatever reason. The letters style on the ‘Sonic’ part stayed the same, although they did paint it dark blue instead and outlined it in thick golden frames (the games revolved around collecting gold coins).
Notably, this upper part had way more volume than the Japanese version or the other parts on the same international logo. It made it glint and look waxed.
The bottom part was also given volume, but through making the letters deeper. This part also said ‘the Hedgehog’ in uppercase, but the letters were now red (Sonic’s sneakers were red), written in two lines and tilted to reveal the dark-blue sides of these letters.
1999 – today (World)
In 1999, both the Japanese and the global emblems were transformed into the iconic design everyone knows and loves. For the international part, they took the 1991 Japanese design and gave it new colors. The upper part was now golden yellow with a dark blue outline (basically a reversal of the previous international logo).
Simultaneously, the bottom text was turned white and framed by a red rectangle with some shading in its lower part. It was also noticeably decreased in size, so that this new addition could fit the emblem.
1999 – today (Japan)
The Japanese version was pretty much the international emblem, but made in glyphs rather than Latin letters. Interestingly, they don’t seem to say the name of the franchise in Japanese. Instead, these glyphs imitate the English pronunciation of the international name.
Emblem and Symbol
Most game and show logotypes in the respective time periods used these logos as a basis. Then, they’d put some additional details or remove minor ones from the emblem. For instance, the latest ‘Sonic Boom’ show uses the ‘Sonic’ part from the logo and the word ‘Boom’ in orange uppercase.