The History of the Bayer Brand

Since its start up in 1863, the Bayer brand has come to be a symbol of quality, integrity, and the highest product standards worldwide. Bayer’s cross logo is easily one of the most familiar trademarks on the planet, recognized throughout the world as representing industry-leading innovation and entrepreneurship on a global level. In this issue, let us take a look at the history of Bayer logo.


Before 1886

The first Bayer trademark depicted a lion with the grid on which Saint Lawrence was martyred. The trademark was based on the coat-of-arms of Elberfeld, Germany, where Bayer was headquartered at the time. Yet the company was expanding, which had to be reflected in the new corporate logo. These relatively simple symbols were no longer sufficient by 1886.

From 1886 to 1895

From 1886 this trademark from Bayer was used. Also here you can still find the lion with the grid based again on the Elberfeld town crest.

Since 1895

To illustrate the company's globally successful business operations, the next modification followed in 1895: a lion with wings and the symbolic staff of Mercury rose up over the globe. But foreign customers could make no sense of the image. Furthermore, the company's proper name - "Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co." - was unpronounceable for them.

Since 1904

The Bayer Cross logo, with the word “Bayer” appearing both horizontally and vertically and intersecting at the letter “Y”, first appeared in 1904 making its debut in history. The cross is a visual representation of how the two lifelines of the company, technology and the environment, are intrinsically joined. For people the world over, this logo has become a symbol of quality and trust, being at the same time easy to interpret and having a striking design that is readily recognizable. 

Since 1928

By 1928, the Bayer logo had evolved into the form we are familiar with today.

Since 1989

In 1989, blue and green were chosen as the company’s corporate colors.

Since 2002

In 2002, the Bayer logo took on a three-dimensional look that was further enhanced by the company’s corporate colors.

Since 2011

In 2011, the Bayer logo was updated again, reverting back to a two-dimensional design with deeper colors and lines to create a more conspicuous image suitable for display in a greater variety of locations.

Since 2017

As the Bayer new brand positioning launched, Bayer Cross was slightly redesigned in 2017. With this graphic evolution it is now ready for the digital age.This gives the trademark a more modern and up-to-date look.

“Did You Know?” -- Interesting Facts about the Bayer Cross

The Value of the Bayer Cross

Market surveys have shown over and over again that the Bayer logo has become a symbol of the company as a whole, with the cross and the use of blue and green being considered the most distinctive elements of the Bayer brand. Our slogan, “Science for a Better Life”, is a perfect match for the brand and has brought increased status to the company. Bayer has become one of the world’s most valuable brands, estimated to be worth as much as 17.1 billion euros.

The First Bayer Cross Outdoor Illuminated Sign

In 1933, Bayer erected its first-ever outdoor illuminated sign featuring the Bayer cross in Leverkusen. The display was a huge 72 meters in diameter and was described by media then as the world’s largest outdoor advertisement. At the unveiling ceremony, Bayer Management Board Chairman at the time, Carl Duisburg, famously said:  “Just as the Southern Cross serves as a navigation aid to mariners, this Cross of the West shall illuminate the heart of German industry as a symbol of confidence.” However, the Bayer Cross was to shine for only six years. On the day before World War II broke out, it was shut off by order of the government. It was to be another 20 years before a second Bayer Cross would be erected.

In 1958, the Bayer Cross was re-erected at a spot 100 meters from where it had last stood.The new logo was comparatively smaller with a diameter of “only” 51 meters, but, when illuminated, the sign could still be seen from a distance as far away as five kilometers. 54 years later, the Bayer Cross remains one of the highlights of Leverkusen’s skyline. In the spring and fall seasons, the Cross is illuminated only from 10pm in the evening to 4am in the morning in order not to interfere with the navigational senses of migratory birds.

Largest Bayer Cross in the World

At an altitude of nearly 3,500 meters, the colorful Bayer Cross shone across the Swiss Alps in January, 2012. Light artist Gerry Hofstetter projected the 350 meter wide company logo onto the north face of the Jungfrau Mountain to mark the centenary of the Jungfrau cogwheel railway.

The smallest illuminated Bayer Cross

The smallest illuminated Bayer Cross has a diameter of just 31 centimeters. The symbol is worked into the lid of a decorative box and lights up when the box is opened. Carl Duisberg, Bayer’s first Director General, was given the miniature cross in 1933 by employees from the company’s branches worldwide to mark his 50th service anniversary.

Bayer Cross at airport

The most recent addition to the illuminated Bayer Cross family has a diameter of 4.5 meters. It revolves under the glass roof of departure lounge B at Frankfurt airport. Over 22 million travelers pass through this area every year.

The Bayer Cross and China

The Bayer Cross has enjoyed a very distinguished history in China too. The Bayer logo was first erected atop Broadway Mansions in 2001, but had to be taken down in 2007 due to new laws regulating outdoor advertisements in the lead-up to the 2010 World Expo. However, fond memories of the Bayer Cross on the Bund still remain with a large number of Bayer employees.

In 2010, the Bayer Cross finally made its return to Shanghai in the form of a 6-meter tall and 20-meter wide neon-lit sign on top of the Weather Bureau Building in Xuhui District. The imposing cross, together with the Chinese characters for “Bayer”, has become a new mainstay on the Shanghai skyline, and can be clearly seen illuminated at night when driving along the Humin Elevated Road traveling northwards towards Xujiahui.

In March 2012, an illuminated Bayer Cross has now taken its place in one of the most prominent locations in the world: the skyline on the east bank of the Huangpu River in the Chinese city of Shanghai. The Bayer cross installation on the Citigroup Tower, which houses the headquarters of Bayer China, is 3.2 meters high and can be seen from the popular Bund waterfront, one of the city's biggest tourist attractions.

Two weeks later in April, the Bayer Cross on top of the new Bayer Centre office building was lit as part of the opening ceremony of the new premises. Overlooking the eastern section of the Third Ring Road, the Bayer Cross is a striking landmark at a whopping height of 10 meters and measuring a further 3 meters in diameter.

There are Bayer Crosses all over the world and chances are you have already come across one, or more, on your travels for work and leisure. Please don’t forget to share with us these “encounters” by taking a photograph and posting it on our official blog at You will also be in with a chance to win an exquisite gift!