Hello

Admittedly, it’s not easy. We create things that build, move, power, and cure our world, and we do this in over 180 countries. You probably know our founder, Thomas Edison, developed the light bulb, but he also took this idea further by building our first electrical grid. This powerful network brought electricity into our homes, workplaces, and everywhere in between. Edison also established a mindset, and a brand that stands for making our world work better. His own words, “I find out what the world needs and then proceed to invent it,” are a promise to live in the present, keep an eye on the future, anticipate what the world needs, and make it happen. We are the people who build, power, move, and cure the world. As brand builders, we ask ourselves, how do we express our ideas more effectively? How do we use brand to signal who we are, what we are doing, and where we are headed?

Right now

Our brand is evolving to express a GE that is transforming industry by connecting machines to data and to people to help our cities run more smoothly, airplanes take off and land safely, and hospitals provide integrated care for healthier communities. We call ourselves a digital industrial because it’s time for big, world-changing machines to be connected so they are safer, faster, and more effective. We're excited because while connectivity benefits many of us, the opportunity to do more is vast. Integrating software with industrial machines at scale to keep planes on time, and bringing electricity to the 1.2 billon people who still don’t have it, will advance the world in a very big way.

We are courageous, optimistic, purposeful, and engaging.

We are unafraid to experiment, or fail.

Character, culture, brand

From our first days to today, our character emboldens us to anticipate what the world needs and deliver something meaningful. It guides us in serving the needs of customers, employees, shareholders, and others.

Today, we are often referred to as a 125-year-old startup. A contradiction perhaps, but it’s the fuel behind our longevity. Like a young company, we never settle. We’re impatient for progress. We want to disrupt the status quo—even if we created it. Our culture is based on a “figure it out” mindset. This gives us the leeway to take chances, fail, learn, and pivot quickly. We cultivate leaders who are as comfortable with ambiguity as they are taking on responsibility—leaders who know when to step up and when to step back, because no one can do it all. We understand success requires listening and learning, regardless of age or title.

Alongside our character, our cultural beliefs inform all brand efforts:

  • Customers determine our success
  • Stay lean to go fast
  • Learn and adapt to win
  • Empower and inspire each other
  • Deliver results in an uncertain world

Evolution over revolution

How we grow and shift our brand is partly dictated by the world around us. We balance being dynamic and relevant with remaining true to our core DNA. As we evolve our business in anticipation of what the world will need, we create brand expressions to match business intent. It is why our brand evolves rather than opts for full-scale reinvention. Our job is to balance legacy with current and future aspirations.

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The scripted GE letters, circa early 1890s

Staying power

In 1892, almost a full decade before the Monogram was trademarked, the Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Electric Company merged to form the General Electric Company. We do not know for certain how the GE Monogram came to be. Some believe it was developed to cover the center bolt holding the blades in place on a ceiling fan—a practical, ingenious beginning to what has become a highly regarded and enduring promise of quality, leadership, innovation, and integrity. These traits appear year after year in studies and conversations with our customers and with people coming to work for GE when we ask them to comment on what our logo means to them.

We recognize the Monogram’s ability to signal impact at scale.

Over time, we’ve studied the mark’s visual relevance, especially when entering new markets. We’ve worked with graphic designers and brand experts to update its shape for different form factors, such as CT scanners and mobile screens. Most designers agree it offers a strong, relevant, and distinct visual representation of our brand. Many have commented its hand-drawn and rounded forms make it feel human and agile. Its balance references precision and technical expertise. True to our curious nature, we have explored over 1000 variations over the years to ensure its design is doing everything we need it to do. We attribute its endurance to simple forms evoking the power of human imagination and innovation.

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The Monogram consists of four parts: the solid circle, the stylized circle, the solid background, and the rounded script.

The Monogram has represented GE and our beliefs and actions for practically all of GE’s history, and it will serve us well into our future. For over a century, it has opened doors and helped start meaningful conversations about progress and quality. It has evolved beyond a logo to an enduring and optimistic calling to seek and make the world work better.

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The GE Inspira typeface was created in 2004.

Inspira

Our typeface, GE Inspira, was conceived from the Monogram. Designed in 2004, Inspira was derived from the rounded curves and precise nature of our mark. Its creation was the result of an identified need to establish a stronger and more distinctive visual communication tool for our brand. GE was headed in a new, dynamic direction. In creating our own typeface, we doubled down on an energetic, human, and unique expression. When introduced, the rounded and flowing forms of Inspira caused some to question its open nature. Others felt a breath of freshness and inspiration. For all the early discussion, Inspira has become both widely accepted and appreciated. We evolve the typeface to maintain its usefulness and ensure it remains a robust tool for brand expression. You are now reading type set in Inspira Sans. As we evolved into the digital industrial era, smart phones and tablets became the dominant form of content delivery. We recognized the need to evolve Inspira for small to medium screens and developed this version for widespread use.

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Imagination at Work

In early 2002, we undertook an extensive study to better understand ourselves and test our relevance and vitality to others. During our exploration, themes arose around people, curiosity, drive, sweat, and imagination. The result of that work was summed up in an equation created by engineers, marketers, designers, and business leaders working together to express GE’s essence.

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GE’s brand equation, circa 2002

“Imagination at work,” our current tagline since 2003, evolved from the brand equation. It highlights people inventing and making substantial contributions in scientific research, manufacturing, and technology. It has always served as a bold message to our teams and announced our priorities to customers, investors, and partners.

We’ve created several taglines over the years, some more outstanding than others. As a set, there is a persistent theme of progress. Additional ideas include quality, optimism, and people. We gather and study these consistent threads when considering our next brand evolution. Besides giving us perspective (and a laugh or two), these threads are thought starters for the conversations where we ask ourselves, “What’s missing in our current brand story?” and “What shift do we make for our brand to be both authentic and ready for the future?” As always, we challenge ourselves to figure out what’s missing and to create it.

Taglines 1912-present

  1. 1912
    The guarantee of excellence in goods electrical
  2. 1915
    Largest electrical manufacturer in the world
  3. 1920s
    Initials of a friend…GE
  4. 1930s
    Live better electrically
  5. 1940s
    You can put your confidence in General Electric
  6. 1950s
    We’ve got a patent on progress
  7. 1960s
    Progress for people
  8. 1970s
    Progress is our most important product/Men helping man
  9. 1980s
    We bring good things to life
  10. 2003
    Imagination at work

Expressing the digital industrial

To express the new and vital connections among machines, data, and people for the digital industrial era, our system required a fresh point of view. We set a goal of developing a new expression to work with our existing brand tools, to celebrate the flow created by machines sensing, predicting, and responding to their unique environments. This updated visual and verbal language expresses the flow mindset. Released in 2016, the system is firmly “digital first,” given we depend increasingly on digital applications and their robustness as paramount to brand-building activities.

Our brand expression

We aim to be a beacon for those who care about the direction of the world and who are hungry to make impact at scale. To build our brand, we rely on an enthusiastic community, including partners and customers, committed to finding a better way. We are a brand for passionate thinkers, doers, and risk takers. And we’re just getting started. Please stay tuned, as our next act is soon to follow.

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