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5 facts about the EF logo you might not know

5 facts about the EF logo you might not know

EF Education First is a family of businesses with two things in common: our mission of opening the world through education, and our logo. The EF logo has a history that might surprise you, whether you work for EF or study or travel with us.

1. The EF in EF Education First stands for 'Europeiska Ferieskolan.'

Did you know our logo’s two letters are an acronym for a Swedish phrase, and do not stand for “education first”? We were originally called “Europeiska Ferieskolan,” Swedish for “European holiday school.” As we expanded into new markets with new programs and new schools, our name changed to reflect our growth, and we became EF Education First.

2. American graphic design legend Paul Rand designed the logo we have today.

EF’s logo was created in the early 1990s by Paul Rand, one of the twentieth century’s most influential figures in graphic design. Rand created iconic logos for companies like IBM, UPS, and the American Broadcasting Company. ‘EF’ and its rings have identified our brand ever since.

3. The rings represent more than just an aesthetically pleasing design.

The custom, hand-drawn rings in the EF logo represent communication and a ripple of impact. Communication is the bridge that helps us understand one another, and at EF we believe that the world is better when people try to understand one another. There is also a ripple of impact in every EF moment. At the center of an EF experience is a person whose understanding of the world and themselves is changed forever. That change in perspective often leads to enhanced understanding for others, including friends, families, and even communities.

4. The angled letters are more than what meets the eye.

The angled italic letters in the EF logo represent travel—like EF customers, students, and team members worldwide they are in motion. Travel encourages people to work together and create cross-cultural connections. EF Chairman Philip Hult noted, “When people meet, they learn to empathize with each other. They don’t always agree. And they don’t have to. But hopefully, they become a bit better at seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.”

5. There have been five variations of the logo since 1965.

EF’s humble beginnings in 1965 featured a slightly different EF logo. The logo changed three more times in the 70s and 80s before becoming the Paul Rand logo we have today. Check out the note below to see a letter that Paul Rand wrote to Philip Hult during the final logo design process.

Letter that Paul Rand wrote to Philip Hult.