Morton Salt Company Logo History
Ever since the introduction of anti-caking salt in 1911, the Morton Salt Company had been trying to develop a concept that properly illustrated this innovative feature.
To solve this problem, Morton hired advertising agency N.W. Ayer and Company to develop a marketing campaign that would promote the anti-caking properties of their salt. The result of which would become one of the most iconic and enduring brand figures of all time.
While several plans were proposed, an originally disregarded alternative concept was noticed by Sterling Morton, the son of founder Joy Morton. This idea was that of a young umbrella-toting 8 year old, who was accidentally pouring salt while walking in the rain.
While this concept demonstrated the value and innovation of Morton’s anti-caking salt, it also added a symbol of innocence and purity. The Morton Salt Company adapted a new slogan, “When it rains, it pours.” inspired by a well-known proverb of the time.
The ad debuted in a series of ads for Good Housekeeping in 1914, and the Morton Salt Girl was introduced to the world.
To correspond with the fashion of the day, the Morton Salt Girl received an updated look after her debut seven years prior. Her curly hair was straightened and darkened, and she was given a wide and friendly smile. 1921 also marks the first appearance of the upturned foot, a component that has lasted ever since.
1933 saw the Morton Salt Girl’s curls return that some say was a result in the rise of child star Shirley Temple, who donned a similar style to her hair. Thus, the 1933 version of the Morton Salt Girl is referred to by many as the “Shirley Temple Version”.
In 1941, the Morton Salt Girl got her first dash of color. The yellow dress that she was given is now as synonymous with her as the salt and umbrella she is carrying. Additionally, design updates to her hair added golden blonde braided pigtails and removed the prominent bow from previous versions.
15 years after the first addition of color, even more yellow was added when the Morton Salt Girl began to carry a yellow umbrella. Her overall appearance was simplified and brightened in order to create a more inviting tone that corresponded with changes to the Morton Salt round can, including the addition of yellow to the top and bottom of the package.
1968 gave the Morton Salt Girl her some of the most significant changes to design since her inception in 1914. In March of that year, “America’s favorite 8 year old” was reintroduced to the world with short, windblown hair and a high-waisted, short yellow dress. She also for the first time was looking away on the label.
This version of the Morton Salt Girl is the most familiar to consumers today, as she has been a staple of households everywhere since.
2014 “100 Years”
While 2014 is a year to celebrate the 100th Birthday of the Morton Salt Girl, it is also a year for slight updates and modifications to her look.
The Morton Salt logo is widely recognized for its bold “Morton Salt” word mark. The new logo now features a fresh and friendly font, while maintaining the leadership qualities of the original word mark, specifically the bold, all-caps type style. The letter “R” in the new “Morton” word mark also carries a slight kick to mimic the Morton Salt Girl’s step.
In addition to the word mark, the Morton Salt Girl was updated in small, subtle ways. The new Morton Salt Girl has cleaner, simplified linework to fit better with the new “Morton Salt” word mark.