Ever wondered why the Bacardi logo features a bat?

Bacardi logo
(Image credit: Bacardi)

Bacardi is one of the world's best-known brands of rum. We see it so often that few stop to analyse the branding until one day they suddenly ask the inevitable question, 'hold on, why is there is there a bat in the Bacardi logo?'.

The question is still coming up on Twitter today, so we thought we would elucidate. For a brand so keen on flagging up its Cuban roots, what does a bat have to do with anything? Well, no it has nothing to do with Batman. The Bacardi logo dates back over 150 years, all the way to the company's early days in the 1860s (see our tips for how to design a logo if you want to make a design that can live that long).

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Based in Bermuda, Bacardi Limited now owns 200 brands and labels, including Bombay Sapphire, Martini & Rossi and Grey Goose, But the company logo, and the logo that appears on its signature line of rum, is still based on an original design from 1862. 

The Bacardi logo has evolved since then, sometimes going in the opposite direction to design trends. It became flatter and simpler in the 1950s only to add back more detail in the latest rebranding in 2013. But why such a gothic look?

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Well, the story goes that Don Facundo Bacardí Massó's original distillery in Santiago de Cuba, from where he established Bacardi in February of 1862, housed a small colony of fruit bats that would hang from the rafters, attracted by the sweet smell of sugarcane and liquor. 

Since the island's native Taíno people saw bats as symbols of good health, family unity, and good fortune, Bacardí Massó's wife suggested turning what some could see as a hygiene hazard into a logo, which led to their drink becoming known locally as 'el ron del murciélago' (the rum with the bat). The motif was so unique and recognisable that it continues to work today.

Looking for more logo design inspiration? See our pick of the best logos of all time and the best car rebrands we've seen to date. 

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.