Merck is one of the oldest pharmaceutical and chemical companies in the world, with activities spread across 200 companies in 55 countries. Decades of growth and expansion had resulted in a fragmented brand identity. To unify the public presentation of Merck and its divisions, there was a need for a clear, consistent brand architecture. A new system was created, allowing for interaction between an abstract symbol and a custom-designed corporate wordmark.
The shapes within the logo suggest pills, tablets, petri dish, mortar and pestle, as well as the medical cross making reference to Merck's initial logo. The mark was designed by Audrey Krauss, designer at Chermayeff & Geismar Inc. at the time.