The iconic Cardinal Health logo history and meaning
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The iconic Cardinal Health logo history and meaning

Cardinal Health Logo

Among the most memorable emblems in the healthcare industry, the Cardinal Health logo is instantly recognizable. Combining an authoritative wordmark with a passionate, evocative symbol, this powerful design has remained consistent throughout Cardinal Health logo history.

While many other health and pharmaceutical brands in the medical sector have regularly updated their appearance and identity throughout the years, Cardinal Health has retained the same image for decades.

In doing so, the business has developed a highly authoritative presence, capturing the attention of generations of consumers.

Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the Cardinal Health brand, from the factors that differentiate it from its competitors to its unique visual identity. Here’s everything you need to know about the enduring Cardinal Health emblem.

What is the meaning of Cardinal Health? An introduction

Before we discuss Cardinal Health logo history, let’s take a look at the origins and purpose of the multinational healthcare brand. Cardinal Health is a medical company, located in the United States, and headquartered in Ohio (Dublin).

Today, it stands as the 14th highest revenue generating business in the US, specializing in the distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical products.

Cardinal Health serves more than 100,000 locations with its solutions, and also manufactures a variety of medical and surgical products, from apparel to fluid management products. It also operates one of the largest networks of “radiopharmacies” in America.

Originally, the company was founded in 1971, as “Cardinal Foods”, by Robert Walter. The business started life as a wholesaler of food products, before Walter acquired the Bailey Drug Company, and branched out into the pharmaceutical space.

In 1988, Walter sold the health food sector of the business to the Roundy’s brand, and began focusing exclusively on medical products. The name “Cardinal” was likely chosen to reference the Cardinal bird, demonstrating elevation and ambition, and to connect the business with the health space.

The word “Cardinal” is often associated with the color red, a shade linked to vitality and life.

The word “Cardinal” can also be used to mean “of great importance”.

What is the Cardinal Health logo tagline?

Currently, the Cardinal Health tagline builds on the idea of the word “Cardinal” used as a way of conveying importance. The slogan, “We are Essential to Care” demonstrates the company’s value in the pharmaceutical and medical space.

What are 3 facts about Cardinal Health?

Cardinal Health positions itself as a critical link between the operational and clinical sides of the healthcare landscape, delivering comprehensive solutions for a range of care needs.

The company has decades of experience in its industry, and operates according to a set of core values, which include a complete commitment to and focus on the end customer.

Here are 3 interesting facts worth knowing about Cardinal Health:

  • The company services almost 90% of all US hospitals: With a huge presence in the United States, Cardinal Health supports more than 60,000 US pharmacies, 9 out of 10 US hospitals, and more than 10,000 specialty clinics and physician offices.
  • Cardinal health supports 3.4 million patients at home: Aside from supporting other healthcare businesses, Cardinal Health also produces more than 46,000 home healthcare products, serving more than 3.4 million patients with crucial resources.
  • The digital ecosystem reaches 23 million patients: Cardinal Health’s digital system, created to support medication adherence in the healthcare industry, currently reaches around 23 million patients, as well as 60 payers in the health insurance space.

Cardinal Health logo history: The enduring emblem

As mentioned above, Cardinal Health has used the same consistent logo as its emblem ever since it entered the pharmaceutical landscape. After switching from “Cardinal Foods” to “Cardinal Health” a logo was created to highlight not just the name of the brand, but its core values too.

Cardinal Health Logo

The clean and powerful logo is a fantastic example of how a minimalistic, but evocative image can evolve with a company, and remain timeless throughout the years. The design is dynamic and meaningful, combining a sleek wordmark with a unique graphic.

The core components of the Cardinal Health logo can be broken down into two segments: the emblem and the wordmark. The wordmark is simple enough, created using a sleek, sans serif font to convey ideas of modernity and strength.

The word “Cardinal” appears in a slightly bolder font, compared to the “Health” section. The letters in the logo are also quite slim, to prevent the wordmark from taking up too much space on signage and other materials.

The positioning of the letters within the wordmark are excellent for drawing attention to the most important aspect of the company’s name. This is particularly true when we consider the emblem added to the top, left-hand-side of the image.

The bright red symbol, made up of various overlapping lines, is intended to symbolize a bird, further drawing attention to the name “Cardinal”. The vibrant coloring not only helps the design to stand out, but it also connects the company with important ideas of life, vitality, and passion.

The Cardinal Health logo: Fonts and colors

Though relatively simplistic, the Cardinal Health logo is wonderfully meaningful and evocative. The symbol used in the design immediately makes us think of the healthcare space, thanks to the splashes of red, often connected with blood, life, and vitality.

The positioning of the lines in the design also create the shape of a bird.

This not only links back to the “Cardinal” name, but it also carries significant symbolism. Bird images in logos often symbolize concepts like ambition, discovery, growth, and transformation.

Combined with the simple but authoritative wordmark, the Cardinal Health symbol projects an image of a business passionate about serving its customers.

You can find some useful examples of the Cardinal Health logo here:

Throughout the decades, the Cardinal Health color palette has remained consistent, and powerful. The wordmark is depicted in a simple shade of black on a white background, while the image of the Cardinal bird is presented in red.

The official Cardinal Health logo colors showcase ideas of passion, strength, and authority, while connecting the brand to the healthcare industry.

The shade of red used in the emblem is similar to carmine pink.

Carmine Pink:
Hex: #F34D3E
RGB: (243, 77, 62)
CMYK: 0, 0.683, 0.744, 0.047

What font does the Cardinal Health logo use?

The Cardinal Health logo font is a minimalistic sans-serif typeface, depicted in two weights. The word “Cardinal” appears bolder than the word “Health”, to draw attention to the most important part of the name.

The design is highly modern and legible, making it ideal for a wide range of materials and branding assets. 

The closest font style to the Cardinal Health typeface is Humanist 777 Bold Condensed font. This is a slim and sleek typeface, with gentle contours and soft lines.

Throughout Cardinal Health logo history, the enduring emblem has helped the company to capture the trust and respect of its audience. The compelling logo, combining a simple but effective wordmark, with a unique, artistic design, helps to differentiate Cardinal Health from the competitors in its space.

Today, the Cardinal Health logo tells us a great deal about the business itself. The red included in the color palette not only refers to the color “Cardinal” connected with the company’s name, it also highlights the brand’s focus on vitality and life. 

The overlapping lines in the emblem, intended to represent a bird in flight, showcase the brand’s purpose. It’s committed to helping people preserve good health, achieve their goals, and unlock the benefits of true wellness. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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