At this time, Philips’ business activities were expanding rapidly and the company wanted to find a trademark that would uniquely represent Philips, but one that would also avoid legal problems with the owners of other well-known circular emblems. This wish resulted in the combination of the Philips circle and the wordmark within the shield emblem.
In 1938, the Philips shield made its first appearance. Although modified over the years, the basic design has remained constant ever since and, together with the wordmark, it gives Philips the distinctive identity that is still embraced today.
For the first time in 1930’s, the four stars flanking the three waves were placed together in a circle. After that, the stars and waves started appearing on radios and gramophones, featuring the circle as part of their design. Gradually the use of the circle emblem was then extended to advertising materials and other products. Since then, this trademark has been used across the world and has become one of the identifiers of the Philips Company as the single source of Philips-branded products.
The now familiar Philips waves and stars first appeared in 1926 on the packaging of miniwatt radio valves, as well as on the Philigraph, an early sound recording device. The waves symbolized radio waves, while the stars represented the ether of the evening sky through which the radio waves would travel. In due course, these two elements were placed in a circle, presumably symbolizing the globe.