The story of Petrolimex trademark – Part 1: Letter "P"

Thuy Ha

08:00 AM @ Thursday - 04 February, 2016

Trademark is always a question of great interest to any enterprise’ cadres, officers and labourers as well as to the majority of public and customers.

On the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex/Group), Secretary of Petrolimex Party Committee and Chairman of Petrolimex Board of Director, Bui Ngoc Bao, spoke to Cong Thuong (Industry and Trade) magazine about the Story of Petrolimex trademark.

Going global

Reporter: First and foremost, the magazine would like to congratulate Petrolimex on the occasion of its 60th anniversary and would like to thank you for this interview which focuses on Petrolimex trademark. As we all know, wherever the letter “P” appears, people would think of Petrolimex. Could you please let us know when did this symbol [the letter “P”] come into being and its significance?

Bui Ngoc Bao:The letter “P” of Petrolimex – of Petrolimex brand or Petrolimex logo – appeared in early 1990s of the 20th century.

The trademark with letter “P” of Petrolimex was announced for the first time at the 35th anniversary of the Group’s establishment, on January 12, 1991.

That context changed the nature of an enterprise which had built up itself sufficient elements to give rise to a brand name:

First, Petrolimex gradually changed its activities as a major State petroleum supplier to the business accounting.
Prior to 1990 of the 20th century, the key tasks of Petrolimex were to receive store and supply oil and gas upon State ordinances to serve the national security, defence, socio-economic development and battlefields.

By the end of 1988, the State began restructuring the Petroleum Corporation [the then official name of Petrolimex]; of which the transfer of the petroleum export-import task and officials working in petroleum export-import from Vietnam National Minerals Export-Import Joint Stock Company (Minexport) to the Petroleum Corporation was of overriding importance. Since then, the Petroleum Corporation had a new function of exporting and importing petroleum besides its major task of petroleum provision.

As the corporation was assigned to carry out external transactions, it signed foreign trade contracts with Soviet Union (then) under the framework of the Intergovernmental Agreement and annual protocols signed between ministries of the two countries. Transactions were processed in Russian Ruble. When the Intergovernmental Agreement and protocols no longer existed, transactions were carried out in other countries in the region – what was called then “region No.2 market”; which means we bought petroleum from capitalist countries, transactions were based on international practice and the US dollars.

That was a crucial change to the story of ensuring sufficient supply of petroleum for the whole country.

External transactions with these markets had to comply with completely new standards as compared to socialist traditional transactions. For example, it was necessary to have corporate identity. The international transaction name, Petrolimex, began taking shape since then.

In late 1980s and early 1990s, Viet Nam encountered countless difficulties. During this period of time, the supply of petroleum resources for essential needs was of great interest among Party and Government leaders. Under such circumstances, a number of enterprises started doing business in oil and gas, including Sai Gon Petro, and Petechim, among others.

At that time, petroleum was no longer merely supplied but gradually traded under the participation of several enterprises. Thus, it can be said that at that time Petrolimex was not a wholly State-owned firm that had exclusive right to supply petroleum as before. Petroleum market gradually took shape, so did competition.

On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Petroleum Corporation, Petrolimex leaders launched a brand design contest.

The letter “P” is the first letter of the transaction name of Petrolimex and is stylised to symbolise the company provided that it would be simple, meaningful, eye-catching and easy to remember.

The letter “P” was graded by a fine arts council that also gave the first prize for the design. Immediately, the Petrolimex leadership decided to use the letter “P” as Petrolimex official trademark which was also certified by the Patent Office and protected by laws.

In 2010, we made certain improvements to renew the letter “P”, which can thoroughly demonstrate precious values of the Petrolimex trademark which were accumulated since the Group’s establishment and can highlight a spirit of going further in the new era of integration and competition.

Thus, the trademark with letter “P” has been formed and used in Petrolimex activities for more than 24 years since November 15, 1991 – the day the Patent Office granted the Group with patent No. 3684 for the first version.

Secretary of Petrolimex Party Committee and Chairman of Petrolimex Board of Director, Bui Ngoc Bao

Steadfast and dynamic

Reporter: Could you please explain why the letter P set on a dark blue background has two bevel angles and two square angles? Do these angles convey any message to the public?

Bui Ngoc Bao: In each line, pattern, colour and the whole view of the trademark, the designer would like to convey a specific meaning and message.

First, in regard to colour: the designer uses two colours which reflect the key nature of Petrolimex operating in the field of energy (petroleum); the orange symbolises an oil drop within letter “P” on the dark blue background which highlights sustainability and environment.

Then comes the structure: a square with two right angles and two bevels to create a harmonious aestheticism and demonstrate the steadfastness, and dynamism, - which are essential attributes of Petrolimex.

Of note, the letter “P” is personified, presenting fundamental characteristics, core values and development orientations of the enterprise.

Therefore, the letter “P” is highly pervasive, bearing something that helps build trust, respect and love in the heart of Petrolimex consumers and partners./.

Vietnam National Petroleum Group - Petrolimex (PLX)

Committed to constantly making an effort to go further on the path of development and bring the lives of Vietnamese people and all Petrolimex employees to new heights in the future