It is not clear exactly who "designed" the Bayer Cross as the company's archives contain two different versions of its origins. One ascribes the initial idea to Hans Schneider, who worked in the Scientific Department in Elberfeld, Germany. An eye-witness wrote: "It was in 1900. While I was discussing a few things with him [Hans Schneider], he wrote the word Bayer in capital letters on a piece of paper - once horizontally and then again vertically. The result was the Bayer Cross . He tore the page from his notepad, excused himself and took his sketch to the management, where it was greatly admired."
The second version names Dr. Schweizer as the "inventor" of the Bayer Cross. Schweizer worked in Bayer's New York office in the 1890s. His job was to interest American physicians' in the products from Germany. Apparently, the company's long name at that time - Farbenfabriken vormals Friedr. Bayer & Co., Elberfeld, - made communication difficult so Schweizer developed an eye-catching company stamp in the form of the cross that is now so well-known. At first he used it on letterheads, then later on printed materials and brochures. It also received approbation from the company's headquarters in Elberfeld.
Whoever came up with the original idea, the new logo made its mark around the world and eventually replaced Bayer's original lion trademark. This predecessor to the Bayer Cross was linked to the company's history. Bayer was established in 1863 as a family business by Friedrich Bayer. In 1881, following his death, it was made a joint stock corporation named Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co., Elberfeld. That same year, the company was granted its first German patent for crocein acid. This meant Bayer needed a trademark as a seal of quality and a unique identifier. It chose a heraldic emblem based on the coat of arms of Elberfeld, where it was headquartered at the time: a two-tailed lion holding the grid on which the town's patron, Saint Lawrence, was martyred. A few years later, a helmet and further embellishments were added. It was modified again in 1895, becoming a winged lion holding a caduceus and standing over a globe.
In the first years after its registration, the new Bayer Cross trademark was used alongside the lion and the company's name in Europe, whereas ’Bayer's offices outside Germany used only the new emblem on all documents and packaging. Over time, it also replaced the Bayer lion in Europe.
A milestone in the popularity of the Bayer Cross and a smart marketing idea was the decision to stamp the new logo on tablets, especially Aspirin™. From 1910 this protected the company's pharmaceutical products from counterfeiting and soon became familiar to consumers as a symbol of premium quality.