Brief history of the logo
Wikipedia describes a logo as "...a graphical element, (ideogram, symbol, emblem, icon, sign) that, together with its logotype (a uniquely set and arranged typeface) form a trademark or commercial brand. Typically, a logo's design is for immediate recognition, inspiring trust, admiration, loyalty and an implied superiority. The logo is one aspect of a company's commercial brand, or economic entity, and its shapes, colors, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organizations and other non-commercial entities."
|This sacred monogram is formed of the first
three lettes of the Greek word for "Jesus" (IHCOYC) and can
be regarded as a very early "logo".
||Many Medieval symbols have their roots in
classic heraldry and were pictographic representations of names
The history of the logo dates back to the ancient Greeks. The word
"logo" (Greek: "logotypos") means a name, symbol or trademark designed for easy recognition
and comes from the Greek for "word" or "speech". Other cultures
- the Babylonian, Assyrian, Mayan, Chinese, and Egyptian also used
pictographs to communicate words and ideas. Pictographs could be
considered early logos in the respect that they were a visual means of communicating some form of identity.
Logo design history had it's beginnings as a cipher consisting of
a single letter, and later a design or mark consisting of two or
more letters which were intertwined, a good example of which is
the Pax Romana. The cipher may be either all the letters of a name,
the initial letters, or the surname of a person for use on stationery,
business cards, or elsewhere. Many early Greek and Roman coins bear
monograms or logos of rulers or towns. A famous early "logo" is
the sacred monogram, which is formed by the first three letters
of the Greek word for Christ (IHCOYC) and often featured a pictorial
symbol of the cross on the letters (see image above left).
The use of logos as trademarks goes back in time to the early days
of the Renaissance, the 13th Century. Goldsmiths’ marks, masons
marks, and paper makers’ watermarks were among the first logos used
in this way, as trademarks. Trademarks, in today’s world of advertising,
provide an easy method for recognizing a particular product or company.
|Large companies invest enough into their
brands and logos that they become instantly recognizable anywhere
in the world with a minimum of effort.
||Modern "digital-confident" logos
can be controversial as they sometimes fall short of society's
expectations of what a logo should be.
Modern life is very visually-led and logos are everywhere, not only representing companies and commercial organisations but also music bands, towns and cities, sports events, government agencies, in fact just about any modern entity can be embodied by a suitable logo image.