A logo is a graphic mark or a symbol used by businesses to be recognized. It is an important part of a business because it stands as the visual identity of any company. It is the first thing that consumers see and it is something that will contribute in building their trust towards any business. But have you ever wondered how the business logo has started?
The term logo is a shortened from of ‘logogram’ that originated from the Greek word ‘logos’ which means word. A logo is simply a visual sign that communicates a word or a phrase. Logos have been used thousands of years ago in different forms. In the ancient times, hieroglyphs and pictograms were used by Egyptians in marking the animals to identify who the owner is. They are a stylized picture of an object representing a word, syllable, or sound, as found in ancient Egyptian and other writing systems.
The Romans and Greeks also used them in marking their pottery which helps in identifying who the manufacturer is. Most of the symbols they used were adopted from the great faiths of the world. From the 12th century through medieval times, coats of arms or the distinctive heraldic bearings or shield of a person, family, corporation, or country were used in identifying the status of decency.
As the years pass, and as technology improves, same goes with the logo designs. They became more complex and Trademarks have also been introduced. A trademark is a symbol or word which is legally registered or established by use as representing a company or a product.
When the twentieth century came, logos where revolutionized. Colored printing was introduced and the advertising industry began. Logos became a strong marketing tool, which is mainly used to sell and establish brand identity. The national, nautical, heraldic, and agricultural images have been widely used which were readily understood by the public. The national and heraldic symbols stand for dignity and status while the agricultural symbols are for purity and freshness. Three of the well-known designers of this time were Alan Fletcher, Paul Rand, and Milton Glaser. They helped developed the graphic identity of the consumer culture in the second half of the twentieth century.
Minimalism has also been introduced. It is a style in which a small number of very simple things are used to create a particular effect. They find that much simpler designs were more effective in terms of advertising. One best example is the evolution of Shell’s logo throughout the twentieth century. They promote the “Less is More” design concept.
From colored printing, designs have been developed using other media platform which changed the nature of graphic identity. An example is animation, which was applied to the MTV logo. It adapted the television’s language because television has become an omnipresent medium in the early 80’s. They brought down the idea that logos should be consistent and in static form.
Then the “Brand Era” came, where modern day logos are introduced. Modern designs were developed using the variety of functions and software computers offer. From being a mark of quality on a product, the logo became a visual distillation of a cultural ideal. Designers nowadays no longer focus much on the designs of the logo, since they have been established before. They now focus on the message that the brand will instill to the public. The technology in the present time gives the designers limitless ideas in creating business logos. Some of the logos we see nowadays still reflects the designs way back. It is because some of these logos tell stories about the company or the products growth and evolution.
The history and evolution of the business logo, indeed, has a great impact on the logo designs we have in the present time. And, it is certain that many developments will still be done in the years to come because of the people’s creative minds.