A Brief History of the Logo

Logo designer Sydney

Logos have been around for centuries and some people may be surprised to learn that the ancient hieroglyphs by the Egyptians were the beginning of storytelling in symbols and the root of visual human expression. The word “logo” is of Greek origin as logos literally translates as word and Roman and Greek coins used to have kings printed on them, the pictograms of their era. Throughout centuries people have identified themselves by the means of stamps, marks, emblems and signatures using colour schemes and slogans or symbols like family crests or religious symbols such as serpents and apples. These symbols are highly dependent on cultural background and religion and can be very confusing when used in a different cultural context such as the swastika symbolizes good luck and power in today’s Hinduism but is also highly associated with the former Nazi party in Europe.

It was later around the 14th century that everyone involved in trade such as goldsmiths, farmers who identified their cattle by tattooing their ears and shop vendors started to use trademarks or primal logos to label their goods. Within time, visual arts became more popular and along the industrial revolution in the 18th century when products started to be manufactured on mass scale and the markets broadened, branding became more important for the vendors to make their product stand out and logos design were used to distinguish brands amongst the growing competition as a visual element of identification.

Therefore, logos have become a strong and important part of marketing strategies for businesses and organisations. Humans want to understand the world in visual terms and good logo design makes it possible to channel meaning and information in a simple icon. To set a brand apart from another in form of graphic arts dates back to the 1950ies when US American businesses and companies started to brand their products using a symbol for best and quickest recognition to improve their sales. Soon the logos appeared not only on television advertising and print media, the brand was suddenly able to personalize shirts, hats and stationery to name a few.

Logo design

Logos have now become crucial and indispensable for any business and the trademarks have undergone a big visual development within the last years as logo design has become simpler and more effective due to its timelessness as designers are now using various styles, colours and fonts with the help of new technology to make each one stand out.The importance to brand a company’s identity by the use of a logo has become inevitable, especially with the new technology and the rising online environment.

Today every successful business has a logo or trademark that people can relate to and immediately identify. We live in a brand era and a logo is supposed to speak volumes to the customer and give them an identity as well.  Brands have turned into logo tattoos where people identify themselves with the ideals of the company. People like David Beckham or Oprah Winfrey have developed themselves into a brand and apple and Nike are lifestyle choices and not just the product anymore.

But of course, no matter how good the logo, the brand has to be great and sell quality products first before the customers turn into brand’s ambassadors and reflect the company’s ideals. A brand has always to be authentic and transparent with its followers. Logos are the way to advertise and promote a business and are the unique face of a brand that speaks for itself. Logo design is a part of what gives the brand a identity through visual communication.

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About the Author: Varun Rana

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