The most ancient logo is swastika that has been used for over 3,000 years, which is even older than the ancient Egyptian logo, the Ankh!. The word “swastika” is rooted in Indo-European word svastik, with “su” meaning “light,” (in Persian and Sanskrit), and “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix. Ancient Indians, incorporated it in their gammadion; representing the divine power that can enlighten the darkness, and purify the impure. They decorated their temples and dwellings with it to bring the divine light and to protects the community from evil spirit.
The Middle Ages were extremely prolific in inventing ciphers for ecclesiastical, artistic, and commercial use.Chi and Rho are the first two letters (??) of “Christ” in Greek ???????. (Christos). Sometimes it is called the Monogram of Christ or Chrismon or Labarum. While it was used very early by persecuted Christians in the catacombs.
The use of modern logos as trademarks can be traced back to the thirteenth century. They include masons marks, goldsmiths marks, paper makers watermarks and watermarks for the nobility, and printers marks. Logo designs are usually giving the first impression about the characteristics of a company.
A well designed logo would be flexible enough to represent the evolution of a company through time, they must represent universal aesthetic values that transcend any cultural, and social boundaries; and they must be simple and distinct.
The Prudential Insurance logo- the Rock of Gibraltar is one of the earliest modern logos that was appeared in 1896. Although Prudential has modernized this logo in recent times, it still urges consumers to “depend on the strength of Gibraltar Rock”.
This is the original RCA logo, which has not changed all that much over the years. The company’s roots are in the broad cast industry with early product focus on the marketing of GE and Westinghouse’s radio equipment. In 1929 the company made its first moves into consumer electronics products when RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world’s largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous “Victrola”) and phonograph records. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the Nipper trademark.
Today RCA is a global trademark administered by RCA Trademark Management, that selectively licenses the RCA brand.
The RCA logo which made its debut in 1910, is one of the earliest logos, in which the dog Nipper is sitting in front of a phonograph and listening in amazement. The motto “His Master’s Voice” clarifies the message of the logo. The logo is based on a painting by Francis Barraud, His Master’s Voice, originally painted with the dog Nipper listening to a phonograph cylinder machine. In April 1898, William Barry Owen, who had left New York to set up a syndicate for exploiting the Berliner Gramophone, formed The Gramophone Company, a Limited company in London, with his partner Trevor Williams. A year later, his Gramophone Company sent a letter to Francis Barraud, making him a formal offer for a revised painting that would show Nipper and a gramophone, instead of a phonograph cylinder machine, paying him a further £50 for the copyright to his painting after originally paying £50 in 1899 . At his visit to London in may 1900, Emile Berliner, the Germany-born and Washington-based inventor of the flat disc record and the gramophone, saw the painting hanging on the wall in Owen’s office in the gramophone company. Berliner contacted Barraud and asked him to make a copy of the painting which he brought back to the United States and immediately sought a trademark for it, granted by the patent office on july 10, 1900. Berliner passed the trademark on to his partner Eldridge R. Johnson (with whom he had worked on improving the gramophone). Johnson’s company, the Victor Talking machine, extended the trademark protection to Central and South America, the Far East and Japan.
Commercial logo Gallery
In 1929, RCA made its first moves into consumer electronics products , and purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world’s largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous “Victrola”) and phonograph records. This included a majority ownership of the Japan Victor Company (JVC). The new subsidiary then became RCA-Victor. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the Nipper trademark.
This graphic design of the Coca-Cola logo is the work of Frank Mason Robinson who created it in 1885. There is no proof as to who originally wrote it, but master Penman Louis Madarasz(1859-1910) was said to have told one of his students that the work was his. When the work was created Madarasz had a mail-order business and could easily have done it, and the writing style is similar to his. In the book “An Elegant Hand” by William E Henning, it states that Frank Mason Robinson, who was the bookkeeper of the firm originated the name Coca-Cola and specified that it be written in Spencerian script. In a 1914 court case, Robinson testified that he was “practically the originator” and that “some engraver here by the name of Frank Ridge was brought into it” This old Logotype has been around more than a century, which could be regarded as a measure of its success. A successful logotype will store a sense of loyalty for the clienteles.
The mark of a good logo is legibility and good brand recognition. Because of the diversity of products and services sold by many businesses today, the need for new, unique logos is even stronger. Probably the most famous Chrysler Imperial logo, the eagle, was designed by John Samsen. It first appeared on the 1962 hood ornament, reappearing in 1964 not only on the hood but in the middle of the rear bumper as well, and staying until 1975.
Rob Janoff , a graphic designer of corporate logos and identities, is probably most famous for his creation of the Apple logo. In 1977, he worked for Regis McKenna as an art director and was tasked to design the logo for Apple Computer, creating an apple with a bite out of it. Janoff presented Jobs with several different monochromatic logos, and Jobs immediately took a liking to the bitten apple. While Jobs liked the logo, he insisted it be in color, as a way to humanize the company. It is suggested that the bitten apple pays homage to the mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide by eating an apple that had been poisoned with cyanide. Turing is regarded as one of the fathers of the computer. The rainbow apple logo appears to be out of favor in the company these days.
The Nike logo represents the wing of the Greek Goddess of victory, “Nike,” .This simple logo is a classic case of a company gradually adopting its corporate image as its branding strategy takes hold. Niki’s first logo appeared in 1971, when the word “Nike” was printed in orange over the outline of a check-mark. A s, the brand became known the check-mark survived but the company name itself became superfluous.
The Nike “Swoosh” is created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University. Phil Knight the owner of the Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) was teaching an accounting class where Carolyn enrolled as a student. She began some freelance work for BRS. Phil Knight approached Davidson for design ideas for a new line of athletic footwear in 1972, and at a rate of $2 per hour, she agreed to do some designing for him. In June 1971, Carolyn presented a number of her designs to Phil and his associates. They ultimately selected the Niki’s Swoosh. Davidson received a total sum of $35 for her more than 15 hours of work. This stunningly simple corporate logo was registered as a trademark in 1995.
The logotype of Volkswagen which is recognizable all around the world is also simple and elegant. It is created by Franz Xaver Reimspiess. The simplicity of design together with its composition, achieved by repetition of a geometric V-form inside a circle, creates its striking visual impact .
Raymod Loewy was approached by Shell to redesign their logo so that it can be more recognizable from a distance, and in poor lighting conditions. Loewy’s first rendition was a redesign of a mussel shell logo that was introduced in 1900 and replaced in 1904 by the first version of the scallop shell motif. Finally, in 1971, Loewy designed the current iconic pecten symbol.
The logotype for Google, a prominent high-tech company, is created by Ruth Kedar and reminds us of the Mondrian minimalism. Kedar has emphasized the playfulness of her design, and its simplicity that conveys an illusion of non-design. According to her ” The colors evoke memories of child play, but deftly stray from the color wheel strictures so as to hint to the inherent element of serendipity creeping into any search results page … The texture and shading of each letter is done in an unobtrusive way resulting in lifting it from the page while giving it both weight and lightness”.
Andy Bechtolsheim when he was a graduate student at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, originally designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network. Sun’s logo was designed by professor Vaughan Pratt, of Stanford University. It is a stunning example of minimalism using symmetry and order. Pratt brilliantly uses the letters u and n which when arranged adjacent to each other give an impression of the letter S which in a new juxtaposition beside another u and n , it reads SUN. But the later u and n themselves create another S in perpendicular to the previous S, thus creating a square made of the word sun on each of its four sides. The initial version of the logo was orange and had the sides oriented horizontally and vertically, but it was subsequently redesigned so as to appear to stand on one corner and the color changed to purple.
In 1956, Paul Rand designed the first IBM‘s logo, using a retooled version of the City Medium fontface, a 1930 design by Georg Tromp. In the first design, Rand made the letters “IBM” to look solid, grounded and balanced. In 1972, he given the opportunity to redesign the logo. Keeping some elements of the old logo, he added eight (in another version thirteen) horizontal stripes to suggest “speed and dynamism,” that became one of the most iconic identity designs of all time time.