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History of Logo Design: from Ancient Times to Modern Era

What comes to your mind when you think of logos? Do you immediately recall a brand or product? Well, that’s the power of a logo! Today, businesses are engrossed into all sorts of branding activities out of which logo design occupies the central position. You will not find any business without a logo or trademark these days. Logos allow business owners to distinguish themselves in a world cluttered with thousands of brands.

So, how did this all get started? Well, there obviously are different ideas and viewpoints describing the actual evolution of logo design. Let’s take a sneak peek at the world of logo design including its past, present and future as well.

Pictographs, an Earlier Adaption of Logos

Ancient pictographs by Shutterstock
Egyptian hieroglyphics by Shutterstock

Logo finds its genesis in Greek etymology. It is derived from ‘logos’ meaning ‘word’. The Greeks used to heavily rely on logos to get their concealed messages across kings and rules. Moreover, many ancient Roman and Greek coins showcase monograms (referred to as logos in the present era) of their kings. If you think only the Greeks and Romans used logos for different purposes, you might be slightly mistaken. The Assyrian, Mayan, Chinese, Egyptian and Babylonian cultures also made use of pictographs for communicating their ideas and words. Now, these pictographs can be termed as ancient logos. If we talk about the 13th or 14th century, the monograms as described above were transformed into trademarks. Farmers, goldsmiths, merchants and everyone involved in trading used trademarks. In fact, branding is centuries old. When there was no way of identifying their cattle, farmers imprinted signs on cattle using hot iron stamps.

Logo Design During Industrial Revolution

Coming to the 18th century, the age of Industrial Revolution, logo design & branding became all the more intense. Businesses, gradually, started embracing the branding culture in one way or the other. With products being manufactured on a mass scale, merchants & businessmen had to find ways to make their products different & unique. With the advent of technology, logo design became all the more popular. The rise in visual arts and lithographic processes, further added, to the growth of logo design. Talking about the 1890s era, logos found their way into corporate branding. The Prudential Insurance’s ‘The Rock of Gibraltar’ logo was a huge success. Then, there was the old Nipper trademark of RCA wherein a Dog ‘Nipper’ sitting in front of a phonograph had a slogan ‘His Master’s Voice’.

What’s Trending Now?

The present age of logo design & branding has its root in 1950s. The Chase Logo crafted in 1960 by Chermayeff & Geismar paved way for the modern logo design. Today, designers use latest technologies and include excellent graphics to churn out exemplary logo designs that simply take your breath away. With competition levels soaring new heights, logo designing has become indispensible for businesses. Also, if any business plans to launch a website, then logo plays a crucial role here. Now-a-days, you simply cannot afford to ignore the power of logo design. The logo design in recent years has become simpler and effective. Designers use various styles, cool fonts, visual effects etc to craft unimaginable logos for businesses.

What Lies in the Future?

Well, having talked about the past and present of logo design, it becomes obvious to discuss about what lies ahead for this vital part of branding. As designers become more experienced and new technologies get introduced with every passing day, logo design is expected to become all the more stronger and important part of marketing strategies for business organizations. No matter what skeptics say, logo design is here to stay and will continue to gain new heights in the years to come. What do you think?

Sources: The origins, history and future of logo design, Logos, a history.

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Barton Griffiths

Are you eager to discover some valuable historical insights on web designs and the topics related to digital marketing? Then see what Barton has prepared.

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106 responses to “History of Logo Design: from Ancient Times to Modern Era”

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