The evolution of logo design + branding
The Evolution of Logo Design + Branding
100 years ago when I was in College studying The History of Design, one of the courses in the Graphic Design and Visual Arts Program, we studied where the term logo and brand really came from. But like I said that was 100 years ago and I figured a summary of the history of logos and branding may just be interesting for some of you, so here you go. I will add, I actually graduated in 2007, It just feels alot like 100 years.
Let’s have a look at where logo design and branding comes from and what state it’s in currently. Why is a logo so important? How has it become an art form and created an industry that is forever advancing?
The history of logo design starts with the roots of human communication. Symbolism incorported in a logo has an important role and has quite the history as well! A logo or symbol has meaning because it dates back to centuries of signs and symbols (including our alphabet). We are taught to reference certain objects to symbolize a particular meaning. For example, if a graphic designer includes a mountain in a logo design, we immediately associate this with an outdoor theme, climbing, skiing, hiking you name it. We learn symbolism at a very young age.
To accurately communicate in graphic design, you must view the big picture of human communication and mythology. Logo design has evolved in what it is defined as today, as a strategy that became popular with brands and corporations in the twentieth century. However, the human race and organizations have been identifying themselves with a variety of symbols, signatures, and emblems for centuries.
We perceive the world around us by finding meaning in all signs and symbols that we see in our day to day lives. In the West, an image of a snake signifies evil. But without our Western culture a serpent is just a serpent. Source: Smashing Magazine.
Branding + Corporate Identity
The industrial revolution expanded the power of the marketing used to promote it. Corporations eventually discovered that a simple identifying logo or symbol wasn’t enough for distinguishing themselves amongst growing competition. “The national and multinational scope of many corporations made it difficult for them to maintain a cohesive image, but by unifying all communications from a given organization into a consistent design system, such an image could be projected, and the design system enlisted to help accomplish specific corporate goals.” (Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, by Philip B. Meggs and Alston W. Purvis).
This was the beginning of a Brand and Corporate or Visual Identity. Which is far more than just a logo.
To be continued.
A graphic designer in Barrie, Ontario