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The All and Ever Powerful Logo

Michael Dula

When you think of a great company, most likely, its logo is one of the first things to come to mind. Think Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola and Target to name just a few.

The word “logo” is derived from ancient Greek and translates as “word” or “speech”. The word “icon” translates as “image” or “likeness”. Brand identities often incorporate a hybrid of these two. Though many designers use alternative names, the word “logo” is customarily synonymous to describe a mark of identity. Around 4100-3800 BC, tokens in Uruk, in Mesopotamia, began to utilize symbols that were impressed or inscribed in clay to represent a record of land, grain or cattle, and a written language was beginning to develop. Religious sects have used symbols for thousands of years to reach their “target audience”. Logos as trademarks for metal smiths and paper merchants go back to the Renaissance. In the last 100 years, we have witnessed a surge in what these all-important “graphic signs” communicate. Across the global scene and throughout our everyday life, logos have become one of the key, central elements to identify companies, institutions, products and services.

Steve Jobs called Paul Rand, “the greatest living graphic designer.” Though no longer alive, Rand’s legend and work is highly visible today, through identities that include logos for IBM, Westinghouse, ABC and UPS.

Rand stated: A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign.
 A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.
 A logo is rarely a description of a business.
 A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.”

A great logo packs more pound-for-pound power than any other single brand communication device. The logo is the fingerprint of a brand—and brands that come out of the gate with strong logo identities immediately yield positive visibility and their return is both measurable and meaningful. A great logo should deliver confidence and conviction of the brand it represents. One thing is certain, the power logo branding and its importance are more relevant and more important than ever. The world of logos is filled with incredible design.

What logos resonate with you? Comment here and let me know.

Looking for a related post? Check out How to Know a ‘Good’ Brand Logo When You See It

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