Logo Design: Their History, Purpose, and Power

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Logo Design | 0 comments

Logos are everywhere. You probably have one or are thinking of getting one for your business, product, or personal brand. Logos, trademarks, and all their equivalents have been around since the dawn of civilization and commerce. While logo styles and trends have changed over time, their power and purpose remain the same. In this blog post, we’ll take a quick dive into Logo design’s history, purpose, and power.

Cowboys branding a calf in fenced area.

Cowboys branding a calf in fenced area. Grabill, John C. H., photographer-Via LOC.gov

The History of Logo Design

While we may think or feel like logos and logo design is a more recent development, that’s not the case. From the early days of commerce and property, humans have used visual symbols to identify the ownership or provenance of an object. For example, branding is believed to have started in ancient Egypt in cattle markings. Likewise, the ancient Greeks and Roman craftsmen had their own “maker’s mark,” allowing their goods to be traded confidently. In the early days of Texas ranching, cattle ranchers developed a more intricate form of cattle branding, using their branding irons to make combinations of shapes, letters, and symbols. These unique forms were a deterrent to would-be poachers.

The Purpose of Logos

These visual symbols still do the same job today as they did thousands of years ago. The purpose of a Logo is to inform and identify. That’s it. They don’t have to mean anything. A good logo will help us distinguish between one organization and the other. This utility, the ability to be a mark of identity for an essentially faceless abstract like a corporation or business, is why logos have stayed with us for so long. That ability to identify is why we see so many different organizations, corporations, community groups, schools, and individuals use a unique logo.

The Power of Logos and Logo Design

A logo design aims to inform and identify; that is also their power. Regardless of how good or bad its design, a logo can bring into our minds any associations we’ve made with the organization it identifies. These visual symbols, be it words or icons, or both, is a way of bringing something complex, abstract, and intangible to the surface of our minds. 

While their power remains, Logos and logo designers have quite a few obstacles to consider when creating a unique logo design. First, logos have to be able to do their job on more than just cowhide. Today, logos must be able to identify their owners with just a few pixels at the top of your browser and on the side of a building. They need to look the part in digital environments and physical assets like stationery, business cards, and packaging, to name a few.

Your logo is a powerful tool. You want to make sure that it’s doing the best job possible to identify you and your business. Give us a call or email us, and we’ll be happy to help you with your logo design needs.

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