.The Tale of Logos

By: dinesh1

Logos are everywhere to be seen... rather, we can even call them omnipresent! Wherever we go, we find ourselves literally surrounded by logos. Be it our homes, office, restaurants, market, shopping malls, roads... you name it and it's there. Since the Industrial Revolution, there has been a sea change in the commercial outlook of the world. Rapid industrialization led to the emergence of corporate organizations and business houses; all striving to make their products popular in the common market. The present century is now confronting the outcome of the Industrial Revolution that began in the 19th century- the boom of numerous industrial products and their logos, all competing to create a niche for themselves in the market.

Regardless of the present scenario, have you ever wondered about the inception of these symbolic drawings, now called logos? Most of them have not even spared a thought about its origin. The logo history dates back to Greece in ancient times. The term 'logo' was coined to mean a trademark, name or symbol designed for easy recognition. The logo made its first beginning through a cipher of single letter, and later a design or mark comprising of two or more letters. It's however, not known whether the cipher was used as the name of a person, or surname or stationary or business purpose. A number of early Greek and Roman coins bear the monograms of rulers and towns. The Middle Ages saw the abundant use of similar logos for ecclesiastical and commercial purposes.

In the thirteenth century, the logo remained in vogue as simple letterhead used by merchants in their trade. By 1700, every trader or dealer had a trademark or stamp. Marks for masons, goldsmiths, papermakers and nobility constitute the early examples of logo design. However, there was a major turn around in the late 1800's with the emergence of Industrial Revolution in Europe. There was a dramatic gain in the importance and value of trademarks on account of the growth in the number of national and multinational corporations. There was an overall transformation in the relationship between the sellers and the purchasers. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, trademarks were used just to make the purchasers recognize their items of purchase. But the scenario after the revolution wiped out the identity of the purchaser, who was now an unknown mass of people. Hence, even the trademarks evolved into larger design or symbols to communicate the message of business organizations to the people at large.

As industrialization tightened its hold over most of the countries of the world, logo designing came to be recognized as an essential aspect for the success of a business. Logos served not only as brand ambassadors but also to differentiate different products. From the 1940's to the present, logos have changed roles to express "corporate identity", "brand essence", "advertising and marketing tools". Successful logos have come to signify a lifestyle; they set the trends for the masses to imitate. Today, a company logo design stands for not only its products but also its ideal

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