I wrote a previous article simply titled The Anatomy of a Logo, I am writing this article as part two of the previous article. The Anatomy of a Logo content dealt with the more historical chain of events, but with this article I’m going to take a different approach. The History of the Logo will provide informative tidbits, such as the inspiration behind some of the more vintage Logos in history I hope you enjoy. Different and often weird situations have inspired and led to creation of the world’s most famous logos. One thing these famous logos have in common is that they strive to be different and distinct. There have been changes to these logos but most of them have been evolutionary in nature than sudden. The logos that have changed over the years show a trend towards being simplistic and ‘leaner’ than their earlier versions – possibly a change to reflect changing (and faster) lifestyles. For example, the Michelin man – the logo (cum mascot) of the French tire company Michelin develops an amiable feeling towards the company with the use of a human character.
Did you know Nike’s swoosh was done by accounting class teacher cum freelancer at Nike called Caroline for only $35! At the turn of the century, 3M was more concerned about its survival than it was about a logo. The young abrasives company was comfortable in its descriptor…”Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company.” The first logo was churned out in 1906 with the current logo designed as recently in 1978. The blue and white parts of a circle are present in the BMW’s logo that we see on its automobiles. The origin of this dates back to the 1st world war when, the fighter planes had their propellers painted by the company in blue and white so that the pilots could see through them. This inspired the design that we see on BMW’s cars. Named after the founder Adolf (Adi) Dasler, the Adidas logo has a triangle cut into three pieces. The three pieces reportedly represent his three sons!
The, now well-known, American company Apple was the first computer firm not to use its name as its corporate identity. The idea of selling a computer under the name and image of a fruit was conceived by Californian Steve Jobs and his colleagues (even the word “Macintosh” is the name of an apple variety). The motif of a multicolored apple with a bite taken out of it is a reference to the Bible story of Adam and Eve, in which the apple represents the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. AT&T use of the globe symbol symbolizes a world circled by electronic communications. Specifically, the symbol is made up of very carefully delineated “highlight” and “shadow” elements. As a result, the symbol may be reproduced to give the impression of a three-dimensional sphere illuminated from a distant source.The Coca-Cola script was designed by an amateur, Frank Robinson, the fledgling company’s bookkeeper. He devised both the Spencerian script and the brilliantly concise words beneath: “Delicious and Refreshing.”
The bottle is among the most recognizable icons in the world, a design that has come to symbolize the youthful exuberance of America. Countless variations have been released over the decades, but the enduring classic is the curved vessel designed by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, and introduced in 1915. A Coca-Cola dispenser was later designed by Raymond Loewy. The McDonald’s Golden Arches logo was introduced in 1962. It was created by Jim Schindler to resemble new arch shaped signs on the sides of the restaurants. He merged the two golden arches together to form the famous ‘M’ now recognized throughout the world. Schindler’s work was a development of the stylized ‘v’ logo sketched by Fred Turner, which was conceived as a more stylish corporate symbol than the Speedee chef character that had previously been used. The McDonald’s name was added to the logo in 1968. The visual simplicity of the Sony logo is pivotal to its design. Easy to understand and pronounce, the name is readable in any language and immediately recognizable. The name derives from the Latin sonus, meaning ‘sound’. The design of the logo has been modified only minimally since 1957, when the strokes of the letters were lighter and the word itself more expanded. The version shown here is from 1973; it has remained the same since then.