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LOGO DESIGN HISTORY

 
 

LOGO DESIGN AND CORPORATE IDENTITY

The History of Logo Design and Corporate Identity
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One of the best logo design begins in England, in the 1800's. Marcus Samuel, a curio dealer in London started selling shell-covered boxes to children and tourists. As his Shell Shop prospered he took on new merchandise of various kinds, such as jewels, kerosene and oil. By 1830 his company went world-wide and consolidated as the Shell Transport and Trading Company in 1897. Due to his earlier specialty, the company adopted the simple drawing of a seashell as its trademark, and has since become the world's best known logo design.

Prudential Financial Inc, is a perfect example of a corporation using one of the most effective trademarks ever conceived. Their logo consists of a rock, specifically the Rock of Gibraltar, which has been famed throughout history as a symbol of strength. The Rock achieved fame from being impregnable to sieges when, through 1779-1783, the Spaniards failed to recapture this land from the British. This known symbol of strength, in 1896, was adopted as Prudential Financial Inc's logo, and as the symbol tells the story better than words, it remains as one of the most affluential trademarks.

Another enduring logo design from the 1800's is the original script GE. It appeared sometime in the 1890s, possibly as a decorative element for the merchandise of General Electric Company. This mark was eventually adopted and evolved into the General Electric trademark and corporate identity: a name which has survived to this day.

In our current times, logos have taken new meaning: our free enterprise society has made logos and trademarks seemly more prominent than national flags. You are likely to find hundreds of logos and trademarks in the privacy of your own home, without even realizing it, and be exposed to ten of thousands of these signs and symbols on your way to work if you live in a cosmopolitan city. We have found ourselves in a business-oriented society, which embodies the commercial reputation of products and services, encourages the production of quality products, and enables consumers to facilitate purchasing decisions.

The competition in the marketplace is fierce. There are nearly two million registered trademarks in the United States alone, and over a hundred thousand new trademarks being registered every year. With a deluge of new trademarks annually pouring into the already vast pool of registered trademarks, virtually every form of business needs to be well identified. Developing a clear and positive visual identity is essentially the cornerstone for a new company to establish itself in the market place. Equally true, is that when an established company evolves and business solutions change along with new demands of the time, the need for a revamped distinctive identity that can continue to reflect and communicate with the audience is a vital part of the company's business strategy.

The two most common constituents of corporate identity are a name and a mark. First and foremost, a company's name is the key factor in creating a company presence. After the content of the name, the most crucial aspect in an identity development is the form of the company's visual identifier -- be it a literal signature, typography, or wholly based on the graphic symbol alone, or combining logotype, graphic symbol together for greater recognizability. The symbol-only is generally an ultimate choice, but it can be more difficult to associate successfully to a company's identity, and requires extensive time and money to promote. Combination logo designs are cost effective because they can increase psycho-emotional value and appeals to a wide variety of audience more effectively. Our own observation reveals that contemporary corporate identity design is exceedingly leaning toward this trend.

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