Unlike many would think, logos have been around for a long time. So, when exactly did the concept of logos start? Which was the first logo and who was its maker? Logos have quite an interesting history and this post will bring to light some of its origins and how it evolved with time!
The history of logos goes as far back as the cavemen era. Back when people did not know how to read or write, they used to draw symbols on cave walls to tell a story or describe their actions. Although this was not a logo we can say that this was the beginning of logos. Moving forward, the man started using family heirlooms and various symbols to represent their clan or tribe. This, one can say, is the official beginning of the use of logos. Furthermore, the Egyptians used their fair share of drawing symbols and telling stories through images, texts and symbols. Every symbol, text or image in their scriptures had a different meaning. Even the colours used to fill them with had different meanings.
Later on, the currency was introduced and the coins used for trade had some symbols and text representing which country they were used for. By this era, people even started using symbols and texts to represent their shops but they were basic symbols just to show the purpose of the store. Like, for example, for wine shops, there would be a drawing of a bottle and for fruit stores, there would be a drawing of some fruits. They weren’t very creative with their symbols and logos. It was just to serve their basic purpose of representation.
In the mid-1600s, people started printing newspapers and the concept of branding was introduced and this became a huge phenomenon for stores because some stores would use that newspaper to advertise their store and attract a lot of fascinated customers using drawings and symbols and beat the other stores to it. They also started to make their logos a bit more unique than each other so customers would know the difference.
By the early-1800s, colour printing became a common sight and it was used on products and for advertisements of various stores and so many stores had coloured logos and symbols to make their store distinct from each other. The idea of custom logos and creative logos came into use a lot more than in the mid-1600s.
In 1885, the first-ever Coca Cola logo was designed by Frank Mason Robinson symbolizing the beginning of a new era for logos.
In the early 1900s, logos were pretty common around the world and were being used in currencies, stores and even flags and more. In 1914, Pierre de Coubertin designed the Olympic logo and changed many peoples opinions about logos. He gave logos a deeper meaning and changed everyone’s way of thinking of logos by showing that logos aren’t just used commercially but can hold deeper cultural significance.
In 1956, Paul Rand designed the iconic IBM logo which was a human eye, a bee and the letter M. This, once again, was a turning point for logo design. Many organizations realized the impact a good, thoughtful and creative logo can have on their audience. This was the start for custom logo creations for many people and every company made an effort to try to design a creative logo for their company.
By the 1960s, some graphic designers and art directors thought that they should work together in order to get effective results of creating custom and creative logos. So, in 1962, Design and Art Direction was founded and they were responsible for advertising and branding many companies that worked with them. Between the years 1962 and 1964, Charles Csuri and A. Michael Noll designed the first computerized logos, once again, signaling a change in the logo designing industry.
1977 was quite popular for the creation of the iconic logo “I love NY” designed by Milton Glaser and also the Star of Life logo, which you see in most ambulances nowadays. By this time, logos had become an important source of identification for brands and they were used by almost every brand to differentiate them from other brands in the same industry and to leave an impression their customers and something they could be remembered by.
In the early-2000s, Adobe developed InDesign and Photoshop and this officially started the digitalized era for logo designing. This allowed designers to be more creative with their designs. But there was one downside to all this change and that was the fact that not everyone was comfortable with these rapid changes and people would be uneasy of new things. To ease people into the modern era of digitalized logo designing, logos were made to look as if they are photos of products off-screen. It looked as if it a 3D object on a screen. This concept is known as skeuomorphism and this helped people ease into the new digitalized era.
There was a slight change in the logo design industry, once more, with the introduction of the Web 2.0 logo. It was brightly coloured and did not use the concept of skeuomorphism. This attracted many people and so people started accepting new changes and working towards them. Simple, minimalistic, flat and colorful designs started being in use in the year 2010. Soon enough, logos became such as we see nowadays.