Logo History

The History of Logo Design

The history of logo design and logos dates back to ancient Egypt and Greece. In Greek, the word “logos” originally meant – “the rational principle that governs and develops the universe”. Pretty powerful stuff! Nowadays, a logo is defined as a stylized name, word or symbol designed for easy recognition.

As far back as 2700 B.C. ancient Egyptians used ‘brands’ or symbolic hieroglyphic marks, to mark or ‘brand’ their oxen – identifying who the owner was by the unique symbol burned into the animal’s side.

Many early Greek and Roman coins bear the monograms or logos of rulers or towns. The most famous of these early logos is the sacred monogram, which is formed by the conjunction of the first two Greek letters of XR, S, T, O, and S; (Christ), usually with the A (alpha) and O; (omega) of the Apocalypse on each side of the coin. The Middle Ages were extremely prolific in inventing ciphers for ecclesiastical, artistic, and commercial use.


In the thirteenth century, logo design evolved from simple ciphers to trademarks for traders and merchants. These early examples of logo design include masons marks, goldsmith’s marks, paper maker’s watermarks and watermarks for the nobility. Other related logo devices are the colophons used for identification by publishers and printers.

These ciphers typically represented a single letter, and later a design or mark consisting of two or more letters intertwined. The cipher may be either all the letters of a name, the initial letters, or the surname of a person for use on parchment letters, deeds, and other official documents.

logohistoryThe emergence of the information age changed the face of logos and logo design. Today, the general public has become increasingly aware of visual symbols, especially those used as trademarks. It is important that the company logo look professional. Company logos are the face of the business, not only to the public, but to its employees and the company itself. Logos have become the front line of the company, the corporate identity.

The mark of a good logo is legibility and good brand recognition. Because of the diversity of products and services sold by many businesses today, the need for new, unique logos is even stronger. Since they are the foundation of a company’s visual image and branding, a professional logo design is vital.

Today, logo designers create logos that represent the core forces that shape your company’s vision, creating a visual representation of your corporate philosophy and attitudes. Your company’s branding should include a distinctive, memorable logo design that projects your rapidly growing, world-class business. To see some great modern examples of logo design click here.