Logo History and Design

Chia Ning Lee Tze-Hsiang Lee David Quick


What is a logo?
• A logo is the visual representation of a company or organization, which forms the foundation of its corporate identity. It is a name, symbol, monogram, emblem, trademark, or other graphic device designed for easy and definitive recognition by the company’s audience. • Trust, recognition, and attraction.
Smashlab: Understanding Logo Design: http://www.smashlab.com/files/Understanding_Logo_Design_screen.pdf

Images and words…

...for profit and not for profit

History of logos
• Ancient Greece • Early technology of writing and seals • Religious and political identification

Smashlab: Understanding Logo Design: http://www.smashlab.com/files/Understanding_Logo_Design_screen.pdf

History of logos
• Industrial technology changes everything. • 18th and 19th Centuries: Lithography and typography bring increased use of trademarks for merchants and businesses. • By 20th Century, logo design is established part of printing and advertising.
Meggs, Philip B. (1998). A History of Graphic Design (Third ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

What should a logo be?

“The trademark should embody in the simplest form the essential characteristics of the product or institution being advertised.” Paul Rand • Simple (Describable) • Versatile (Scalable and B&W-friendly) • Distinctive (Memorable)
Smashlab: Understanding Logo Design: http://www.smashlab.com/files/Understanding_Logo_Design_screen.pdf

What makes a good logo?
Simple? Versatile?


Smashlab: Understanding Logo Design: http://www.smashlab.com/files/Understanding_Logo_Design_screen.pdf

Trend of current logo design

2008 Logo Design Trends
1. Organic 3d: Starts with a very basic shapes that is applied to a simple transparency effect. 2. Waves-The New Swooshes:Flexibility, transfer,quickness and connection. 3. “Web 2.0” Logos:So-called the “Apple type logo”, rainbow logo,glass Apple logo bright color, cute icon, effect, simple font, rounded font.

organic 3d


Web 2.0

Apple logo

2008 Logo Design Trends
4. Transparency: Growth, development, combination and connection 5. ”Underground” Typography-Minimal fonts: Minimal Font,catch attention,provoke a sentiment or desire ,but create confusion among conservatives 6. New Rainbow/Color Scale: Sophistication,technology and freshness. There are no boundaries- nothing is impossible
Transparency Minimal Fonts Color scale

2008 Logo Design Trends
7. Sci-fi Fonts: Typographic logos,Straight edges and simple shapes. less is more 8. Leaves Logos: Synonymous with creativity and innovative thinking.web 2.0 logo feature leaves making springgreen the preferred web 2.0 color. 9. The “Ugly” 80’s: looks like kid play around mindlessly. stands out and get notices,different, never boring 10. The New Crest: Contrast between the old and new-novelty fonts against medieval lions, ancient decorations versus modern object. ”blending the right element to strike the right chord”
Sci-fi Fonts Leaves 80s’ The new Crest

2009 Logo Design Trends
1. Psychedelic Pop Background: Part 60’s psychedelic part Optical Art. 2. Origami: Small but beautiful,Japanese art of folding paper. 3. Tactile Logos:Texture,invoking the sense of touch 4. Arabesque: Arabic Calligraphy, beautiful soul of middle East. The harmonious blend of ancient calligraphy and modern sans serif fonts works like a charm.
Psychedelic Pop Background Origami Tactile Arabesque

2009 Logo Design Trends
5. Classic Modernism: Somber and calculated,white space is cleverly used. Fundamental shapes,sharp contrast 6. Pictogram: good to communicate the message of “here I am” instead of “Let me tell you about my company” 7.80’s Geometry Lesson: finetuned,visually stable and very difficult to reproduce.
Classic Modernism Pictogram 80’s Geometry

2009 Logo Design Trends
8. Typographic Logos: Deliver not only simplicity but also attractiveness. 9. Street Art: Wall paintings, a breath of fresh air, a welcome relief from digital computer art. 10. Puzzle Patterns: Using complex vector graphics to intentionally veer away from the rules. Undisciplined but skillful interplay of type.


Street Art

Puzzle Pattern

2009 Logo Design Trends
To stand out and be refreshingly different at what ever cost From an identity point of view, web 2.0 logos failed miserably. Minimalism is fading , this weakness is paving the way for spectacular remixes to take over A particular style cannot emerge and expert to stay at top indefinitely.Logo trends have a short lifespan. New trends emerge only to be contradicted by others that go the opposite direction. More will be the new less. Strong visibility and passion are dictating themes.


Original logo, 1971

• Make the belly button less obvious • Slightly alter the facial expression • Remove the unattractive shade around tummy • Siren - represent the seductive and irresistible
quality of the coffee

Until 1987...

• Coffee brown
scheme, circular ring surrounding the siren resemble cigar band label

• Head of Mercury
(mythology) - bring out the theme of swift speed for espresso coffee


From 1987 to 1992

• More attractive,
stylized version • Chest hidden • Text in the circular band simplified

• Cropped the siren, leave a
hint of tail • With the introduction of a new blend (Apr, 2008)- Reintroduced a version of the original logo

From 1971 to now


Logo design tips
• Simple is sometimes better A complex logo can be difficult to reproduce and more importantly, difficult to remember. • A logo doesn’t have to convey what your company does A logo is better designed to be able to adapted to whatever direction the company takes. • Size matters Your logo needs to reproduce at a variety of different sizes, particularly on the smallish side.

Logo design tips
• Your logo is for your audience Logo is to appeal to your customers, and should be created with them in mind. • Your logo has to have “instant impact” You probably have a few seconds to ‘grab’ the viewers attention. • Don’t change. (Almost) never Brand recognition takes time.