The history of logos: how the logo became what it is today

Composite of logos
(Image credit: Future)

To most people, the word 'logo' has very modern associations. It makes us think of things like the golden arches, or the word 'Coca-Cola' in a florid script, or a chrome apple with a concentric bite taken out of it. An image, perhaps even just a shape, that is indelibly associated with a product, a brand or an idea.

However, while the word 'logo' itself was probably first used in that way in roughly the 1930s, the idea of a logo is considerably older. Seals, heralds, crests, sigils and more – all these things have been used throughout history, and all of them have contributed to the ways that logos are understood, used and (sometimes) abused today.

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Jon Stapley

Jon is a freelance writer and journalist who covers photography, art, technology, and the intersection of all three. When he's not scouting out news on the latest gadgets, he likes to play around with film cameras that were manufactured before he was born. To that end, he never goes anywhere without his Olympus XA2, loaded with a fresh roll of Kodak (Gold 200 is the best, since you asked). Jon is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq, and has also written for in Digital Camera World, Black + White Photography Magazine, Photomonitor, Outdoor Photography, Shortlist and probably a few others he's forgetting.