A prehistoric mural painting on a cave

History of Logo Design

  • Design Friday
  • 10th, Nov, 2021

Having a logo that stands out has always been an important part of creating a successful company. Whether it’s the unique font of Coca-Cola, the iconic Apple silhouette, or any of the other popular brand logos they are vital to a modern company’s image. However, the use of logos goes back further than you may know. We think of logos as just a modern phenomenon, but in truth we’ve been using different forms of logos for centuries, even millennia.

The Significance of Logos and Other Symbols

If you think that logos are just a way of representing a company’s brand, you’re missing some key information. While it’s important to understand modern logo design, it’s also important to know the history of logos. Not just in the way that they’ve been used to promote a business, but in the way they’ve been used to easily identify significant things without needing many words, or any words at all. Just like humans have ancestors, you could also say that logos do as well. Here are a few examples of how logos have been used throughout human history.

Prehistoric Cave Paintings

Since before humans could even speak, we’ve been using symbols to communicate and catalog our history. Even though we don’t have any written explanation for early cave paintings, we can still assume some things about them. The oldest cave art is pretty abstract, but it still shows that we were using shapes to communicate. Later on in history, the paintings and carvings started to become more realistic, typically depicting humans and animals together. Sometimes in the cave art, humans were presented hunting animals with spears, which is one of the earliest ways that humans showed their own history.A wall with ancient Egyptian carvings of eyes and other symbols

Egyptian Symbols

Ancient Egyptians had an extensive history of creating art and symbols, not only to express themselves, but to represent important parts of their culture and day-to-day lives. The ankh is probably the most recognizable hieroglyph from ancient Egyptian history. It was used as a way to symbolize life, but more specifically human existence and the afterlife. It served as a reminder of their belief that life would continue beyond death. Not only the ankh, but other art was used in a ritualistic manner. They were vessels for which the dead could still have contact with the living world. That is just a small part of the use of symbols during the ancient Egyptian period.

Religious Iconography 

One of the most well-known forms of symbols are religious ones. The cross for instance, which is primarily used by Catholics and Christians is used to represent the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made to relieve them of their sins. The cross is assumed to be adopted from the Egyptian ankh symbol. Another significant religious symbol is the Star of David. Even though it has been used for centuries to represent a variety of things by different cultures, it’s mostly commonly associated with Judaism. In the Jewish religion, the six-pointed star is meant to symbolize that God rules over us from all six directions. There are several religious symbols that have been used throughout history to serve as an example of their many different beliefs.Two pedestrian signs hanging on a chain in a city

Modern Logo Design

In more modern history, symbols have been used for marketing a company’s brand. The first logo ever trademarked was for Bass Brewery in 1876. Since the invention of the television, logos have increasingly become a more common way of branding. With a platform to reach a larger audience, creating a visual representation of a business became a much more effective marketing strategy. Even when you take brand logos out of the equation, modern humans have been using symbols for multiple things. For instance, the many different street signs that exist today are a good example of humans using symbolism to quickly communicate significant details. 

Take Advantage of Modern Logo Design

It’s clear that logos have long since been an important part of human history, and the modern world is no different. If you’re interested in learning more about logo design then Design Friday is the place to start! For more information you can contact us at (216) 714-8154 or visit our website!