Logo Design History - Famous Brands Glossary

Saab logo

The logo of this world famous car manufacturer depicts a mythological bird which is also used on the official coat of arms of the Count von Skane and was used as the symbol for the Swedish province Skane, where the SAAB company was formed.

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This product is a popular and well regarded disinfectant by Schuelke & Mayr that began in 1889 to fight against the bacteria of Cholera. The logo was initially developed in 1913 by combining the first syllable of Latin word "sanus" meaning "health and welfare" with the first three letters. The image of the Greek goddess Hygieia is also used to represent health and well-being.

Shell logo

This company was founded by Marcus Samuel in 1897 to facilitate transportation. It was named the "Shell Transport and Trading Company Ltd." In 1904 the company had adopted a logo that depicted the image of a scallop. It is a refreshed iteration of this scallop that has been in use since 1971 as sketched by American industrial designer Raymond Loewy.

Sony Logo Design

The first trademark using the SONY logo enclosed in a square box was registered in 1955. From that moment on, the logotype went through a sequence of changes. By 1960, Sony started to develop its brand identity abroad and the logo was exposed in neon in Hong Kong and New York, where it competed with well-established and famous foreign companies. Sony was the first Japanese company to post such a sign in an upmarket area of Hong Kong. Designer Yasuo Kuroki modified the logo which was quickly displayed in advertisings for Sony's miniature televisions. Later on, a design policy and corporate identity were established by a committee. A number of modifications were considered until the company decided on the current logo design. This version was introduced in 1973 and is still used today despite several proposals for introducing a new logo. In 1982, Sony launched a slogan and an additional logotype to improve the overall corporate identity. Morita thought that a catchy, brief description might be needed to complement the "S mark" logo. Soon after, the slogan 'It's a Sony!' was introduced. This catchy tandem quickly became known worldwide as a unique Sony feature.

South Tyrol

This popular vacation spot has merged together with the national tourism body to pursue tourism dollars from around the world. This logo is designed to highlight the value of the region, which is why it is such a strong, sharp-edged and high-contrast image. The new logo is designed to radiate the passion, energy and inviting nature of the location, in particular the panorama reflects its ability to offer much to its visitors. The choice of colors is fascinating, including the use of blue to represent the freshness of the milk and the winter, the use of green representing the apples, meadows and forests, the use of red representing bacon and the wine and yellow representing sun which shines more than 300 days of the year.

Starbucks logo

The worldwide coffee phenomenon that is Starbucks first began in 1971 when the founders opened their inaugural store. Now there are more than 7,500 stores across the globe under the brand of Starbucks Coffee Houses, serving more than 22 million guests annually. The world famous logo represents the environment with which the company was established in the lakes area of Seattle, Washington. In addition, the logo depicting the lady and the water dates back to the old sailor tradition of transporting coffee and the coffee trade.

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SterlingSavings Bank

This is the logo of the very first German savings bank, formed in 1778 in Hamburg. Soon after this first branch opened, additional branches were also opened in further establishments in Oldenburg, Kiel, Altona and Baden-Wuerttemberg. The logo was initially put into use in 1925 and first depicted a face. The eyes were used to form the letters of D and G. In 1948, a new logo was developed as a result of the work of an experienced poster artist Lois Gaigg, where he used the S symbol for the first time. This S symbol has been further used in the most recent iteration by designer Otl Aicher. It is considered that popular opinion is that the newer logo looks like an upside down question mark.

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Stussy Logo

The world famous Stussy logo is highly connected with the 80's generation of new wave beach culture. By 1980, a Californian cult surfboard shaper named Shawn Stussy decided to apply his scribbled signature logo on t-shirts that he traded along with his boards. Soon after, the clothing line extended and its modern and raw esthetic developed into an international streetwear label. Being influenced by the ideas of fashion and culture that emerged along with the changes that were made in the music scene, Stussy managed to win success. His clothing was inspired by skaters, DJ's, musicians and artists with similar tastes. Stussy exists today as a brand with worldwide independence and respect and continues to be a leader in beach culture.

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Superman Logo

The story of the world famous Superman logo carries overtones of history, science and arts. Jerry Siegel was the man who came with the idea of Superman and than showed the story to his friend Shuster, an aspiring artist. The symbol "S" which was used to create the logo has a lot of meaning within the bounds of American culture. "S" stands for Superman, Stopping Crime, Saving Lives, Super-Aid, but it also represents the symbol of Superman's family house on Krypton. It is important to pay more attention on to the elements of the logo, which are often ignored. The two colors of the logo bear a deep meaning. Red and yellow are the colors of RAO ( the sun-god of Krypton) and SOL refers to sunlight. On the cover of Superman 4, April 1940 the Superman logo has a black background. However, in June 1940 the studio decides to change the logo into a larger 5 sided pentagon, easier to draw and color. This new version is first drawn by Wayne Boring. Paul Cassidy would later create a new design using a larger S, tightly slammed against the shield border. Today, in spite of all the changes the logo has suffered throughout time, its fundamental details remain mostly unchanged.

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re: the shell logo, Daniel Yergin's oil industry history "The Prize" says that the company chose the name & logo because the founder's immigrant father had sold seashells in London.
27.02.2008 at 10:02
Actually, the Starbucks Logo stands for a mermaid with two tails, it was a tatoo that the first owner had.
Chuck Oliver
26.02.2009 at 04:02
stussy logo is very creative and represents the time while others are so beautifull
2.04.2009 at 03:04
Interesting to see how the Superman logo changed over time.

An important piece of Graphic Design and also, an easily recognized world wide symbol.

Did you know that Superman, was created to counter the idealism of "the Uberman" that Nazi Germany was propagating?
Dick Van Dyke
5.05.2009 at 08:05
the S├╝dtirol identity was done by MetaDesign, there's a nice case study of the process in Taschen LOGODESIGN edited by Julius Wiedemann
Barbara Kimball Walker
7.07.2009 at 02:07
The name "Starbucks" comes from the first mate in the novel Moby Dick, which also led to the idea of an aquatic creature in the logo. However it is wrong to call her a mermaid; she's actually a twin-tailed Siren, the mythological creature who was said to trap sea-fairers with her song, or strangle men as they drowned.
In addition, Seattle is not part of the "lakes region" or Washington. It's situated on Puget Sound (which is basically the Pacific Ocean). A little fact checking, rather than speculation, would go a long way.
2.10.2009 at 07:10

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