What is a Logo

A logo is a graphic mark, emblem, symbol or stylized name used to identify a company, organization, product or brand. It may take the form of an abstract or figurative design, or a stylized version of the company’s name, as in a wordmark. A logo may also be used as a substitute for a company's name, if it has sufficient brand recognition.


Logos have become an integral part of a company's brand identity. A widely recognized logo is a valuable intangible asset, and is trademarked for intellectual property protection.

History of the Logo

Logos have been around for thousands of years. The earliest logos were nothing more than a simple distinctive mark, symbol or literal brand to signify the maker of a product, or communicate what a merchant was selling. For example, in 1266, England’s parliament passed legislation requiring that all bakers use a distinctive mark for the bread they sold.

The modern logo began its evolution following the introduction of trademark laws in the 19th Century. Jack Daniels’ iconic logo dates back to 1875, shortly after Congress passed the US Trademark Act of 1870 — an attempt to establish a Federal trademark regime which was rejected by the Supreme Court. In 1876, the Bass Brewery’s famous red triangle became the first trademark to be registered in the UK, after the Merchandise Marks Act was passed in 1862.

As the Victorian era progressed and the first brands were established, these trademarks became more complex, and evolved into logos as graphic design emerged as an art form. Modern-day logos have shifted from complexity back to simplicity, in order to stand out in a world of visual overload, and make them more easily recognizable across multiple media.