Logo research

Task: Your journal task for this week is to research logos and talk about famous ones, their origins, what makes a good logo and why are they so important for brands even today. Try also to define what a logo actually is and possibly how they have been used across history (for example you can talk about how religious symbols garner instant recognition such as the crucifix/ Islamic crescent moon and star)

What is a Logo?

A logo is a sign, symbol, trademark or badge which conveys the identity or ownership of a product, company, campaign or concept in as memorable a way as possible.

http://visual.ly/history-logo-design – History of logos

  • 1800 ‘Logo Habilis’ – A logo was nothing more than a distinctive mark, symbol, or literal brand to mark who the maker of the product was.
  • 1800-1900 ‘Logo Erectus’ – In the victorian era logos started becoming more complex and being produced in all shapes and sizes. This is when brands started becoming established by business owners such as John Cadbury, although a logo rarely had anything similar from one to the next apart from the company name.
  • 1900-1930 ‘Logo antecessor’ – In the early 1900’s the ancestors of the modern logo were born, it is during this time that we start to see logos and corporate identities being trademarked for the first time.
  • 1930 – 1980 ‘Logo rhodesiensis’ – This is when strong ideas began developing, carving out the brand. The graphic design giants like Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, and Alan Fletcher revolutionised the art of logo design and developed the principles of simplicity that most designers still work by today.
  • 1980 – Present day ‘Logo Sapiens’ – Modern day logos of the brand era. Logos today and simple, flexible, can adapt to any kind of media and are truly built to last for their brand (Until the next step in evolution)

Some famous logos are Mcdonalds, Starbucks, Coca Cola, Ford, etc.


  • The coca cola logo was created in 1886 Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name Coca‑Cola, thinking that ‘the two Cs would look well in advertising’. He wanted to create a unique logo to go with it, and experimented writing the company’s name in elaborate Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of the time.
  • The famous logo has kept its unique logo pretty much the same for all these years except for a year 1890-1891 where the logo had extra swirls. After this the logo returned to its original font and didn’t change again.
  • In 1969 the iconic white ‘wave’ known as the ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’ was added to the logo which is still used to this day.
  • 2011 – 125 years of happiness – Coca‑Cola’s 125th birthday logo sees bubbles bursting from our famous Contour Bottle – a celebration of our past, present and future.

What makes a good logo?

5 principles of effective logo design

  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Timeless
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate
  • A simple logo design allows it to be easily recognised and memorable. Good logos feature something unique without being overdrawn.
  • Also it has to be appropriate for its audience such as the logo for ‘Toys R us’ they use childish font and lots of colours this is appropriate for children but would not be appropriate for a serious brand.
  • A logo should ideally be timeless, when designing one think ‘would this still be effective in 10, 20 years?’
  • Versatility is an important aspect of a logo as a lot the time they need to be distributed in different sizes and the design of the logo needs to acquire to that.



Typography research


  • The most common method used to measure type is the point system, which dates back to the eighteenth century. One point is 1/72 inch. 12 points make one pica, a unit used to measure column widths. Type sizes can also be measured in inches, millimeters, or pixels.


  • Leading describes the vertical space between each line of type. It’s called this because strips of lead were originally used to separate lines of type in the days of metal typesetting.


  • Kerning describes the act of adjusting the space between characters to create a harmonious pairing. For example, where an uppercase ‘A’ meets an uppercase ‘V’, their diagonal strokes are usually kerned so that the top left of the ‘V’ sits above the bottom right of the ‘A’

Hierarchy and scale

  • If all type was the same size, then it would be difficult to know which was the most important information on the page. In order to guide the reader, then, headings are usually large, sub-headings are smaller, and body type is smaller still.
  • Size is not the only way to define hierarchy – it can also be achieved with colour, spacing and weight.
  • Serif fonts – Have ticks on the end such as Times New Roman
  • Sans-serif – Fonts without the ticks such as Arial & Helvetica.



Layout research

When designing the layout for a print and screen there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration

  • The amount of content that can fit on to one page on a print will be spread out over a few pages on the iPad version due to the difference in size.  The print version is larger therfore can be more content heavy without looking overdone. Whereas the iPad screen is smaller, therefore needing larger text. Also because the screen version has less resolution than the print version it needs larger text to compensate. The reader will be looking at a bright screen it is wise to keep the size and amount of content fairly large so the reader doesn’t strain their eyes.
  • When designing the screen version choose the most important and relevant information that needs to be included, and leave the rest out.
  • Print – 300 ppi | Print – 130 ppi (Pixels per inch)
  • Newspaper pages are laid out on a grid which consists of a margin on 4 sides, a number of vertical columns, and space in between columns
  • Newspapers grids are based on a different number of columns, depending on paper size and design preference. Common page grids include: 4 column, 5 column, 6 column, and 8 column pages.
  • Newspapers sell advertising space on a page to retail advertisers, advertising agencies, and other media buyers.
  • Ads are measured using column inches. A column inch is a unit of space one column wide by one inch high.
  • Online newspapers and magazines take a very similar approach in terms of the layout, text, colours, etc. The colours in general are bright and the text is large. Both keep informative text to a minimum and focus mainly on the bold titles of stories where the reader can then be directed to a new page to read the information.