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Logotype definition
Slogan definition

Logotype definition

A logotype is a graphic element which uniquely identifies corporations, products, services, institutions, agencies, associations, events, or any kind of organizations in order to differentiate publicly the owner of the logotype from other entities. A logotype is really a brandname set in a special typeface/font arranged in a particular way.
In later years however, it has come to describe signs, emblems, trademarks, coats of arms, symbols and even flags. Emblems with non-textual content could never correctly be described as a logotype. The "Nike" mark is an emblem. The "Canon" logotype is a name in special typeface or font. The "United Airlines" logotype is an emblem and a name. The uniqueness of a logotype is of utmost importance to avoid confusion in the marketplace, among clients, suppliers, users, affiliates and the general public. Therefore, once designed, a logotype should be registered as a graphic trademark, so that no other can use it, and no other can try to stop its use by the owner. Proper protected, a logotype can become an asset of great value.

Many people believe that a logotype is just a graphic symbol or sign. This is, however, not the way it is defined by graphic designers and by advertising professionals. A logotype consists of either a name or a sign and name. Sometimes a slogan is included in the logotype. If the slogan appears always in the logotype, and in the same graphic shape, it can be considered as part of the logotype. Otherwise, it should be seen as a different element, used to reinforce the identity of the owner, together with the logotype. Often the word logo is used instead of logotype. In practice, both terms are synonyms.

The origin of logotypes goes back to the 19th century, when industrial manufacture of products became important. Newproducts were distributed in large geographical areas, even nationwide. Competitors appeared from time to time, and the offer of products of a same kind increased notably. At that time, a significant part of the population was still illiterate. The industrial leaders became soon aware that the public would not easily differentiate their product from the same product of their competitors. More and more manufacturers began therefore to include a symbol,sign or emblem on their products, labels and packages, so that all the buyers could easily recognize the product they wanted. The manufacturers later began to add the name of the company or of the product to their sign. The name being shaped often in a specific way by each manufacturer, these combined logotypes, which for the first time included sign and name, became extremely popular. During many decades, when a new logotype was designed, owners, advertising professionals and graphic designers had always in mind to create a sign or emblem which would appear as logotype together with the name of the company, the product or the service.

Today there are so many corporations, products, services, agencies and other entities using a sign or emblem as logotype, that many of these have realized that of the thousands of signs people are faced with, only few are recognized without a name. The consequence is that there is a notion that it makes less sense to use a sign as logotype, even together with the name, if people will not duly identify it. The trend in the last years has been, therefore, to use trademarks and names and to emphasize instead in the design of the name, making it unique by its letters, color and additional graphic elements. This notion might be misleading though, as a small product with an emblem sometimes will grow in popularity, even grow across alphabet-borders, where for instance an arabic name would be of little help in most European markets, if itīs written in Arabic. A sign or emblem would keep the general proprietary nature of the product in both markets. In non-profit areas, the Red Cross is an example of an extremely well known emblem or vexillum which does not need a name to go with, though in muslim coutries it is the "Red Crescent".


Edited by JM. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia (