Shapes in Nature and around us
The meaning of logo is a symbol for instant recognition. Shapes, sizes, and colors of things (both living -and non-living) contribute to their recognition.
Let us take a small example of a very common object, say table. A table could be circular, square, rectangular or even with an irregular shape. But there is something unique about a table that you can easily distinguish it from a bed (even a small bed).
Then, a table itself can have many variations like a dining table has longer legs than a center table. A side table is much smaller in size.
We are accustomed to a symbolic recognition of shapes and sizes ever since we were a child. Trees have a certain shape. Not that all trees are of the same shape but there are similarities enough to make you recognize a tree as a tree and not as a building or a car. Even if you see a computer icon with shape of a tree, you would recognize it.
If we talk of movable living things, we see that different species have different shapes for them to be recognized instantly. The cat family is different from the reptile family and so on. There are various categorizations even within cat and reptile families.
Such is the creation of nature that everything around us is so unique. Another interesting fact to note is that unique things are found in groups or communities. Be it animals, various type of vegetation etc.
Logos in history
Man-made logos came into existence very early in history when our ancestors realized the need to live in communities. They used unique patterns of shapes and sizes to identify themselves and their community.
With the advancement of mankind, there were more organized communities headed by leaders who then wanted unique identities of their communities. This gave rise to perhaps first kind of logos that kings created for their kingdoms.
These symbols were then used as a tool to keep the armies, common citizens and other members of a community together. First, these symbols were used in all forms of communication by community leaders. Later, these symbols were also used on common tools of the transaction such as currency and all state documents.
Modern day Logos
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, industrialization, trade, and manufacturing saw huge growth and also competition. This created the need of manmade logos for businesses who wanted to appear unique. Logos helped them get an instant recognition in the market and to some level create brand loyalty in their customers.
With the advancement in global economic activity, businesses also became more advanced and complex and today these symbols of recognition serve many purposes for the business they belong to. Earlier it was just the customers, but now logos are also used as a tool to unite employees and other stakeholders. When businesses diversify, they use their logo to attract customers for the new offering by riding on the recognition of their existing logos.
Looking back at history, we remember the mighty king Ashoka by symbols like Ashok Chakra, and the stupas that he associated his kingdom with.
How do you want your business to be known as?