Logos are an essential part of a company’s ethos. They grab attention, give insight into services or products, and establish companies apart from their competitors. Logos have been around for time immemorial. They have been used for languages and cave art, communication and expression. One can assume that as time and the minds of humans progressed, the use of logos have expanded. Logo usage has greatly expanded since the advent of the internet. 

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There are numerous companies whose sole mission is to design logos. When doing so, they have to take into consideration the wants and desires of their clients and their clients’ clients. To do this they have to understand the history of the company, what they are selling, who they are selling to, and what is desirable and fashionable at the time.

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Companies generally update their logos every few years as a way to tell a younger generation that, although they have been around for  awhile, they are still in touch with the trends of a younger generation. However, that is not always the case. Logopedia is a website dedicated to the history of companies and their logos. The site features a search option where one can look for a company and the portfolio of their logos.

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Ford, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser and the New York Times have all been around for over 100 years. The number of times they have changed their logo vary greatly. The Times have only changed their logo twice in their history while the Ford logo has changed 25 times. Recently Volkswagen announced that they wanted to update their logo. “We want people to have fun with us, we need to get more colorful,” VW’s Chief Marketing Officer Jochen Sengpieh said.

What is created by these logo designers is what semioticians can pick apart. They can identify underlying layers and add context to what the logo represents. Some companies hope to show a new face after a scandal, or others may want to update their look to increase sales. It is the role of the semiotician to understand the many facets of a logo, so that they may relate to their readers the true story the logo is telling.

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