Artemy Lebedev

§ 124. Logotypes

December 4, 2005

The printing term logotype that first came into use in the early 19th century was originally used as a synonym of ligature, i.e. a character combining two or more characters.

Greek λόγος, word; τύπος, form, image

Late Latin ligatura, tie, bond

By the second half of the nineteenth century the word “logotype” was used to signify any text cliché, for example, a newspaper title that didn’t have to be typeset anew every time.

Logotype of the Trade and Industrial Newspaper. (1918?) From the collection of I. Mikhailov

In the 20th century logotype came to signify anything: typeface, sign, and their combination.

Paul Rand. IBM. 1956–1972

Rob Janoff. Apple Computer. 1976–1984

Author of the sign unknown. Font by Kurt Weidemann. Mercedes-Benz. 1985?

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