(A logo)should look just as good in 15-foot letters on top of company headquarters as it does one sixteenth of an inch tall on company stationery.
    Steven Gilliatt, Director of Design, Lippincott & Margulies, 1987.

Derived from the Greek term logos meaning word, reckoning, or thought logo first appeared in the English language in 1937. Some say it’s possibly a shortening of logogram, ‘a sign or character representing a word’. One example would be @ for the word “at”. A second origin of the word could be from logotype 'a single piece of type bearing two or more letters or an entire word'.

Typically a logo is a trademark, symbol, colophon, an identifying statement or motto that is principally put on a single printing plate or section of type. Frequently organizations adopt a one to identify their designs or products.

The earliest known application of the word is in the magazine Advertising and Selling. The monthly supplement of the weekly trade magazine was Advertising Arts, which was a unique trade magazine that wanted to integrate modern art into the starchy conventional commercial culture of the early 30's. They perceived ways to incorporate new design trends and progressive ideas “adopted by radicals” into everyday practice, sought to report on them rather than actually create these advancements and offered them with such sensible fervency that the magazine became the vortex of evolving American graphic and industrial designs of the decade.

One of these up and coming logo designers Clarence P. Hornung published several important books on antique design resources, noting in Advertising Arts that, “The average American trade-mark is born of late Victorian ancestry. It is colorless in dress, overwrought in detail, sedate and somber in mien. Thrown into modern advertising society, it evinces the propriety of gingham and ‘yellow tans’ at a formal function.” His resolution was to construct trademarks in a modern light by streamlining and geometrocizing (sic) them. By the time the 1939 New York World’s Fair: the World of Tomorrow rolled around the magazine was defunct but many of the modern graphics, packages, and industrial design concepts that were championed by the magazine were appreciated there and inspired others to create logos.

Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure and widens your world.

Do you know why the Pittsburgh Steelers have a logo only on one side of their helmet?

The Steelers logo was first developed by the U.S. Steel Corporation, but was afterward taken on by the American Iron and Steel Institute to stand for the whole steel industry. So it was a likely pick for the logo for the then plain-helmeted Steelers, even if the proposal did come from Republic Steel, a business headquartered in the arch-rival municipality of Cleveland.

It was in 1962 when Republic Steel pitched the idea of using the Steelmark to the Steelers suggesting they sport it on their helmets seeing as they symbolized the Steel community. At the time they were wearing gold helmets and some were unsure about what the decals would look like. Additionally others were reluctant about using what was basically an advertisement on their uniform. Still, they liked the idea, so for that season they agreed to let the new logo adorn the Steelers helmets.

Even Jack Hart the equipment manager wasn’t confident if the new detail would look good against the gold surroundings so he only applied it on the right side of the helmets. As It turned out 1962 was also the first season that the Steeler’s had ever made the playoffs and to commemorate the event they exchanged the gold painted helmets for black ones to set off the new logo. Because the one sided logo coincided with their first appearance in the playoffs the team decided to leave it on one side of the helmet permanently. The Steelers are currently the only team in the NFL, CFL, WFL or CFA to wear a one sided logo.

The significance of the colors in the Steelmark logo was extended during the 1970s to include the three resources used to manufacture steel: yellow for coal, orange for ore, and blue for steel scrap. By the way the four-pointed star shaped icons in the Steelmark are called hypocycloids. They are created by tracing a point on the edge of a circle as it revolves around the inside a bigger circle. Today's helmet replicates the way the logo was initially applied and remains unchanged.


Advertising Arts: America Becomes Modern(istic):


The History of the Pittsburgh Steelers Logo:

Online Etymology Dictionary:

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