The Logic of Logos and Catchphrases

Published on

By Pam Teel

A logo says a lot about a company. It is the essence of what a company stands for and how we identify with a brand. Nowadays there are so many logos that we sometimes don’t take note of them. But if we were to look a little deeper behind the scenes we would find some interesting stories concerning some of the world’s favorite brands.

Domino’s Pizza started out as DomiNiks: Domino’s Pizza logo used from 1996 until Sep- tember 2012 in major English-speaking countries, and still used in many others. There is no mistaking this international pizza brand. But this international franchise had humble beginnings, and its logo back then was way different from the one we know and love today. The company was started by two brothers, James and Tom Monaghan, in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1960. Eventually brother Tom bought out James, who gave up his half of the business for Tom’s old car. Tom was a pioneer and visionary who cleaned up the brand and changed the name from DomiNiks to Domino’s.

The original Domino’s logo featured a semi-realistic looking red domino, with the Domino’s Pizza wordmark usually being placed to either side of the domino. The dots on the domino represent the pizza chain’s original three locations. Originally, Tom had planned to add a dot for each new restaurant opened but they opened so many they couldn’t fit all the dots.


One of the best lollipops around is Chupa Chups.

The brainchild behind the famous lollipop’s logo is none other than Salvador Dali. He designed the logo for Chupa Chups, and it has remained virtually unchanged since 1969.

And why would they change it, as they have unique artwork on every lollipop at the request of the founder of the delicious lolly, Ernic Bernat, who happened to be Dali’s old friend. So everytime you buy a Chupa Chups you know you’re getting a unique piece of art for your mouth. The painter designed the wrappers while having lunch with Bernat. Before that, Bernat worked for an apple jam factory called “Granja Asturias”. After he broached the idea of making lollipops, the investors left but Bernot went on to open the Chupa Chups lollipop Company.

Bernot was the third generation child of a confectioner Catalan family and started his working life in his parents’ cake shop. (Chupa Chups is Spanish for- to suck.) Bernot built the production machines and sold a striped bonbon on a wooden stick for one peseta each. He got the idea of his lollipops from his getting sticky hands from melting sweets. He felt that at that time, sweets were not designed for children. Shopkeepers were instructed to place Chupa Chups near the cash register within reach of children’s hands, instead of the usual placement behind the counter. The Chupa Chups Company was a success. Within five years, Bernat’s sweets were being sold at 300,000 outlets. When the candy was first created, the lolly sticks were made of wood but they switched to plastic sticks. As of 2003, 4 billion lollipops a year are sold to 150 countries, including America.


The original Starbucks logo would make Playboy blush, and consumers were up in arms: The iconic green mermaid logo is unmistakable and seems to appear everywhere. When the first Starbucks opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, it didn’t sell coffee drinks, just beans. The founders wanted to name the place after Captain Ahab’s first mate Starbuck. Before that, they considered naming it after Ahab’s boat, the Pequod but changed their mind when a friend tried out the tagline “Have a cup of Pequod.” Since Starbucks was named after a nautical character, the original Starbucks logo was designed to reflect the seductive imagery of the sea and boasted an immodest bare-naked siren with her cleavage out for all to see. An early creative partner dug through old marine archives until he found an image of a siren from a 16th century Nordic woodcut. Many customers were offended by the half naked figure and launched a tirade against the company. The company toned down the mermaid and ensured that every new design of the logo tastefully hides the mermaid’s assets.