The Logic of Logos and Catchphrases

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By Pam Teel

A logo is the face of a brand. We often buy this or that item because its “face” is well known to the world. Some of the best logos convey a hidden subtext that represents the company’s values, goals, or history. Here are two well know logos and their hidden meanings.

The shape and Font of the Dell Logo: The earliest version of the Dell logo was designed by the global strategic brand consul- tancy firm Siegel & Gale in 1984. It has been suggested that the slanted “E” depicts the founder’s ambition to “turn the world on its ear”. The emblem became immensely popular and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable logos in the technology industry.

The current version of the Dell logo was introduced towards the end of 2010. It was created by Lippincott, another famous brand- ing agency. The logo features the Museo typeface, which was designed by a Dutch type designer.

The letters were further pushed to the left on both of the “Ls” and the “E” was tilted downward to a greater extent. Another promi- nent feature of the design comprised of the blue ring which surrounds and protects the iconic Dell logotype, resulting in a graphical appearance of a globe. The company’s new slogan, “The power to do more”, was placed underneath the ring. The use of blue color in the Dell logo signifies elegance, loyalty, reliability, confidence and intelligence.

The Subway logo: The history of the Subway logo dates all the way back to the very first sandwich shop that the two original owners, DeLuca and Buck, opened. After changing the name of their restaurant to Subway, the two men developed a yellow logo with arrows coming out of the “S” and “Y” in Subway. This logo remained in place with only slight changes throughout the majority of Subway’s impressive growth until its first major change in 2002. At this point, the company began using thicker, italicized characters to spell Subway and changed the color scheme to green, yellow, and white.

For a brief period of time from 2015 to 2016, Subway also used a single color variation of their logo in solid green. Recently, though, the Subway logo has undergone another significant change. In 2016, Subway unveiled their most recent logo, which featured somewhat of a return to the original logo, losing the italics and dark green border while also adding more curves to the logo. While the Subway logo has indeed undergone several different iterations, it’s inter- esting to see a company that has kept the basic design of their logo ever since they opened their very first location. The history of the Subway logo may be short compared to the lengthy history of some companies, but, nevertheless, it has certainly demonstrated plenty of staying power. The Subway logo makes use of dark, crisp greens in order to convey the idea of freshness as well as bright yellows to convey positivity and flavor.

Concerning the two arrows in the Subway logo – which have stayed with the logo no matter which version the company, has come out with – Subway has long promoted their products to a very active, athletic audience. The arrows in the Subway logo serve to promote the idea of movement and motion. For active individuals who choose Subway over other, less-healthy fast food alternatives, this is a positive message. The arrows also convey the idea of speed, promoting the message that, in spite of the fact that Subway is fresh and healthy; it is also a very quick and convenient option.