The Dewey numbers 740 – 749 are classified in Dewey-speak as “Drawing and decorative arts.” The drawing section spans 740 to 743.99. Hidden within the section, 741.6 are "graphic design, illustration and commercial art." This is one section for information about logos, but as with this title, Logo Life, one can also find the subject farther down the shelf in books with a call number of 741.67 (or 658, or 745.2...)
Logo life: life histories of 100 famous logos concentrates on the histories of 100 well known logos, showing the logo at its inception, and then depicting each new look. The contents page lists companies which will be familiar to most people.
One of the more interesting histories is that of the Apple logo. In its first incarnation, the apple takes much less space. The intricate drawing shows an apple tree, with an apple illuminated, and a man sitting underneath. A quote from Wordsworth was used: “Newton…a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone.” Besides being difficult to reproduce, the logo hardly looked “forward thinking.” For the second incarnation, Steve Jobs' only instruction was that it should not be “too cute." Robert Janoff created an apple and placed rainbow colors within it. The bite was taken out of the fruit to distinguish it from a cherry. The typeface used was Motter Tektura, considered very stylish at the time. The lower case “a” fit very snugly in the bite space. Contrary to popular folklore, the bite did not represent a “byte,” nor was it a biblical reference.
One of the most famous brand logos - Coca Cola - was created by the founder’s bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson. The Spencerian typeface, was the most popular script during the late 1800s. Robinson thought that the double “C’s” would work well for advertising purposes. The logo was first registered in 1887, with black script, but was updated with red type meant to attract younger customers. The logo of the 1940’s has stayed unchanged over the years, though additional copy or graphics may be added for specific purposes.
The concept of shipping, figures prominently in the choice of imagery for Starbucks, since coffee is is always shipped to the US from faraway places. The founders were looking through shipping books from the 16th century when they found a woodblock of a two-tailed mermaid. They liked the image and hoped that their product would be as seductive as the siren. The founders borrowed the name “Starbuck,” from a character in Moby Dick. When Il Giornale merged with Starbucks, the stars in the ring, and the dark green were taken from that logo. The mermaid's breasts which had been exposed in the first logo, were covered with hair, though you could still see the belly button. Another change came in 1992, when the mermaid was given more of a close-up where the two tails were partially out of the picture. To celebrate the 40th anniversary, the name was removed, and the brand recognition became dependent on the (now green) image.