In the age of the internet, everybody knows what a logo is. They are everywhere. Every company, association, service and whatnot have one.
It is the one sophisticated graphic, be it an image or a word, that will become so integral that it will identify with the company or service or party or whatever so that simply looking at it will make an individual think of whoever is behind the logo.
Quick example? The blue bird. No matter where we see a graphical blue bird, even if it is out of context, the first thing that will come to mind is the company that uses the blue bird as its logo: Twitter.
What does a logo mean however? Is it even a word?
“Logo” is actually a short version of the word, “logotype”, making its way to the English language in 1937. It means “a single piece of type or a single plate faced with a term (as the name of a newspaper or a trademark) or an identifying symbol“.
“Logotype” is the Greek word “λογότυπος” which, as is obvious, made it to the English language as is.
“Λογότυπος” is a compound word made of “λόγος“, read “logos“, and “τύπος“, read “tipos”. In this context, “λόγος” means “communicated message” while “τύπος” means “print”. Notice that the word “τύπος” has also made it to the English language in words such as “typography”.
“Λογότυπος”, or “logotype”, was originally used for the printed word. Short printed sentences. The ability to communicate more than the printed word itself by using just one printed word, gave birth to the logos we see around us nowadays. A simple image or word that communicates much more than the image or the word itself.
In its Greek version, the printed message does not need be a single word. A name, title or phrase can all be a logotype.