Monday, February 26, 2007

Trademarks and Logotypes

  • industrial revolution and the intro of packaging and brand name advertising stimulated business’s use of identification marks
  • Definition: any name, symbol, or visual device - or combination of these - used by manufacturers to identify their products and distinguish them from other products

Service mark

  • a mark used by an organization offering a service (insurance company, or appliance repair)

Signia, seal or emblem

  • a mark used by a nonprofit organization

Collective Mark

  • a mark used by a trade association (APA)

Certification mark

  • a mark used by a testing company to show that a certain product is of a particular quality (Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval)

Trade name

  • a name used to identify a product (Liquid Plumber)


  • Indicate the origin of the product
  • Guarantee the quality consistency: tells the prospective buyer that the product is the same as an earlier unit bought
  • Serve as an advertisement: simple enough to catch attention, complete enough to tell a story, persuasive enough to move the viewer to action, an ad in miniature


  • used on company stationery, invoices, statements, purchase orders, labels, checks, all advertising, trucks, buildings, etc.
  • because the trademark is so widely used and for many years, it is reasonable to spend months on design and testing


  • trademarks range from the literal to the symbolic
  • symbols wear better than words in trademark and say more
  • even by checking state and federal registers of trademarks a designer cannot be sure that a new mark, or something close to it, is in use

Logotypes (logos):

  • the type or lettering, carried at the bottom of the ad, that names its sponsor
  • incorporates a trademark or insignia into its design
  • gothics of discount houses
  • elements may include store name, address, phone number, hours and slogan

Logotypes (logos):

  • Redesign occurs over time when logo appears outdated
  • A poorly designed trademark that is fully used is more effective than a beautifully designed trademark only half used
  • The main goal of the trademark is to be recognized

Click here to view lecture notes, courtesy and copyright of Prof. Christopher Moore.

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