Most western folks see a few thousand logos every day, most of the time unconsciously.
Yet, as important as they are in our personal spaces, I was completely unaware of the ethymology of the term “logo”. So i looked it up and it is quite enlightening in fact.
In Greek and Hebrew metaphysics, the unifying principle of the world. (…) It is the power of order in the world and the order itself. (…) a term in ancient Greek philosophy signifying (…) “meaning” (“concept,” “proposition,” or “foundation”).
The word “Logo” signifies “Meaning”. Can’t help thinking that this is probably one of the reasons why a good logo is so difficult to achieve.
This one particular sentence strikes me as really deep:
Logos is the antithesis of everything that is unaccountable and nonverbal, unresponsive and irresponsible, and senseless and formless in the world and in man.
So there, you have it: having a good logo means that the entity is accountable, responsible and responsive, that it has a shape and good sense. Not senseless noise, not decoration, not eye candy. Design is ultimately the pursuit of meaning, our travel to the core of the matter. That’s why logo design is – and must be – expensive in terms of efforts, dedicated time and yes, money.