Design: Heraldry for the Industrial Age

Corporate logos strive to be daring, modern and original

Much as medieval knights brandished their heraldic emblems, an increasing number of businesses are brandishing new trademarks. Like the old coats of arms, the new logos are designed to impress friend and foe, inspire vassals with loyalty and pride, and bolster the sense of power. America's best designers are brought to bear on this imagemaking, which generally covers corporate signs, advertising, printed matter and buildings.

Some of the increase in corporate heraldry is due to a trend toward corporate reorganizations, mergers and name changes. An...

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