Advertising -- Brand name products -- United States, Apple Computer, Inc, Corporate image -- United States, Logos (Symbols) -- United States, McDonald's Corporation, Nike (Firm), PepsiCo, inc, Semiotics, Shell Oil Company, Starbucks Coffee Company
The purpose of this study is to examine the evolution of six U.S. corporate logos – Apple, McDonald‟s, Nike, Pepsi, Shell, and Starbucks – from each logo‟s inception until the newest version of the graphic emblem today. The objective is to determine the meanings that logos have for a corporation‟s identity, mission, and relationships, as well as the messages that logos convey to viewers (i.e., mostly customers). By “evolution” of logos here, the researcher means “ongoing transformation” of logos. The semiotic model used in this analysis is Charles Sanders Peirce‟s (1958 ) semiotic framework. Peircean semiotics is made up of a three-part paradigm of signification: the representamen (or the sign itself), the object (or “referent” – what the sign refers to), and the interpretant (the effect on the viewer, or the viewer‟s interpretation). Based on the semiotic data on logo evolution, the researcher found six main themes that emerged across the analyses of U.S. corporate logos. These themes are (1) Direction toward the Future, (2) Identity with Viewers, (3) Instant Recognition and Distinctiveness, (4) Consistency throughout Evolution, (5) Invocation of Change, and (6) True Representation of Corporate Identity. The ultimate conclusion of this analysis is that the communicative intent of a company, through its logo, tends to take a long time to develop. A successful logo is one that portrays the true objectives and principles of a company. For this reason, the ideal identity of a corporation tends to be built over a long period of time, which makes logo improvement “evolutionary” in nature. In all six cases, communication plays a major part in logo improvement.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Cowin, Erica, "The Evolution Of U.S. Corporate Logos A Semiotic Analysis" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2025.