Is This The Most Powerful Iconic Logo Of All Time?

Cross, Crucifix

Is this the most powerful iconic logo in history?

I’ve been around the graphic design scene for many years. Logo’s have come and gone. Been revised, refreshed and made over.

There is one ‘logo’ that I’ve seen that has never really changed. It has been around for nearly two thousand years – although not as a logo per se, but rather as a symbol of what a movement of people believed in.I believe it is probably the most powerful iconic logo of all time.

I’m of course talking about the Cross or some would say the Crucifix.

It is breathtaking in its simplicity. It is awe inspiring in its longevity.

Never in human history has there been so much comment, discussion, arguments or wars over the person of Jesus and the idea of who it represents.

Whether you are a Christian or atheist, whether you believe or don’t believe, there is no doubt that this symbol, this ‘logo’ has endured the test of time and transcends culture, language and geography.

Over to you. Do you think it’s the most powerful logo/symbol of all time? If not, what would you choose? Comment below.

 

28 Responses to “Is This The Most Powerful Iconic Logo Of All Time?”

  1. Laneth Sffarlenn April 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Without getting too far into it, the cross symbol was used far further back then 2000 years and was a symbol in several major civilisations / belief systems before Christianity was even conceived…

    • Graphic Design Boss April 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

      But you’d agree with what it is generally known for now Laneth?

  2. Dennis Salvatier April 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I would agree. The really interesting thing about this symbol/logo is that the people who saw Jesus’ crucifixion saw this symbol as a terrible symbol of death (like it wasn’t already), but it wasn’t until all those people died that this symbol became a symbol of hope and love to billions of people around the world. Like you said, whether you believe or not, this is still arguably the most iconic symbol in history. That’s great marketing! ;)

  3. Jeiji April 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    TOTES agree. I don’t really need to say much else… I mean look at it. You KNOW what that is, lol.

  4. Todd Motto April 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    I was hoping this would have been Coca Cola logo! ;)

    • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 12:01 am #

      Hey Todd! thanks for the comment, ahhh while Coke is IT for many, it isn’t THAT it. Clearly. I think the best logo’s /marks evoke meaning beyond the look. I guess that is the point I’m trying to make here!

      When you think of Coke you think… When many think of the cross they think…. they both evoke feelings

      • Todd Motto April 22, 2011 at 12:07 am #

        I agree, though I do think it’s more a symbol rather than a logo :) especially as I’ve never seen any brand identity guidelines to accompany it ;)

        • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 12:09 am #

          So how do you make the distinction? Symbol vs logo

          • Todd Motto April 22, 2011 at 12:16 am #

            A symbol is more widespread (in my opinion) such as Christmas for example; some could ‘symbolise’ it with a Christmas Tree – though you wouldn’t call it a logo, it’s a symbol.

            Similarly, Religion (the one in your post) is symbolised by a Cross.

            Whereas in commercial terms, a company is symbolised by an identity of it’s own, referred to most commonly as a logo. The logo isn’t used across the world, it’s used for an individual company for one specific purpose – whereas the Cross symbol is heavily adapted and modified globally.

          • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 12:54 am #

            I think your insight indicates the difference between what we professionals can see, but what the average person doesn’t see. They don’t know the difference between a symbol and a logo. I think a logo can cross into public currency and become a symbol… like Coke and then become part of culture itself and become part of the wallpaper of society transcending corporate boundaries.

            I think many churches and denominations have take the cross (with good reason) and has been used to become a logo losing its authenticity somewhat.

  5. Dorothy April 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Bar none, the CROSS is the best symbol of all time!

    By the way, I’m in no way influenced by my religious belief—although I do have three cross earrings occupying 3 holes in my ear; plus the cross pendant around my neck; and I’ve been pondering getting a cross tattoo in the future…

    Anyway, I think you get my drift… :)

    • Graphic Design Boss April 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      Thanks Dorothy, I get the significance for you. But for many it has different meanings good and bad, yet it is still SO recognisable.

  6. Mark Collins April 22, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Religion is big business so they should have a logo but I think the cross is a symbol and not a logomark.

    These are also symbols and not logos: http://www.military-steel-helmets-and-decals.com/images/SS_Party_2.jpg

    • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 12:44 am #

      Hey Mark, your comments about religion being a big business aside, How do you make a distinction between a symbol and a logo?

      Besides us designers I don’t think the average person does or can, do you?

      • Mark Collins April 22, 2011 at 12:57 am #

        A symbol evokes a far wider range of emotions from pure hatred to fanatical love. If you are inclined to wear a crucifix around your neck you do so because of what it symbolises, not for brand Jesus.

        A symbol stands for something whereas a logo has meaning because of strong marketing/branding.

        There are grey areas and cross-overs but I’m talking generally.

        • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 1:08 am #

          I like your observation Mark that symbols evoke a wider range of emotions, but respectfully disagree – it’s not the symbol that provokes the response, but the meaning that it represents. The symbol or logo represents the visual currency of an idea or a product, people love Apple for what they create, not for their logo (well mainly :-) People love/loathe Christianity because of what it says it means, not because of the logo.

          • Mark Collins April 22, 2011 at 1:33 am #

            Not sure what you are disagreeing with. Symbols/logos are just shapes, I’m aware of this :P

            Have a great w/e :)

  7. Ryan Lockwood April 22, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    You are asking two different questions. Is is powerful? and is it iconic? Those are two different questions entirely.

    It is probably the most powerful icon for people who it means something to, but that is also it’s downfall, a lot of people are indifferent to it, in today’s society anyways.

    Now is it iconic?.. Hands down. Yes. The most iconic logo would be the cross. However, what about the question, is it the most recognizable? I would bet in today’s world just as many people know the McDonald’s logo.

    • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      Ryan, I think it has power and icon status whether you agree with its core message or not. It still provokes a negative or positive response from the vast majority of people!

      • Ryan Lockwood April 22, 2011 at 1:13 am #

        I would argue it’s power to evoke both responses in this day and age. I would bet there are more people indifferent to it than you think. I am not arguing the core message, just working in advertising I am exposed to the fact that the millennial generation are more numb to things that ever before. If it isn’t entertaining, most don’t feel either way about it.

        Just my opinion based on my experience. Great discussion topic though. I rarely comment on blogs, and it sparked my interest.

        • Graphic Design Boss April 22, 2011 at 1:18 am #

          Thanks for commenting Ryan, I would agree there are people that are indifferent to it. So let me ask you this – how do you respond to it?

  8. Mauro April 25, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Hey, I really like the way you present it here with the soft glow..nice…Could you please define both powerful? and “all time”? thanks.

  9. Ddancer April 27, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I agree that the cross is the most powerful icon ever.

  10. H O Bartley May 9, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Certainly a different set of reactions here than what we found on LinkedIn!
    But, that’s what keeps life interesting.
    The beauty is that a discussion like this is possible.
    Thank you for the inspiration.
    Funny one still finds votes for Coca Cola & McDonalds.
    A universal problem, I’d say.

    • Graphic Design Boss May 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

      Coke and McDonalds get votes as they are very powerful brands.

      I agree that we are fortunate we can even discuss this kind of concept!

  11. Craig May 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    i agree with your assertion, logo, symbol i dont believe there is a difference. Through centuries of powerful messaging, the Christian Cross may be the most powerful symbol/logo-mark in our history.They are both used to identify, an organization, a group of people or set of beliefs. The cross holds so much power because of the emotion it evokes. Just as contemporary logos that represent strong brands speak to people on an emotional level. Boy, I got trashed on CommArts for this pov.

    • Graphic Design Boss May 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

      I think the reason you got trashed on the comms art linkedin group is exactly because of the point you made Craig, the cross provokes an emotive response.

      Good insight!

  12. Anzor Yousef June 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    this is a geometrical figure not a logo !! and it came from the simple cross +
    and its been there before Christianity ( the cross )
    im not judging the meaning of the symbol .. im just saying its been there before

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross

    u have to understand the different between a logo and symbol ..
    “logos can be symbols while symbols cant be logos”

    ppl who studied graphics they would tell u about 6 or 7 symbol like this one .. talking about shapes .. numbers .. all of those old symbols .. for example the eye .. 10000 DC !!!!

    and if it was for me .. i would say star of david is much more powerful as symbol than the cross .. and it original (talking design wise)

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