Please read the passages below and then answer the exam questions at the bottom of the page.
HISTORY OF LOGOS
Man needs identity — a symbol of recognition. This identity mongering had started well before any systematic written language evolved. The significance of this identity crisis can be seen vividly in the primitive societies when they indulged themselves in fights to show dominance. Wars were waged; battles were won and lost; strategies were changed and alliances were made and broken. But in this entire turmoil one thing stayed intact: that is the identity – the Logo. The name ‘logo’ may seem to have come into existence only in recent years but in fact it has been with us all along the annals of human history.
A headman of a small primitive community or an emperor of a great civilisation needed some sort of symbol to make a profound impression on his subjects. Therefore, the symbol should be so grand, so different and so fearsome in some cases, that the subjects would hold it in veneration, either out of wonderment or out of fear. A particular individual of importance could not be everywhere all the time but his symbol could when it was engraved in stone, wood, metal, or dyed on cloth. It would stay there for all to see and to pledge alliances to it.
The torch, from the crude one made out of reeds to a well crafted brass or even gold, like the one we use now for the Olympic Sports Inauguration, could be considered the first of such symbols. As primitive societies feared fire, the one who could hold fire in his hands was the one who could dominate the Earth.
Then came a more convenient and practical way of representing one’s identity – The Flag. Each group used a brightly coloured pennant when several groups met. Isn’t the pennant used in these days in more subtle activities like sports? The flag of a community or a country or a religion or a social organisation is always held high with pride and dignity. Desecrating the flag is a sin in religion and a serious offence in politics.
The flag, though not as much as the torch, was found to be a little cumbersome to carry about all the time, particularly indoors. The flag had to be flown high on top a tall structure for everyone to see and marvel.
What about the identity or the importance of a particular head of a group when the Heads of groups got together? The answer could be a smaller flag, a replica of the original, pinned on to the shoulders or lapels of the coats of the dignitaries! And there the coat-of-arms made its entry.
As the symbols of representation carried one’s status, stature and wealth, they got to be rich in looks, clear in expressing the position of the bearer, and more importantly, they should not be the same in appearance as those of the other bearers. It wasn’t for nothing that the craftsmen who designed them were held in great respect and were paid handsomely.
‘Branding’ is also not a new entrant. Long ago, the primitive communities, realising that a scar on the skin stayed longer and clearer than any dye marks, used to cut some marks on the faces or hands of the persons of importance such as a headman, a chieftain or a warrior for decoration purpose and easy identification. And that legacy is still continued in some clans in some remote parts of the world to this day.
The Exam Paper