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Numerous inventions and techniques have contributed to the contemporary logo, including (c. 2300 BCE), (c. 600 BCE), of languages, , , , and the development of .
By the 1950s, had shed its roots as an avant-garde artistic movement in Europe to become an international, commercialized movement with adherents in the United States and elsewhere. The visual simplicity and conceptual clarity that were the hallmarks of as an artistic movement formed a powerful toolset for a new generation of graphic designers whose logos embodied ’s dictum, "Less is more." Modernist-inspired logos proved successful in the era of mass visual communication ushered in by television, improvements in printing technology, and digital innovations.
The current era of logo design began in the 1870s with the first abstract logo, the Bass red triangle. As of 2014, many corporations, products, brands, services, agencies, and other entities use an ideogram (sign, icon) or an emblem (symbol) or a combination of sign and emblem as a logo. As a result, only a few of the thousands of ideograms in circulation are recognizable without a name. An effective logo may consist of both an ideogram and the company name (logotype) to emphasize the name over the graphic, and employ a unique design via the use of letters, colors, and additional graphic elements.