The Power of Symbols

I recently spent some time in Egypt and visited many ancient temples and sites. Many of these sites had internal walls covered in brightly painted ancient hieroglyphs. These hieroglyphs constitute one of the worlds first alphabets. They have enabled archaeologists to  understand many of these ancient sites, and  the ancient Egyptian history and culture.

Ancient Egyptian writing uses more than 2,000 hieroglyphic characters. Each hieroglyph represents a common object in ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs could represent the sound of the object or they could represent an idea associated with the object.

Seeing these inscriptions got me thinking about the power of symbols and the power of story and mythology. Creation mythologies and stories are instrumental to so many cultures and histories. Whole civilizations activities and culture have been legitimized by their respective mythologies.

Within this context and reflection on symbols I realized just how deep seated my awareness of branding symbols or logos were. How are these modern symbols? Do global brands have their own creation myths or brand essence which transcend both geographical distance and culture associated with these symbols?

One thing for me is clear, that many global brands have their signatures or logos so inscribed in my own consciousness, that I was suprsied just how many brands I still recognizable even when the text was written in a foreign script…..

It just got me thinking…..

LATER: great related post here on the presentation zen blog by Garr Reynold’s called “Logos, Seals and Your Identity


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