The name Canon carries such meanings as "holy scripture" and "criterion or standard of judgment." It effectively captures Canon’s corporate spirit, which aims to set a global standard for advanced technologies and service while becoming a criterion in the industry to which others will aspire. The Canon logo, introduced in 1935, has undergone several changes as the company has grown. Despite these modifications, the strong character reflected in the sweeping inward stroke of the "C" has remained intact from the day that the company was founded. Striving for consistency in communication since day one has greatly contributed to the worldwide trust that the Canon brand enjoys today.
Origin of the Logo
Today, the Canon logo, with its vivid red color, is familiar to people around the world. However, the logo underwent a number of changes before reaching its present form.
In 1933, when Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory was established, the name given to cameras manufactured on a trial basis at the time was Kwanon. This title reflected the benevolence of Kwanon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, and embodied the Company's vision of creating the best cameras in the world. The logo included the word with an image of "Kwanon with 1,000 Arms" and flames.
When the Company sought to begin full-scale marketing, it needed a brand name that would be accepted by people worldwide. From this standpoint, in 1935 the name Canon was registered as the official trademark. The word Canon has a number of meanings, including scriptures, criterion and standard. The trademark was therefore worthy of a company involved with precision equipment, where accuracy is fundamentally important. It also embodied the Company's desire to meet world-class criteria and industry standards. And since Canon and Kwanon had similar pronunciations, the transition went smoothly.
Evolution of the Logo
A designer specializing in advertising created the original Canon logo in 1935. The "C" was unique in that its top end curved inward, ending in a sharp point. This style of typeface did not then exist in Europe or North America. The Canon name and logo were created to reflect the Company's global perspectives, which it adopted right from the beginning of its history.
Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory underwent several name changes before the adoption of Canon Camera Co., Inc., in 1947. This change was significant in that Canon brand and company names were unified for the first time in its history. Several versions of the logo were also used, until a unified version was created in 1953. After further refinements, the logo used today was perfected in 1955. It has remained unchanged for nearly half a century.
|The engraved Kwanon logo was used on cameras trial-manufactured by the Company (but not actually released in the market).
|The Canon logo is registered as a trademark. Prominent features were already inherent in the refinement process.
|Unification of the logo. The image was further refined to achieve an overall balance.
|The current logo was the culmination of painstaking and meticulous design efforts.