With the unprecedented power of the web and more people surfing the internet than ever before, it’s important to have a unique identity that sets your brand above the others. The simplest and most effective way to build your brand recognition is to have a powerful logo. Monogram or letter-based logos are easier to notice and remember by your potential customers. This is because a single letter or letter combination logo is simpler to read, understand and relate than a graphic logo.
The twenty-first letter of the English alphabet, “U” represents energy that resonates with the ideas of strength, optimism and inspiration. When a name has “U” as its first letter, it represents optimistic creative expression and a strong social bonding. The person or brand is likely to prosper and gain social recognition.
History & Hidden Significance of the letter “U”
Although there was no letter “U” in the English alphabet, there was a sound similar to that of “U” but didn’t exactly look like it. Before the advent of the letter “U”, “V” stood for both the vowel “U” and the consonant “V”. Gradually, Phoenicians started to use a letter that sounded like “U” and looked like “Y” back in 1000 BC. It was called waw, which meant peg. Greeks named it upsilon around 700 BC. As the last and the 5th member of the elite vowel family, the letter “U” stands for beauty and artistic talent. People with the letter “U” in their name are usually intelligent and blessed, so what they want easily comes their way without having to put in a lot of effort.
Established in 1913 in the United States, Universal is one of the most renowned film studios with power movies like Frankenstein (1931), Spartacus (1960), Jaws (1975), Back to the Future (1985) and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) to its credit. Talking of the brand’s visual identity, the logo went through more than ten redesigns throughout the company’s history. However, all the versions were based on a singular idea and featured a monochrome color scheme, with the globe as its key graphical element.
The company’s first logo, released in 1927, showed a thick orbit around a spinning globe. The current version of the Universal logo was created in 2012, which features a sleek and minimalist globe drawing in black and white, with the “Universal” wordmark slightly arched. It uses a bold traditional sans-serif typeface, which represents the company’s values, confidence and professionalism. The arched placement adds a fun element to the logo, focusing on the brand’s eye for creativity and value of style.
Created by resolution 57(I) of the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946 to provide food and assistance to children after World War II, UNICEF is the world’s top advocate for children, with strong presence in 190 countries. As a UN agency with a distinct mandate, UNICEF developed its own visual identity in 1946 with a logo that featured a circular image, depicting the earth, enclosed into a wreath frame. The logo redesign of 1953 introduced the bold black silhouette of a child drinking a cup of milk, which reflected the agency’s main objective at the time: delivering food and milk to children.
The current logo still retains some elements of the UN logo (on which it is based), such as the olive branches and globe in the background. In 2016, the slogan ‘for every child’ was adopted as the organization’s brand strategy and became an important part of the logo. It echoes the organization’s universal motive to protect the rights of children around the globe, with priority to the most disadvantaged children. This logo highlights the challenges faced by underprivileged children, as well as the organization’s strong hopes for them.
Launched in October 2004, Ubuntu is a popular open-source Linux platform with OpenStack support. The logo was introduced that same year itself and included the word Ubuntu – an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also consisted of an abstract circular emblem in three segments with solid dots attached to them. This was a graphical representation of 3 people holding their arms out, signifying freedom, reliability and collaboration.
The redesign of 2010 changed the colors of the Ubuntu logo, and the former yellow, red, black and orange color palette was replaced with white and orange (white emblem and a solid orange circle). The new emblem can be used alone or along with a black lowercase lettering in a sleek and modern sans-serif typeface, which looks more minimalistic and professional than its previous version.
UNESCO, an agency of the Organization of the United Nations, deals with the issues of education, culture and science. Under the general guidance of the United Nations, UNESCO’s key objectives are to promote peace, comprehensive assistance, and protection of human heritage through dialogue and mutual understanding. The official UNESCO logo is one of the most recognized emblems of the world, and features three things – a silhouette of an ancient Greek temple with the acronym UNESCO representing its pillars, the complete name (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in one or several languages, and a dotted line in a logarithmic progression to the right of the emblem.
The logo suggests that the organization is the bulwark of the world and is dedicated to supporting all good endeavors and the fading heritage of humankind. The choice of color palette varies, depending on the purpose of use and the location.
Upwork Global Inc., better known as Upwork, is an American online freelance marketplace for on-demand work. It acts as a link between organizations and freelancers; while the former seeks a qualified professional to perform a short-term job, the latter offers them their services. The logo is rather simple – a wordmark featuring the current name of the organization, Upwork. The designers used two different colors (green and graphite) to differentiate the words in the logo – Up and Work. The background is plain white. Coming to typography, the word “Up” is designed in an individual font, also representing an ampersand, a personal signature, and a paperclip. The second word “work” has letters written in a sans serif typeface.
Aside from the expanded version of the logo, there’s also an abbreviated one that looks like a rectangular image. The inscription “Up” is in parrot green and “work” in white against the teal blue background. This way, the letters look clear and noticeable.
Udemy is a global marketplace for teaching and learning online. Millions of students, teachers, entrepreneurs, and employees from over 190 countries are learning new skills to compete in today’s economy. The most exceptional part of the Udemy’s brand identity is their new logo, which depicts the flow and motion of a person’s career and learning. It also depicts the story of a learner and a teacher working together to achieve their goals and create better lives for themselves. The new tagline, “be able”, is meant to capture that transformation through learning. The new brand logo features 10 new colors in a wide variety of colors, named after cities around the world to show the diversity of Udemy’s community and courses.
First founded in 2009 by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick under the name UberCab, the ride hailing company operates in 300 cities across 6 continents and is currently the most influential and large-scale taxi service in the world. In 2010, when the company was still called UberCab, they introduced a logo with a red “UC” and the brand’s name above it. When the company was renamed as Uber in 2011, the logo dropped the letter “C” and the word “Cab” above it.
However, the rest of the design remained the same. The Uber logo got its first major overhaul in 2012, where it ditched the bright red and bold letters for a darker color scheme and sleek typeface. The objective was to make the new logo look more modern and professional – both themes that the company tries to focus on in their marketing campaigns.
This logo remained the company’s visual identity for years before undergoing another major overhaul in 2016, this time dropping the “U” and the brand name entirely. The new logo features a slightly peculiar design that the company says was based on the “bit” and the “atom” – building blocks of today’s technology and the world. The crisp white and dark blue palette conveys a message of luxury and futuristic technology. The new Uber logo is perfectly in line with the company’s own innovative and modern approach to the transportation industry.
These were some of the most famous brands of the world that revolutionized their brand image with letter “U” logos. While some used a stylized font, others changed their color scheme and wordmark placement. When you work with a professional logo designer, you realize the scope and potential of letter-based logos. So, if you want to make a mark using the letter “U” in your logo, consult with a logo design agency with maximum positive reviews.
Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.