Innovation, Imitation, Legitimacy and Deviance in the Design of Graphical Trademarks in the United States, 1884-2003

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195046
Title:
Innovation, Imitation, Legitimacy and Deviance in the Design of Graphical Trademarks in the United States, 1884-2003
Author:
Bowie, James I.
Issue Date:
2005
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Graphical trademarks, or logos, represent important aspects of organizational identity and have become ubiquitous in society. Although the conventional wisdom of practitioners in design and business dictates that trademarks should be unique and distinctive, anecdotal evidence suggests that many trademarks appear to be similar to one another. This dissertation attempts to understand patterns of similarity and difference in graphical trademark design through the lens of neoinstitutional theory in sociology. Using data on trademarks from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the designs of the over 750,000 graphical trademarks filed in the United States between 1884 and 2003 are analyzed in terms of their content, design complexity, and degree of design realism or abstraction. A series of hypotheses regarding trademark design dynamics is tested. Evidence is found suggesting that, rather than providing distinctiveness, trademarks serve to provide legitimacy to organizations by imitating the symbols employed by other organizations, particularly those within the same industry. Further analysis examines the institutionalization and deinstitutionalization of norms in trademark design within industries over time. Finally, the survival of trademarks that deviate from design norms, relative to more normal trademarks, is studied. While such "deviant" trademarks do not seem more likely to be abandoned or cancelled or to expire, further study suggests that trademarks that adhere most strictly to design norms are more likely to survive in use over time.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Trademarks; Logos; Symbols; Graphic Design; Corporate Identity; Visual Identity
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Sociology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Galaskiewicz, Joseph
Committee Chair:
Galaskiewicz, Joseph

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleInnovation, Imitation, Legitimacy and Deviance in the Design of Graphical Trademarks in the United States, 1884-2003en_US
dc.creatorBowie, James I.en_US
dc.contributor.authorBowie, James I.en_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractGraphical trademarks, or logos, represent important aspects of organizational identity and have become ubiquitous in society. Although the conventional wisdom of practitioners in design and business dictates that trademarks should be unique and distinctive, anecdotal evidence suggests that many trademarks appear to be similar to one another. This dissertation attempts to understand patterns of similarity and difference in graphical trademark design through the lens of neoinstitutional theory in sociology. Using data on trademarks from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the designs of the over 750,000 graphical trademarks filed in the United States between 1884 and 2003 are analyzed in terms of their content, design complexity, and degree of design realism or abstraction. A series of hypotheses regarding trademark design dynamics is tested. Evidence is found suggesting that, rather than providing distinctiveness, trademarks serve to provide legitimacy to organizations by imitating the symbols employed by other organizations, particularly those within the same industry. Further analysis examines the institutionalization and deinstitutionalization of norms in trademark design within industries over time. Finally, the survival of trademarks that deviate from design norms, relative to more normal trademarks, is studied. While such "deviant" trademarks do not seem more likely to be abandoned or cancelled or to expire, further study suggests that trademarks that adhere most strictly to design norms are more likely to survive in use over time.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectTrademarksen_US
dc.subjectLogosen_US
dc.subjectSymbolsen_US
dc.subjectGraphic Designen_US
dc.subjectCorporate Identityen_US
dc.subjectVisual Identityen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSociologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGalaskiewicz, Josephen_US
dc.contributor.chairGalaskiewicz, Josephen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBreiger, Ronald L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCroissant, Jennifer L.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest1253en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137354641en_US
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