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All the influences behind Meta's logo

A journey into the 90s and the lack of originality

All the influences behind Meta's logo  A journey into the 90s and the lack of originality

If with Meta Mark Zuckerberg promises to take social networks into the future, his logo definitely seems to be a leap into the past of graphic design. Since the presentation of the new platform, there have been many comparisons: from those who saw a pretzel to those who spoke of plagiarism, invoking the logos of Microsoft Visual Studio or IBM's "thiking loop". In reality, the Meta symbol was created to represent the awareness "that there is always something more to build", as explained by Zuckerberg, who traced the origin of the name to the Greek word μετά, used to represent what's behind it. To make this idea even better, the logo was designed to change and evolve as explained by the design team in a post on the company's blog, "The Meta symbol forms a continuous loop that works independently in both 2D and 3D environments. It is designed to be experienced from different perspectives, it may look like an M for the word Meta but also to a symbol of infinity, to represented the boundless horizon of the metaverse." While it does not have an established authorship, the infinity symbol is often traced back to that of Ouroboros, in which a snake or in some cases a dragon bites its own tail, thus creating a circle with no beginning or end that represents the cycle of life and death. But classicisms removed, the Metaverse logo according to Facebook is on the very long list of infinity symbols used since 2008 to date.

Bill Gardner, head of the annual LogoTrend Report, told Quartz how within his database created on LogoLounge he found over 1,200 logos similar to Meta's including one created by Danish graphic designer Maria Grønlund in 2015 for a startup with the familiar name, Metta. The font has also been the subject of criticism, including one from designer Erik Spiekermann, the mid-1980s creator of the Meta font used in West German post offices and complete with a logo that was, of course, just a symbol for infinity. While the one with Spiekermann may be a simple coincidence, Joe Darger and Zack Shutt seem to think of it quite differently.

The two founders of Meta PC said they are willing to sell the trademark applicants of their naming for $20 million. In business for about a year, last August Darger and Shutt registered the name Meta for use on computers, laptops, tablets, software and other objects belonging to the tech sphere. In case Zuckerberg accepts the offer, the two would be willing to take care of a total rebranding of their company. Waiting for an answer from the founder of Facebook, it is undeniable that the choice of logo and naming for the new platform has seemed rather superficial and approximate. The infinity symbol, with all its meanings, was a trend of the 90s: from tattoos to the covers of many records, if Mark Zuckerberg really wants to take us into the future perhaps he should have put more effort into the choice of the logo.