Sunday, February 10, 2008
In 1930, Goro Yoshida and his brother-in-law Saburo Uchida created Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in Japan. Four years later, they created their first camera, called the Kwanon. It was named after the Kwanon, Buddhist Bodhisattva of Mercy. The logo included an image of Kwanon with 1,000 arms and flames.
Coolness of logo notwithstanding, according to the Canon site, the company registered the differently spelled word "Canon" as a trademark because it sounded similar to Kwanon while implying precision, a characteristic the company would like to be known and associated with.
There's a few more nice examples of logo evolution from the smart folks over at: Netorama.