Why is Samsung called like that? The origin of the Korean tech giant’s name and logo

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According to the annual report that the prestigious Forbes magazine produced each year, the South Korean multinational Samsung currently occupies the 8th position in terms of the most sought-after brands in the world. It is a true electronics giant, a true icon respected in its country of origin, and its name is synonymous with high-end mobiles, TVs that have cemented new technologies, etc.

But like many companies in its sector, Samsung started out as something else …

The 8th in the world

Founded in 1938 by Lee Byung-chul like a international trade company that was diversifying into areas such as Food processing, the Textile industry or even the Insurance sector, it was not until 30 years later, since in the late 1960s, when Samsung entered the Electronics industry.

The original Samsung logo

From here on, its growth in the sector was constant and diversified into different industrial affiliates that include construction companies, engineering companies and even boat manufacturers. And also in Samsung Electronics, which in 2017 became the largest information technology company, manufacturer of consumer electronic devices and also chip maker.

We can continue with figures, business divisions, etc, etc. But we have come to talk about something that has remained constant in the 83 years elapsed from when it was a company to the current business conglomerate: Your name. It was founded as The Samsung Group, and that name has stuck. But what does it mean?

Three stars

The name Samsung has a real meaning behind it, hidden due to the foreign origins of the company. First of all, it should be noted that Samsung is a company with Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and as such, his name is purely Korean. Samsung is actually a word made up of two parts, each with its own meaning:

  • Sam: Three
  • Sung: Stars
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When combined, Samsung literally translates as “three stars” or “tristar”. It is Korean symbol (‘hanja’) means that Samsung is “great, numerous and powerful” (translated from ‘sam’ hanja), and ‘eternal’ (as in ‘sung’ hanja). Therefore, it is a word that evokes something great, powerful and eternal embedded in the DNA of Samsung, its brand name.

Logo evolution

Interestingly, those same three stars were reflected in the company logo from its earliest days,in the 1930s, when Samsung started out as the business of a few families of landowners. The logo included 3 stars, 3 stripes and wheat plants within a circle. The stars, as we see, are related to the name of the company, while the wheat plants highlighted its agricultural roots.


Enlarge

With the introduction of the brand’s first black and white television in the 1960s, the need to update the logo became apparent. Although the new emblem was based on the same visual metaphor – three stars in a circle – it had a different, cleaner look. In addition, a word mark appeared next to the symbol.

And the ‘tristar’, those 3 stars, continued to accompany the South Korean company during the following decades, varying their shape, design and style, but ‘attached’ to the name. Even thoughand everything changes in 1993: This is the year that the current Samsung logo was born. You can see the now familiar bold sans serif letters within a blue ellipse. Most importantly, in this version the iconic “A” appears without the horizontal bar.

12 years later, in 2005 the design team decided to discard the ellipse. And nowadays, both logo with ellipse and logo without ellipse are used. One of them is a primary logo, while the other is secondary.

(The) Samsung Group

Now, Samsung has been one of the 10 most valuable brands in the world for years. And although the stars no longer appear in its logo for a long time, they do not abandon the enormous status it has in sectors such as Technology, perhaps with which we most identify it today at the popular level.

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