The Story of the Logical Expressions Logo

So what’s with the exclamation point?

It’s one of those nerd things.

When Susan and James decided to form their own company in 1994, the first task was to come up with a name for the fledgling business. Susan hit upon the answer one day while thumbing through the IBM Dictionary of Computing. It seemed that the definition for “Logical Expression” was a good match for a company that did technical writing, layout, and design.

Then came the quest for a logo. After a number of predictable and ho-hum designs based on popular examples of the day, James got whimsical.

Based on his background in software development, specifically using C language at the time, James drew the three characters that eventually formed the basis of the logo. At the time, it was something of a joke, because they knew that only another programmer would “get it.” However, to be trademarked, a logo design just needs to be unique and distinctive: it doesn’t have to make sense.

Happy with their decisions, Susan embarked on the laborious and expensive process of trademarking the name Logical Expressions as well as the Logical Expressions logo.

To let everyone in on the inside joke, here’s a little backgound. In programming, the logical operator “Not” can be used to negate a condition. For example, you can say: I am not green. Green is the condition, and the word “not” negates it. In C language, programmers use an exclamation point as a short-hand character that means Not, so an exclamation point is a logical operator in that language.

Finally, putting parentheses around a condition (such as “Not green”) turns the condition into an expression. So, by putting the Not logical operator inside parentheses, you effectively create a logical expression.

So now you know. The Logical Expressions logo is actually a logical expression that means Not!