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Where your favourite technology brands came from

  • 7 May, 2019


You hear the names Google, Microsoft, Cisco and IBM all the time, but have you ever stopped to think where these names actually from? And what do their logos really mean? Are they just shapes organised nicely together or is there a deeper meaning behind them?


Originally, the business started by Larry Page and Sergey Brin was named Backrub. After a while they decided to change it. They envisioned their search engine as the biggest, potentially infinite amount of information on the internet. So, they thought of the biggest number they could think of, a googol. A googol is written as the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. It’s big! You’re probably wondering why Google is spelt differently. Well that’s simply because when they came to register the domain someone made the mistake of spelling it wrong. The founders liked the new version and stuck with it.

where was google logo from


There doesn’t seem to be some deep meaningful thought process behind the name of Apple. When Steve Wozniak was asked where the idea had come from in the mid-1980s, he said that Steve Jobs had just turned to him when they were driving on the freeway and said “I’ve got a name: Apple Computer.” Jobs mentioned that he had been working at Atari at the time and it got them ahead of them in the phone book.

When Apple had their first logo designed, it depicted Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an Apple tree. It wasn’t long before this logo was replaced by their iconic rainbow apple logo. The bite in the logo is simply there so that it was not misidentified as a cherry. As time went on and Apple prioritised sleek designs, the logo became monochrome.


Cisco was founded in 1984 by Leonard Bosark and Sandy Lerner, two computer scientists who studied at Stanford University together. The name Cisco derives from the location they started the business, San Francisco. This is often why the logos over time have always looked lower case as it is the second part of the word.

Cisco’s logo is extremely identifiable but a lot of people do not know the reason behind it! It actually represents the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s most iconic landmark.


Before it was called IBM, this company was known as the International Time Recording Company (ITR). After going through several name changes and logo redesigns, the name International Business Machines Corporation (or IBM as we know it) was finally settled on.

The designer of the logo, Paul Rand, said that he wanted to show the “speed and dynamism” of the business through its logo. That’s why he chose the horizontal blue stripes.

What About Tesrex?

I’m going to let you into a little secret about Tesrex.

Deciding on a company name is harder than you’d think. No, really. You have to think about what you want that name to achieve. Do you want people to instantly recognize your industry? Get a grasp of the company ethos? Be catchy but not cheesy?

We knew what we wanted for the company. We wanted to hire the most talented people with incredible work ethic. We wanted to create a dynamic and exciting workplace. We wanted to provide exceptional customer service and really nurture the relationships that we built along the way. But how do you sum all that up, in a name?

So, we brainstormed. We wrote words on the whiteboard. We talked, vetoed, laughed at, ooh’d, ahh’d and genuinely spent weeks struggling to find what we wanted. We talked about our favourite company names and how we could emulate them.

Around the time we decided it should be a single word, we started looking at domains. Once you come up with the perfect name, you have to ensure it hasn’t already been taken. Frustratingly, some of them existed. Back to the whiteboard. We’d been throwing around the word “tech” and how it could be incorporated for a few days when an idea started bubbling up.

Here’s how the resulting conversation went:

Me: Ooh I have an idea for a company name…

Robert: Let’s hear it.

Me: You know those funny t-rex t-shirts where t-rex tries to do normal stuff but he can’t because his arms are too short?

Robert: No.

Me: Hear me out though.

Robert: [Sighs] Ok. Go ahead. (BTW – during this conversation he is actually wearing his ‘T-rex hates pushups’ shirt.)

Me: Ok, are you ready?

Robert: Do you want a drumroll? What is it?

Me: Techasaurus Rex.

Robert: [Laughs] Yeah that’s funny. I like it.

Me: Really? Can we use it?

Robert: Absolutely not.

I was a little crushed. Especially since I’d already looked up the domain and was shocked to discover it was available. Imagine my excitement! Anyway. He said no. I accepted his very reasonable arguments as to why we couldn’t actually call our company Techasaurus Rex. We dropped it. Went to sleep.

Over breakfast the following day, Robert said he’d slept on it and he thought he’d nailed down the company name. What about Tesrex? Tesrex. It sounded right. He’d already checked the domain was available. We were ready!

Tesrex Logo

So that’s how Tesrex came to be Tesrex. Almost 3 years later, I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it. My background isn’t technical, as you can probably tell, but the fundamentals of our company are about people. And as for the name and if it was able to convey all our great ideas about how we wanted the company to be? No. The name didn’t do that on its own. I don’t think any name could. But what we’ve built over the last 3 years does.

This is what my original logo suggestion looked like. Luckily I wasn’t involved in the final design:

techasaurus rex logo
leanne profile
Leanne Mayall,
Director of Operations.