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Elbert Hubbard: An American Original - WNED | PBS

For Educators



Elbert Hubbard's community in East Aurora has left us with many enduring symbols that can be observed while viewing the documentary. The Arts and Crafts Movement encouraged individualism, the creation of hand-made goods by artist-architect-designers who would control the entire design process. Many of these designs included a name, symbol, logo or trademark for easy recognition. The Roycroft Orb (double-barred cross and circle containing the letter “R”) was adopted as a trademark by the Roycrofters to identify their handcrafted, high-quality arts and crafts products. Many of these symbols are still being used today and represent an organization’s product, service, quality and philosophy and many have social and political implications. Students will explore the timelessness and endurance for logos of today and yesterday.


Students will:
  • Indentify logos and symbols of the Arts and Crafts Movement
  • Research further on message of the symbol or logo
  • Create a set of logos and identifying statements
  • Create a display for their classroom that represents symbols of today and yesterday

Necessary Materials

  • Video "Elbert Hubbard: An American Original"
  • TV or computer to view video
  • Pictures or photos of Arts and Crafts symbols and logos
  • Access to internet to do follow-up research on questions

Relevant National Standards
NL-ENG.K-12.4, NL-ENG.K-12.5, NL-ENG.K-12.8, NETS 1, NETS 2, NETS 3, BES Marketing I, II & VI

Teaching Procedure

  • Have students take a logo recognition quiz such a: or (Be sure that these sites can be accessed from your school network.)
    Possible discussion questions: - What made certain logos memorable?
    - Why is it important for a company to have a logo that is widely recognized?
    - What can a logo say about a company or product?
    - What does the TM mean? (Registered Trademark)
    - What does it do? (Denotes the word/logo etc that the ® is associated with as a registered trademark.)
    - Why is it there? (To inform others of the registered trademark and that it is the property of the owner of the goods or services to which the trade mark relates. If someone uses someone else’s registered trademark for similar goods without their permission, they can be stopped from doing so.)
    - What would happen if it was not there? (Others might be able to use the excuse that they didn’t realize it was someone’s registered trademark. Also it is a badge of origin for the customer enabling them to be sure they are the goods and services they associate with that trademark, i.e. to make sure you get the product you want.)
  • Watch "Elbert Hubbard: An American Original" paying special attention to references to several of the symbols and logos of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
  • View included images of The Roycroft Orb, The Dard Hunter Rose, the WW Denslow Seahorse.
    Possible discussion questions:
    - What do these logos have in common with the ones of today as far as their design is concerned?
    - Was recognition of these logos as important then as it now?
  • Students will create a logo themselves. They can create a new logo for an existing product or create a new logo for a new product they have conceptualized, or they can create a personal mark or logo that would replace their signature.
  • Students should keep in mind the class discussions and the points that were made about what makes a good logo and why they are important.
  • Students can create their logo by hand or they can develop it using a free online application such as: or


  • Completed Logo Design

Extension Activities

  • After the students have created their logos, they will incorporate them into a presentation that tells the class about the product their logo represents, what it tells the comsumers about its product, and how it would be disseminated.

Online Resources:

Choose a Logo Style. Cooltext, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Clip Art Gallery. Discovery School, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Kid's Pages. United States Patent and Trademark Office, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Logo Quiz! YeahItIs, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Roycroft Logo. Roycroft Campus, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

What's In a Font? Atlantic, 8 Jan. 2008. Web. 10 Jan. 2010.

Logo Maker. Logoease, n.d. Web. 20 Jan.2010. (WARNING - Must sign up for an account)

Logo Quizzes:

Guess the Logo. Web. 20 Jan. 2010.

Logo Quiz. Web. 20 Jan. 2010.

Suggested Vocabulary: logos, logotypes, petroglyph, symbols, trademark
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Funding for Elbert Hubbard: An American Original provided by The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
Elbert Hubbard: An American Original is a production of WNED-TV