One of the small things I like to add to a setting – modern or later, that is – are companies and brands. This is probably caused by my teenage fascination with Cyberpunk, in which this was a heavily-used “trope”. Just consider the advertisement screens in Bladerunner’s city scenes, Ono-Sendai in Neuromancer, Omni Consumer Products in Robocop, or the Zik Zak Corporation and Network XXIII, not to mention Cyberpunk 2020 and ICE’s Cyberspace games.
But brands also have a firm place in more mainstream science fiction. 2001’s famous Pan Am orbital shuttle, Weyland-Yutani from the Aliens franchise, U.S. Robots. Companies feature heavily in Piper’s works, Heinlein name-drops companies in many books, and even Larry Niven has his General Products corporation (and the less famous and rarely-mentioned Nakamura Lines).
This is what I got so far:
Designing these, their logos, backgrounds and products is a fun thing to do, and a perfect example of just how interdisciplinary world building truly is.