kottke.org posts about logos

Inside the brain of a designerDec 10 2014

If you've ever wondered how a designer does their thing (or even if you haven't), this look-over-the-shoulder view of Aaron Draplin designing a logo for a fictional company in about 10 minutes is great. A nice reminder that design is truly about making it up as you go along.

I love Draplin. Internet treasure, that guy. And that lefty writing claw! Go lefties!

Airbnb's unfortunate logo charactersOct 27 2014

When the new Airbnb logo was introduced, the company caught a lot of flack from the internet because the logo resembled an odd combination of almost every sexual body part. I actually liked the logo right away and after a few months with it, the juvenile connotations have faded.

But you know what makes Airbnb's logo really really really look like a cartoonish vagina butt? Putting arms and legs and hats on the logo and animating it.

Airbnb Butt

Airbnb is sponsoring the NYC Marathon this year, and the logo characters were created for the event. Maaaaybe they'd like to rethink this?

Who drew the Sriracha rooster?Oct 03 2014

Sriracha Logo

The rooster on the Sriracha bottle has made its way to iPhone cases, t-shirts, and water bottles. But no one (not even the founder of the company) knows the name of the street artist who created the now famous logo.

Designing IdiocracyOct 03 2014

Brawndo

Over at Trivia Happy, Phil Edwards interviewed Ellen Lampl, who designed the logos for Mike Judge's underrated Idiocracy.

Some logos came from the script, while some came from the designers' brainstorming sessions. Brawndo and Carl's Jr. were written, while Lampl made logos for companies like Nastea and Fedexx once the overall look was approved. For Lampl, it was a great release, because "coming from the past constraints of advertising, it was cathartic to have the liberty to be bawdy and irreverent. Making everything ridiculously over-emphasized with bright colors, outlines upon outlines, and exaggerated drop shadows was my personal jab at the world of branding and in-your-face typography."

The hidden message in the old Milwaukee Brewers logoJul 07 2014

Somehow I lived in WI for the first 17 years of my life, was a Brewers fan for many of those years, and never realized the old Brewers logo contained the letters "m" and "b" hidden in the ball and glove.

Old Brewers logo

Wow. If your mind is blowing right now too, there's a Facebook group we can join together: Best Day of My Life: When I Realized the Brewers Logo Was a Ball and Glove AND the Letters M and B. (via kathryn yu)

ps. If you've somehow missed the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo, here you go. Best kind of natural high there is.

Evolution of the Warner Bros logoFeb 25 2014

Fine work as usual from Christian Annyas: a look at the design of the Warner Bros logo from 1923 to the present. The classic "WB" shield of my Bugs-and-Daffy-saturated youth will always be a favorite, but I do like the Saul Bass logo of the 70s and early 80s:

Saul Bass Warner Logo

Affleck's Argo and Soderbergh's Magic Mike both used the Bass logo in place of the contemporary logo, which is the kind of little detail I love.

The art of the rap logoJan 31 2014

Naughty By NatureThe Art of the Rap Logo is a collection of rap logos from NWA to Snoop Dogg to Def Jam.

Football as FootballNov 14 2013

Football as Football is a collection of American football team logos in the style of European football club badges. Here are badges for the Detroit Lions (in the Italian style) and New England Patriots (in the Spanish style).

 
Football As Football 01

 
Football As Football 02

A short history of the Pixar logo animationSep 12 2013

If you've watched a movie in the past 20 years, chances are you've seen the animation featuring the Pixar logo and Luxo Jr., the company's mascot. Luxo hops in, squashes the I, and takes its place; here's what it looks like:

According to the Pixar wiki, there have been several variations of the logo, including the one where Wall-E comes out to fix Luxo Jr's busted lightbulb:

Others include 20th and 25th anniversary versions, a 3D version that premiered with UP, and versions from Cars 2 and Finding Nemo that incorporate story elements into the logo.

This particular logo debuted with Toy Story in 1995. For the short films Pixar produced before that, they used variations on the not-very-exciting theme of circular indent in beveled square, a shape borrowed from the look of their Image Computer:

Original Pixar Logo

Many of the logo animation variations, including the pre-Luxo Jr. versions, can be seen in this video:

Alternate brand slogansAug 22 2013

Artist Lisa Hanawalt has been sketching big company logos with alternate slogans, including KFC, BMW, Toyota, McDonald's, Nike, and Subway. The Subway and Toyota ones are my favorite:

Hanawalt SubwayHanawalt Toyota

Food option. You need a fucking car unfortunately. Smell bread. Awesome.

The evolution of the Star Wars logoMay 31 2013

An extensive examination of the evolution of the Star Wars logo, which went through too many iterations to count.

..Though the poster contained no painted imagery, it did introduce a new logo to the campaign, one that had been designed originally for the cover of a Fox brochure sent to theater owners....Suzy Rice, who had just been hired as an art director, remembers the job well. She recalls that the design directive given by Lucas was that the logo should look "very fascist."

"I'd been reading a book the night before the meeting with George Lucas," she says, "a book about German type design and the historical origins of some of the popular typefaces used today -- how they developed into what we see and use in the present." After Lucas described the kind of visual element he was seeking, "I returned to the office and used what I reckoned to be the most 'fascist' typeface I could think of: Helvetica Black."

(via df)

Car logo rip-offsSep 11 2012

Some examples of car company logo rip-offs, mostly from China.

Car Logo Knockoffs

And really, who wouldn't want a BYD instead of a BMW?

New logo for MicrosoftAug 23 2012

After using the same logo for the past 25 years, Microsoft introduces a new logo that echoes their Windows brand.

New Microsoft Logo

The Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names. We are lucky to play a role in the lives of more than a billion people every day. The ways people experience our products are our most important "brand impressions". That's why the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.

(via df)

I love thisAug 20 2012

Solid State

From Simon Walker at Flickr. (via ★glass)

The naughty 2012 Olympics logoJul 12 2012

With the Olympics about two weeks away, consider this a final you-can't-unsee-it reminder that the 2012 London Olympics logo looks like Lisa Simpson performing oral sex.

2012 Olympic Logo Lisa Simpson

It's not as bad as some of the others on this list (oh, that Mon-Sat logo), but it's still exceptionally unforgettable. Enjoy the wall-to-wall Olympic coverage for the next two weeks!

Railroad company logosMar 30 2012

A beautiful collection of railroad company logos that show the evolution of logo design from 1845 to 2000.

Railroad logos

What a five-year-old thinks about famous logosJan 31 2012

Designer Adam Ladd asked his five-year-old daughter for her impressions of several well-known logos. This is great:

(via stellar)

Hand-lettered department store logosOct 14 2011

A lovely collection of hand-lettered American department store logos from the late 19th and early 20th century.

Dept Store Logo

40th anniversary of Nike's swooshAug 18 2011

Steven Heller writes about the 40th anniversary of Nike's iconic swoosh, one of the best logos ever designed.

swoosh trademark

The origin of the mark goes like this: Knight wanted to differentiate BRS's custom product from the ones they were importing from Onituska in Japan: "...so Knight turned to a graphic design student he met at Portland State University two years earlier." One day in 1969, the student, Carolyn Davidson, was approached by Knight and offered $2 per hour "to make charts and graphics" for his business. For the next two years Davidson managed the design work on BRS. "Then one day Phil asked me if I wanted to work on a shoe stripe," Davidson recalled. The only advice she received was to "Make the stripe supportive of the shoe." Davidson came up with half a dozen options. None of the options "captivated anyone" so it came down to "which was the least awful."

(via megadeluxe)

Fake + logo = FauxgoAug 09 2011

Fauxgo is a site that collects fictional logos from movies and TV shows.

Dinoco

Massive collection of TV channel logosJun 02 2011

These are just a few of the 9000+ TV channel logos collected here.

TV channel logos

(thx, tanner)

Paris in logosApr 20 2011

Logo Tourist is a project by Risto-Jussi Isopahkala that depicts cityscapes and famous Parisian landmarks made up of famous logos. Here's the Arc de Triumph (sponsored by Pepsi and Adidas):

Arc De Branding

See also Logorama.

Hebrew logo translationsApr 28 2010

IANAHRSYMMV**, but here are some well-known English language logos redesigned and translated into Hebrew language logos. Nice student work from a class taught by Oded Ezer.

Hebrew logos

** I am a not a Hebrew reader so your mileage may vary.

Circle and a birdApr 28 2010

Many many airlines use a bird in a circle for their logos. (via quips)

LogoramaFeb 27 2010

One of the films up for the Best Animated Short Oscar is called Logorama. It's a Pulp Fiction-inspired ditty composed almost entirely of inventively used corporate logos. A screenshot is instructive in illustrating what I'm talking about:

Logorama

This is a nearly perfect outsiders view of the US. Watch the whole thing here.

Logo nicknamesJun 25 2009

Deep in the conservative bowels of corporations and brand identity firms, they've got cute little nicknames for logos. The GE logo is The Meatball, the AT&T logo is The Death Star, and the Warner logo is Two and a Half Hot Dogs. (via quips)

Porn or not?Jun 01 2009

Q: Copy from the NY Times about a logo or a description of some kind of weird Star Trek-themed pornography?

Bouncy new blue "ee" twins seem to laugh under a colorful spray.

A: Surprisingly, the Times (slide #4).

Google's Very Hungry CaterpillarMar 20 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of my favorite books when I was a kid and I've loved reading it to Ollie over the past few months. So of course, Google's logo today is aces.

Google Hungry Caterpillar

Now do Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!

Exploring logo designs with MathematicaFeb 27 2009

This post on the Wolfram blog about using Mathematica to play around with logo designs provides a tantalzing glimpse into how useful the program could be as a graphic design tool.

Take a logo as simple as the Mercedes-Benz star. Just three points framed by a circle, its geometry is easily described in a few lines of Mathematica code, with some obvious parameters controlling the number of points on the star, the sharpness of the star's points, the thickness of the outer circle, and the orientation of the star.

Paging Joshua Davis. (via waxy)

Redesigning the Super Bowl logoJan 28 2009

Some designers take a crack at redesigning the most recent Super Bowl logo. Most are completely impractical, but I thought Aaron Draplin's had a nice throwback style.

Worst/best logos of 2008Dec 22 2008

Brand New runs down the best and worst new logos of 2008. Some of the bad ones are downright awful...the WGN one is crazy bad.

Designing the Obama logoDec 11 2008

Great two-part video interview with Sol Sender about designing the logo for the Obama campaign. Includes some early design sketches and other designs that made it to the final phase. (via quips)

The Obama "O" designerNov 24 2008

Steven Heller spoke with the designer Sol Sender about his iconic Obama "O" logo.

Well, the "O" was the identity for the Obama '08 campaign and the campaign is over. That doesn't mean that the mark will be forgotten; I think the memorabilia from this campaign will have a long shelf life and will stand as a visible symbol of pride for people who supported the candidate and for those who see it as a representation of a watershed moment for our country. As far as having another life, I can't say. Perhaps the 2012 campaign will hark back to it in some way.

Sender's web site has a bit more info on the development of the Obama brand.

New Pepsi logoOct 28 2008

What do I think about the new Pepsi logo? Eh. Companies spend way too much time, effort, and money building up feelings about logos -- like decades and billions of dollars -- and then they just go and change it all. Of course the new logo and colors are similar to the old ones and it's variations on a theme but the new designs feel like someone's idea of what packaging is going to look like 10 years from now, an approach that never seems to work out well (see Back to the Future II). Coca-Cola had such success refreshing their brand with a simple take on their classic look and logo, why can't Pepsi do the same with this classic look?

Branded ecstasy pillsOct 23 2008

Photos of 99 different ecstasy pills with logos on them, including those with McDonald's, Mercedes, MTV, Harry Potter, and Apple logos.

A.G. Low Construction logoJul 18 2008

The logo for A.G. Low Construction is the best one I've seen in awhile.

A.G. Low Logo

Nice work by design student Rebecca Low, who I'm assuming is related to the A.G. Low in question. (via monoscope)

Exxon logo sketchesJun 16 2008

Raymond Loewy is well-known as an industrial designer but he was also responsible for some of the world's most iconic logos. Pictured below are several sketches that Loewy did for the new Exxon logo:

Exxon Logo

Big business moved more slowly back then; the sketches were done by Loewy in 1966 but the name change and new logo didn't go into effect until 1972. Loewy was also responsible for several other logos: Shell, Hoover, BP, Nabisco, Canada Dry, and U.S. Mail.

US presidential candidate logosMay 13 2008

A list of all the US presidential election logos from 1960-2008. That's a whole lot of red and blue. I particularly liked 1988's Dick "Chrysler" Gephardt and Paul Simon's Top Gun homage. (via quips)

If you can ignore the stupid one-logo-per-pageMar 13 2008

If you can ignore the stupid one-logo-per-page interface, check out the 25 best band logos.

Clever smugglers have been using trucks adornedJan 25 2008

Clever smugglers have been using trucks adorned with FedEx, Wal-Mart, and other familiar logos in order to spirit drugs, money, and illegal aliens across the US/Mexican border.

In another case, a truck painted with DirecTV and other markings was pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Mississippi and discovered to be carrying 786 pounds of cocaine. Police said they became suspicious because the truck carried the markings or DirecTV and several of its rivals. An 800 number on the truck's rear to report bad driving referred callers to an adult sex chat line.

A taxonomy of animals that are mascotsJan 09 2008

A taxonomy of animals that are mascots or logos of companies.

Logo trends for 2007. (via airbag)Dec 27 2007

Logo trends for 2007. (via airbag)

Liquidated Logos by French street artist Zevs.Dec 13 2007

Liquidated Logos by French street artist Zevs.

Re-painting the logos in their own colours, the artist pours paint over them, liquidating one logo after another.

I am a sucker for dripping paint.

Is the new NYC taxi logo anyOct 16 2007

Is the new NYC taxi logo any good? More here. (thx, red)

History of the Batman logoSep 18 2007

A history and analysis of the Batman logo from 1939 to the present, in five parts: 1, 2, 3. 4, 5. More logo studies by the same fellow here. (thx, david)

Video of a bunch of TV productionSep 17 2007

Video of a bunch of TV production company logos...you know, the ones that usually follow the shows, "sit Ubu sit, good dog" and the like.

An examination of the logos of terrorist organizations.Sep 10 2007

An examination of the logos of terrorist organizations.

Cartype: "A comprehensive collection of reviews andJun 25 2007

Cartype: "A comprehensive collection of reviews and study of typographical applications of emblems, car company logos and car logos with images, comments, links, car company information and general interest."

On brand indentities that are flexible (vs.Jun 21 2007

On brand indentities that are flexible (vs. those that are static). Examples: Google's logo, Target's bullseye, and Saks' jumbly identity. "As advertising agencies lose their grip on the communications channels, the logos are starting to come out of the corner. Once pushed as far over to the bottom right as possible, they're becoming central to communication, no longer content to just be the the full-stop at the end of a piece of branded communication." (via quipsologies)

A rare positive review from Speak UpJun 05 2007

A rare positive review from Speak Up of the new London 2012 that everyone else in the world seems to hate. "I believe, despite any ensuing boo's, that this is some of the most innovative and daring identity work we have seen in this new millennium, and the lack of cheesy and imagination-impairing gradients gives me hope that identity work can still be resurrected on a larger scale."

Update: Coudal loves the logo.

A list of companies and the fontsMay 31 2007

A list of companies and the fonts they use for their logos and corporate identities.

Instead of giving out wasteful schwag bagsApr 05 2007

Instead of giving out wasteful schwag bags and tshirts that no one wears, the Interesting 2007 conference is asking participants to provide their own used tshirts (they'll screenprint the logo on it) and will be using plain old plastic bags with the conference logo screenprinted on them. What a great twist on recycling. (via bbj)

The mid-2000s may be seen inMar 28 2007

The mid-2000s may be seen in the future as not such a fantastic time for logo design. One further piece of evidence: the what-were-they-thinking? new design for the Dairy Queen logo. "[The] gold and blue curved swishes [signify] food and treats." Don't know about you, but that blue swish make me want to cram ice cream down my treat-hole!

A list of well-know logos & brandsMar 02 2007

A list of well-know logos & brands and their design histories.

Update: I took out the link because several people told me that the site I was linking to has a history of taking other's content and passing it off as their own.

The Max Planck Institute of Molecular CellDec 08 2006

The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics has a logo that changes every time it gets used on letterhead or displayed on a web site. The logo system was designed by Michael Schmitz and is based on cellular automata like John Conway's Game of Life. "Parameters [for the logo] are coupled to certain factors: number of employees = density, funding = speed, number of publications = activity. Different logos are being 'bred' and then picked by fitness in relation to the parameters or voted for by the employees." Schmitz's PDF document Evolving Logo is worth a look even if you don't read German. (Anyone want to do a translation? It looks fascinating.) (via bbj)

Cool slideshow of 221 years of mastheads fromNov 21 2006

Cool slideshow of 221 years of mastheads from the London Times. (via newsdesigner, who has more on the recent Times refresh)

The brand new Brand New blog identifiesNov 10 2006

The brand new Brand New blog identifies and critiques new logos and other brand identity work.

Isometric Google logo.Aug 16 2006

Isometric Google logo.

Web 2.0 style redesigns of famous logos. TheJul 25 2006

Web 2.0 style redesigns of famous logos. The BoeingBoeing one is pretty clever. (thx, mark)

Reviews of some recent logo redesigns. ThatJul 05 2006

Reviews of some recent logo redesigns. That new MasterCard logo is...yikes.

Short remembrance by Rob Janoff about designingApr 24 2006

Short remembrance by Rob Janoff about designing the logo for Apple Computer. The logo was to be black & white to save on printing costs, but "Jobs was resolute, arguing that color was the key to humanizing the company".

The typography of the logos of Web 2.0 companies. (via waxy)Mar 09 2006

The typography of the logos of Web 2.0 companies. (via waxy)

Fingernails painted with the Six Apart logo.Feb 28 2006

Fingernails painted with the Six Apart logo. Now, that's a fan.

The history of the NBA logo...andFeb 20 2006

The history of the NBA logo...and yes, that's Jerry West. (via th)

"Inside C" logos are those where theFeb 13 2006

"Inside C" logos are those where the second letter of a word (usually an "o") is tucked inside the initial capital C. Examples: Coca-Cola, Carnation, and Coffee-Mate.

A grid of logos of Web 2.0 companies.Feb 06 2006

A grid of logos of Web 2.0 companies. These names sound like a bunch of companies that make children's toys (which when you think about it, isn't too far from the truth).

Update: Original here.

Kodak has themselves a new logo andJan 10 2006

Kodak has themselves a new logo and gosh it looks plain and boring and undistinctive. Who are the folks convincing companies like Intel and Kodak that these logo/brand overhauls are going to revitalize their companies? Revitalization is a hard business...a new coat of paint isn't going to cut it.

Update: More on Kodak's new logo at Speak Up.

Best Google logo yet...a Braille versionJan 04 2006

Best Google logo yet...a Braille version to celebrate the birthday of Louis Braille.

Intel is retiring the "Intel Inside" saying/Dec 30 2005

Intel is retiring the "Intel Inside" saying/logo and is getting a new company logo as well...no more of the familiar "dropped e" logo. Now they'll look like everyone else.

I missed this while in Asia lastDec 19 2005

I missed this while in Asia last month, but AT&T has a new logo, which is pretty much the same as the old one.

Examination of how US states brand themselves,Nov 01 2005

Examination of how US states brand themselves, focusing on state logos, license plates, and slogans.

Michael Bierut offers a requiem for theOct 31 2005

Michael Bierut offers a requiem for the AT&T logo by Saul Bass. SBC is buying AT&T, keeping the name, but introducing a new logo.

Rafael Esquer just showed some of hisSep 15 2005

Rafael Esquer just showed some of his most recent work here at the Student Conference. I like his Made in NY logo that he did for NYC. Here's a short interview with Esquer.

Todd Radom designs sports logos, including onesSep 15 2005

Todd Radom designs sports logos, including ones for the Super Bowl, Fenway Park's 90th anniversary, and the new Cleveland Browns. Read about his design for the Washington Nationals logo in Fast Company.

Custom chrome emblems for your car, Segway,Aug 10 2005

Custom chrome emblems for your car, Segway, motorbike, or laptop computer.

Using information from the USPTO to trackAug 04 2005

Using information from the USPTO to track how logo design in the US has changed over time. "Using this database, innovations and trends in the design of trademarks can be tracked and dissected. For example, the rise of the swoosh element, concentrated among internet and telecommunications firms in particular, can be seen developing in the mid-1990s."

Huge collection of logos of metros/subwaysJul 11 2005

Huge collection of logos of metros/subways from around the world.

Fifteen trends in logo design for 2005Jun 08 2005

Fifteen trends in logo design for 2005.

this is kottke.org

   Front page
   About + contact
   Site archives

You can follow kottke.org on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Feedly, or RSS.

Ad from The Deck

We Work Remotely

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting