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kottke.org posts about logos

Designing Idiocracy

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 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 logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 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 logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 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 logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 31, 2014

Naughty By Nature

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

Football as Football

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 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 animation

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 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 slogans

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 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 Subway

Hanawalt Toyota

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

The evolution of the Star Wars logo

posted by Jason Kottke   May 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-offs

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 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 Microsoft

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 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 this

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 20, 2012

Solid State

From Simon Walker at Flickr. (via ★glass)

The naughty 2012 Olympics logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 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 logos

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 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 logos

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 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 logos

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 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 swoosh

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 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 = Fauxgo

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 09, 2011

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

Dinoco

Massive collection of TV channel logos

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 02, 2011

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

TV channel logos

(thx, tanner)

Paris in logos

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 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 translations

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 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 bird

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 28, 2010

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

Logorama

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 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 nicknames

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 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?

posted by Jason Kottke   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 Caterpillar

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 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 Mathematica

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 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 logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 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 2008

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 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 logo

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 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” designer

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 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.