Very excited by this trailer from director Alex Garland (28 Days, Dredd, Sunshine, The Beach). Based on the comic book series created by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.
Logos are an essential part of a brand’s identity. A great logo encapsulates the personality and promise of the business behind it.
Some of the world’s most ubiquitous logos had humble beginnings. In 1975, Carolyn Davidson was paid $35 to develop the Nike logo and the “Swoosh” we’ve come to recognize has remained more or less intact for nearly forty years.
Meanwhile, Pepsi paid the Arnell Group $1 million to develop its updated logo in 2008. There are companies who’ve paid tens of millions for logo design.
But what of iconic tech logos? Surely Apple’s logo—that sleek, silver symbol of global innovation—came into the world fully formed. As it turns out, tech logos often have long, dark histories of their own, and we’ve highlighted a few famous examples.
The first Apple logo, unveiled in 1976, looks like something lifted from the pages of a 17th century manuscript:
That’s Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, in case you’re wondering. The logo was initially inscribed with “Newton … A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … Alone.” That complicated premise was designed by Ronald Wayne, a founder of Apple, who relinquished his 10 percent stock in the company as an $800 payment for his logo. He left the company two weeks into his tenure.
Talk about simplifying a thing or two, huh?
A year earlier, Microsoft’s logo at least looked like it belonged to the 20thcentury. It had the look and feel of the 1970s disco era, something that might appear in Boogie Nights, and emphasized that the company name was a union ofmicrocomputer and software. The earliest version of the business name was Micro-Soft.
Long before Microsoft or Apple glimmered into view, IBM was a company known for its employee time-keeping systems, weight scales, meat slicers and punched-card tabulators. Established as International Time Recording Company in 1888, it changed its name in 1924 to International Business Machines, and the new era spawned a brave new logo.
A decade later, in 1934, two Japanese inventors created a camera under the banner of the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory. The camera was called the Kwanon, named after the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Mercy.
The logo included Kwanon encircled by flames and sporting a thousand arms. The inventors opted for the simplified name Canon when it came time to trademark the name.
In 1930, the Chicago-based Galvin Manufacturing Corporation released the wildly popular Motorola car radio. The name was a mashup of “motor” and “ola,” a popular suffix for sound gear of the time, along the lines of the Victrola.
The new car radio was such a hit that founder Paul Galvin decided to change the company name to Motorola. The company’s product line clearly evolved through the years as well.
Thanks to its recent purchase by Microsoft, Nokia has been the subject of tech press in recent weeks. But, like IBM, it had its roots in the 19th century.
Knut Fredrik Idestam founded a wood-pulp mill in Finland and took the name of a nearby town. Nokia is also the Finnish word for a dark, furry weasel-like animal. The modern company was born when, in 1967, a merger occurred between Finnish Rubber Works, the Nokia Wood Mill and the Finnish Cable Works.
Eventually, the company would leave paper products and the weasel behind, embracing the world of telecommunications and cell phones.
Xerox began in 1906 as the Haloid Company, a manufacturer of photographic paper and equipment. Twenty years later, Chester Carlson, an inventor of a process known as electrophotography, approached the company to see if they would invest in his new technology.
In 1959, the world’s first photocopier was released to the market—the Haloid Xerox 914. The copier was so successful that the company dropped Haloid from its name and never looked back. Well, at least not until the digital age of photography dawned, requiring a complete company overhaul… and of course, a new logo.
Love the cosplay crew… you guys rock!
Arial is everywhere. If you don’t know what it is, you don’t use a modern personal computer. Arial is a font that is familiar to anyone who uses Microsoft products, whether on a PC or a Mac. It has spread like a virus through the typographic landscape and illustrates the pervasiveness of Microsoft’s influence in the world.Arial’s ubiquity is not due to its beauty. It’s actually rather homely. Not that homeliness is necessarily a bad thing for a typeface. With typefaces, character and history are just as important. Arial, however, has a rather dubious history and not much character. In fact, Arial is little more than a shameless impostor.
Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, one of the most popular typefaces in the western world was Helvetica. It was developed by the Haas Foundry of Switzerland in the 1950s. Later, Haas merged with Linotype and Helvetica was heavily promoted. More weights were added and it really began to catch on.
An icon of the Swiss school of typography, Helvetica swept through the design world in the ’60s and became synonymous with modern, progressive, cosmopolitan attitudes. With its friendly, cheerful appearance and clean lines, it was universally embraced for a time by both the corporate and design worlds as a nearly perfect typeface to be used for anything and everything. “When in doubt, use Helvetica” was a common rule.
As it spread into the mainstream in the ’70s, many designers tired of it and moved on to other typographic fashions, but by then it had become a staple of everyday design and printing. So in the early ’80s when Adobe developed the PostScript page description language, it was no surprise that they chose Helvetica as one of the basic four fonts to be included with every PostScript interpreter they licensed (along with Times, Courier, and Symbol). Adobe licensed its fonts from the original foundries, demonstrating their respect and appreciation for the integrity of type, type foundries and designers. They perhaps realized that if they had used knock-offs of popular typefaces, the professional graphic arts industry—a key market—would not accept them.
By the late eighties, the desktop publishing phenomenon was in full swing. Led by the Macintosh and programs like PageMaker, and made possible by Adobe’s PostScript page description language, anyone could do near professional-quality typesetting on relatively inexpensive personal computers.
But there was a problem. There were two kinds of PostScript fonts: Type 1 and Type 3. Type 1 fonts included “hints” that improved the quality of output dramatically over Type 3 fonts. Adobe provided information on making Type 3 fonts, but kept the secrets of the superior Type 1 font technology to itself. If you wanted Type 1 fonts, Adobe was the only source. Anyone else who wanted to make or sell fonts had to settle for the inferior Type 3 format. Adobe wanted the high end of the market all to itself.
By 1989, a number of companies were hard at work trying to crack the Type 1 format or devise alternatives. Apple and Microsoft signed a cross-licensing agreement to create an alternative to Adobe’s technology. While Microsoft worked on TrueImage, a page description language, Apple developed the TrueType format. TrueType was a more open format and was compatible with—but not dependent on—PostScript. This effectively forced Adobe’s hand, causing them to release the secrets of the Type 1 format to save themselves from irrelevancy.
Around the same time, PostScript “clones” were being developed to compete with Adobe. These PostScript “work-alikes” were usually bundled with “look-alike” fonts, since the originals were owned by Adobe’s business partners. One PostScript clone, sold by Birmy, featured a Helvetica substitute developed by Monotype called Arial.
Arial appears to be a loose adaptation of Monotype’s venerable Grotesque series, redrawn to match the proportions and weight of Helvetica. At a glance, it looks like Helvetica, but up close it’s different in dozens of seemingly arbitrary ways. Because it matched Helvetica’s proportions, it was possible to automatically substitute Arial when Helvetica was specified in a document printed on a PostScript clone output device. To the untrained eye, the difference was hard to spot. (See “How to Spot Arial”) After all, most people would have trouble telling the difference between a serif and a sans serif typeface. But to an experienced designer, it was like asking for Jimmy Stewart and getting Rich Little.
What is really strange about Arial is that it appears that Monotype was uncomfortable about doing a direct copy of Helvetica. They could very easily have done that and gotten away with it. Many type manufacturers in the past have done knock-offs of Helvetica that were indistinguishable or nearly so. For better or worse, in many countries—particularly the U.S.—while typeface names can be protected legally, typeface designs themselves are difficult to protect. So, if you wanted to buy a typesetting machine and wanted the real Helvetica, you had to buy Linotype. If you opted to purchase Compugraphic, AM, or Alphatype typesetting equipment, you couldn’t get Helvetica. Instead you got Triumvirate, or Helios, or Megaron, or Newton, or whatever. Every typesetting manufacturer had its own Helvetica look-alike. It’s quite possible that most of the “Helvetica” seen in the ’70s was actually not Helvetica.
Now, Monotype was a respected type foundry with a glorious past and perhaps the idea of being associated with these “pirates” was unacceptable. So, instead, they found a loophole and devised an “original” design that just happens to share exactly the same proportions and weight as another typeface. (See “Monotype’s Other ‘Arials’”) This, to my mind, is almost worse than an outright copy. A copy, it could be said, pays homage (if not license fees) to the original by its very existence. Arial, on the other hand, pretends to be different. It says, in effect “I’m not Helvetica. I don’t even look like Helvetica!”, but gladly steps into the same shoes. In fact, it has no other role.
When Microsoft made TrueType the standard font format for Windows 3.1, they opted to go with Arial rather than Helvetica, probably because it was cheaper and they knew most people wouldn’t know (or even care about) the difference. Apple also standardized on TrueType at the same time, but went with Helvetica, not Arial, and paid Linotype’s license fee. Of course, Windows 3.1 was a big hit. Thus, Arial is now everywhere, a side effect of Windows’ success, born out of the desire to avoid paying license fees.
The situation today is that Arial has displaced Helvetica as the standard font in practically everything done by nonprofessionals in print, on television, and on the Web, where it’s become a standard font, mostly because of Microsoft bundling it with everything—even for Macs, which already come with Helvetica. This is not such a big deal since at the low resolution of a computer screen, it might as well be Helvetica. In any case, for fonts on the Web, Arial is one of the few choices available.
Despite its pervasiveness, a professional designer would rarely—at least for the moment—specify Arial. To professional designers, Arial is looked down on as a not-very-faithful imitation of a typeface that is no longer fashionable. It has what you might call a “low-end stigma.” The few cases that I have heard of where a designer has intentionally used Arial were because the client insisted on it. Why? The client wanted to be able to produce materials in-house that matched their corporate look and they already had Arial, because it’s included with Windows. True to its heritage, Arial gets chosen because it’s cheap, not because it’s a great typeface.
It’s been a very long time since I was actually a fan of Helvetica, but the fact is Helvetica became popular on its own merits. Arial owes its very existence to that success but is little more than a parasite—and it looks like it’s the kind that eventually destroys the host. I can almost hear young designers now saying, “Helvetica? That’s that font that looks kinda like Arial, right?”
Yeah Advertising! You just fill me up with white fluffies (said in a rather ironic tone)
This Is a Generic Brand Video is a generic brand video of “This Is a Generic Brand Video,” written by Kendra Eash for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. No surprise, it’s made entirely with stock footage. All video clips used are from dissolve.com
A School assignment to reinterpret the fairytale Little red ridning hood. By Tomas Nilsson.
This book is the first comprehensive study of corporate identity design manuals, and features 21 examples from the 1960s to early 1980s — the ‘golden era’ of identity design. The book includes manuals created for institutions and corporations such as NASA, Lufthansa and British Steel.
‘All of the manuals have been lovingly photographed, and presented in a spacious and functional layout, allowing the observer to fully appreciate these wonderful examples of information design at its best. Manuals 1 is printed in Italy, conforming to the highest production standards.’
Foreword by Massimo Vignelli and texts from Adrian Shaughnessy, NASA designer Richard Danne, Greg D’Onofrio and Patricia Belen (Display), Armin Vit (UnderConsideration), Sean Perkins (North) and John Lloyd.
Sarah Schrauwen, one of the book’s editors, talked to designboom.
‘We all thought that identity manuals from the 1960s to early 1980s would be a niche subject for a book, desired only by a certain kind of graphic design studio involved in identity design, and hardcore identity enthusiasts. Instead, Manuals 1 has turned out to be Unit Editions’ best selling publication so far!’
Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh the designer behind of 40 days of dating with Timothy Goodman talks about her work and process.
Link here for viewers having problems with Vimeo and Firefox.
Showing the studio’s excellent typographical work for Rio 2016.
The Logorama movie is a short animation by H5. It has been nominated won at the 2010 Oscars in the short film category.
In a world made up entirely of trademarks and brand names, Michelin Man cops pursue a criminal Ronald McDonald. All 16 minutes (taking an incredible six years to make) are shown in the embedded video below.
Link here for viewers having problems with Vimeo and Firefox.
Michael Bierut on why logos endure.
Skip to 4 minutes 16 seconds for the chat about logos. All interesting, though.
Link here for viewers having problems with Vimeo and Firefox.
Kylie received her new Art Edition Annie Leibovitz book yesterday. This one in a thousand signed collection of Annie Leibovitz best photography is not only large and visually stunning… it’s also a back breaker at 65kg.
The power and the glory by Annie Leibovitz is limited to a total of 10,000 signed and numbered copies, this book is available as Collector’s Edition (No. 1,001–10,000) and also as Art Edition (No. 1–1,000) with a fine art print, signed by Annie Leibovitz, and the full set of all four dust jackets. Both editions come with a tripod book stand designed by Marc Newson and was brought into New Zealand by Andrew Maben at Novel Books on Jervois Road in Herne Bay.
More info on this beautiful work of art…
A little Annie Leibovitz update from Mariko at Artsy.net.
Mariko has been working on Artsy’s new Annie Leibovitz page, which can be found here at www.artsy.net/artist/annie-leibovitz
The newly designed page includes her bio, over 50 of her works, exclusive articles about her, as well as her up-to-date exhibitions – it’s a unique Annie Leibovitz resource.
Thanks for the link Mariko.
Star typeface designer Tobias Frere-Jones explains the challenges of using Helvetica Neue as an operating system font.
For the first time ever, Apple is ditching Lucida Grande as the OS X system font in favor of Helvetica Neue, which also happens to be the iOS system font. For an operating system that’s used by 80 million people, that’s no small thing. Will it make reading on desktop computers easier? Harder?
DESPITE ITS GRAND REPUTATION, HELVETICA CAN’T DO EVERYTHING.
We asked Tobias Frere-Jones, the famed typeface designer who has worked with some of the world’s best publications and design shops, to offer his insights on what this change means for consumers. In his view, Apple might have made a mistake. Here, he highlights some of the challenges of deploying Helvetica Neue onto an OS abundant with small type and devices where non-Retina displays are still the norm:
Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems have been gradually converging for some time. So it was inevitable that one typographic palette would displace the other. With OS X 10.10, Mac desktops will sport Helvetica everywhere. But I had really hoped it would be the other way around, with the iPhone taking a lesson from the desktop, and adopt Lucida Grande. Check the lock screen on your iPhone. You’ll see Helvetica there, a half-inch tall or larger, and it looks good. Problem is, there aren’t many other places where it looks as good.
Despite its grand reputation, Helvetica can’t do everything. It works well in big sizes, but it can be really weak in small sizes. Shapes like ‘C’ and ‘S’ curl back into themselves, leaving tight “apertures”–the channels of white between a letter’s interior and exterior. So each shape halts the eye again and again, rather than ushering it along the line. The lowercase ‘e,’ the most common letter in English and many other languages, takes an especially unobliging form. These and other letters can be a pixel away from being some other letter, and we’re left to deal with flickers of doubt as we read.
Lucida Grande presents open apertures, inviting the eye to move along sideways through the text. It has worked really well–for years, and for good reason. For any text, but particularly in interfaces, our eyes need typefaces that cooperate rather than resist. A super-sharp Retina Display might help, but the real issue is the human eye, and I haven’t heard of any upgrades on the way.
Seeing as Helvetica Neue was not universally well-received on the iPhone, it will be curious to see how Mac users react this fall when OS X Yosemite goes live. Until then, maybe try and get your eyes in peak working order.
What’s worse than a stolen bike? Finding out that you don’t have enough fare to get home! The Transit Bicycle Lock and Carrier system will ensure that no one will steal your precious cycle and get you home safe and sound. The carrier is an added bonus! Hit the jump to know how it works.
Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as ‘Bamford & Martin Ltd.’
1914 saw the birth of the name ‘Aston Martin’ following one of Lionel Martin’s successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire, England.
Financial problems plagued the company over the next decade with the business forced to close in 1925 only to be rescued by a group of investors in 1926, forming ‘Aston Martin Motors Ltd.’
One year later, the AM monogram was replaced with the iconic Aston Martin wings.
1947 saw the dawn of the ‘David Brown era’ as the business was acquired by the English industrialist.
Frequently acclaimed as the most beautiful car in the world, the Aston Martin DB5 entered production in 1963.
The following year saw the birth of a relationship that has left an indelible mark on popular culture, as the DB5 was chosen to be James Bond’s car of choice in the classic film ‘Goldfinger.’
Despite the development of an iconic product range, the 1970s saw a change in ownership for Aston Martin as ‘Company Developments Ltd’ took over the firm in 1972.
After two more ownership changes, the iconic ‘DB’ moniker was resurrected in 1993 with the introduction of the DB7 at a new production facility at Wykham Mill, Bloxham. The same year saw Ford Motor Company increase their holding to take full control of the business.
The company was presented with the Queen’s Award for Export in 1998, recognising the contribution of the firm to the UK economy.
Aston Martin’s new global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire opened in 2003 — the first purpose-built facility in the company’s history.
Photo via Car and Driver
Source: Aston Martin.