What’s in a logo?

I recently came across this article on Yahoo! and it made me start thinking about world famous logos and what a single visual image can tell us about a company and its products. Below are some of my favorites:

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

CREATED BY W.W. HODKINSON

The word paramount literally means “having supreme power or authority” and what looks more powerful than the apex of an incredibly majestic mountain. This logo is timeless and the stars give it an added cachet. The version shown here is the company’s most recent edition and I believe it works because it looks modern and computer generated but also keeps enough of the original artwork to pay homage to the company’s immense history.

UNITED WAY

CREATED BY SAUL BASS

This logo for the non-profit organization United Way manages to spread feelings of hope, unity and goodwill using only the combination of a handful of graphic images. In my opinion the blue hand represents the charity that is being doled out to the community, the red stick figure represents the individuals in the community who are benefiting from this charity and the ray of light symbolizes the positivity that these recipients will then spread throughout their own communities. A simple, yet beautiful and effective logo.

1968 MEXICO CITY SUMMER OLYMPICS

CREATED BY LANCE WYMAN

I previously mentioned that I am a huge fan of the Olympics and this logo for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City is one of my all-time favorites. I love how the designer chose to use the pattern of circles that appear in these objects (the Olympic rings, the year 68 and the word Mexico) to bring together a collective theme. This logo’s overall effect is quite striking and memorable. It fits in with the Gestalt laws of proximity and similarity and is very much a product of its time; the psychedelic, radical and over-the-top 1960s.

UNILEVER

CREATED BY MILES NEWLYN

The American-European company Unilever represents a variety of products including Dove beauty supplies, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Lipton tea products. This logo, which they introduced in 2005 to coincide with their 75th anniversary, is a neat mix of plants, vegetables and animals that visually shows everything they do and create. I like how everything is shown using the same font and color, it makes each one of the elements seem equally important and a part of a larger whole.

THE NORTH FACE

CREATED BY DAVID ALCORN

This logo for The North Face represents the company’s vision and products perfectly. The type is bold and strong, something that you want to associate with a company that sells mountaineering and outdoor gear, and the mountain logo is supposedly the flat rock side of Yosemite’s Half Dome. I also appreciate that the logo is simple. The North Face isn’t a high fashion company and this logo is attractive and straight forward but I can tell that it wasn’t over thought. I believe this is the right angle for a company that projects safety and the outdoors.

THE ROLLING STONES

CREATED BY JOHN PASCHE

The Rolling Stones are one of the world’s most famous rock bands and this unique logo is a symbol of their success. This logo is so iconic and popular that it represents the band without using a single word. It’s irreverent, “cheeky” as the British would say and is a good physical representation of lead singer Mick Jagger’s large and lippy mouth. The colors are great too, red, black and white are a classic combination.

THE GIRL SCOUTS

CREATED BY SAUL BASS

This is the second of Saul Bass’ logos that I’ve used in this journal entry. It’s actually not surprising considering that Bass created some of the most popular and timeless logos in history (Kleenex, AT&T and Quaker Oats) as well as designed title sequences for films like “Spartacus,” “Psycho” and “North by Northwest.”

This logo is especially pleasing to the eye and does a good job of representing the ideals of an organization like The Girl Scouts. To begin with, the earthy tones are nice and bring images to the mind of forests and the outdoors. Secondly, it shows a variety of girls, of various looks and nationalities, next to one another, which to me represents equality and that everyone is welcome in their organization. Finally, the font and the look of the graphics is a little old fashioned, not in an antiquated way but in a way that says that the Girl Scouts have been around for 100 years and will still be around in 100 years more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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