TIME ТО RETIRE
"GET A FISK"
Above, the Fisk Tire boy
used a clever pun to induce
sales. Below, Psyche, the
goddess of purity, watches
over White Rock Beverages
just as she has done since
this painting was first
presented at the World's
Fair of 1893.
ntil about the 1930s, the majority of logos in America tended to
be of the pictorial or literal kinds. Trademark characters such as
the Dutch Boy, the White Rock girl and the Fisk Tire boy, often repro¬
duced from large oil paintings, were common in more innocent days.
Nowadays, the friendly company trademark has matured into the
hard-edged icon, a "shorthand" version of the "formal script" that was
the complex, old-fashioned logo.
Logo design of today includes a limitless variety of styles. As in fashion, a
broader range of styles is acceptable than was ever the case historically. That's because
today's logos are more often concept-driven, which means that the idea we wish to con¬
vey often dictates the style we choose to express it in. In this section I've attempted to
show examples of various logo categories. The "literal" logo is often just a nameplate
(pages 18-21). Monogrammatic logos are an ancient tradition, reaching back to the
first time Glug scratched his initial on his club (pages 22-23). Abstract logos, when
well designed, succeed just like modern art (pages 24-25). Retro logos are taken seri¬
ously by some who emulate the best aspects of the Victorian or Art Deco styles in their
logos, while others delight in purposely aping the
naïveté found in much period work (pages 26-31).
Of all the styles of logo design, I am most in¬
trigued—and sometimes amazed—by logos that pull
double and triple duty. These kind not only present the
company name or its initials, but convert them into
graphics that identify the company's product. The view¬
er of such a logo becomes a participant in an interactive
project to decipher the riddle of the image. Of course, if
the design is too clever or difficult to decipher, the logo
I would have to be considered a failure.
Ending this section is a showcase of German design¬
ers who pioneered this conceptual form and influenced
the style of today's logo design (pages 32-35).
EXERCISE: Design a logo (find someone—even if it's yourself—for whom to
make a real logo, rather than wasting time on a useless, hypothetical project) and
produce rough comps based on the various categories demonstrated in this section.
Dutch Boy paint has been
used in American homes
since 1907. The image has
been kept alive, below, with
updated type and design to
keep it fresh.