This post examines Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year Greenery as design prompt, as emergent color trend, and symbolic of our collective mood right now.
Niall O’Loughlin of 99designs shares some important lessons from the history of logo design.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that logo design and branding were relatively modern concepts. But in reality, they have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Rather than going that far back in time though, in this article I’ll focus on popular brands in the modern era.
Logos are one of the key principles of branding and need to be memorable and in-line with what a company stands for. As we go on this journey, it will become apparent that simplicity has more or less been ‘in fashion’ for more than 80 years.
Some organizations stumbled across the perfect logo for their brand and barely changed it while others found the need to make alterations to change with the tastes of their target audiences.
01. The beginning of simplicity (1930s-1940s)
The introduction of colour printing and the rise of the advertising industry saw an explosion in logo design as companies allowed their imaginations to run wild.
It was common for brands to freely utilise heraldic and agricultural symbols to advertise any product.
However, as the lifestyles of the general public became more complex, it was necessary for brands to embrace simpler designs in order to make their logos more recognisable in a faster moving world.
Logos became simpler as the world started moving faster
Major brands such as Caterpillar, Kodak, IBM, Pepsi and VW all changed their logos with serif face font becoming the most popular choice.
The new logos were not ‘better’ than their predecessors. Indeed, in pure art terms, the early logos were probably superior. But the simpler designs allowed brands to become better known and that is of course the whole point of logo design.
02. Enter sans serif (1950s-1960s)
A number of large brands decided that serif was passé and marketed themselves as being more ‘futuristic’ by embracing sans serif in their logo designs.
In the 1950s, Lego and Shell were among the first to transition to a simpler sans serif logo and were followed in the 1960s by Pepsi, Chevy, Wal-Mart, Caterpillar and others.
Sans Serifs gave a more futuristic look to logos
As was the case with the first change, sans serif logos were in no way superior to their serif counterparts but they were marketed as such.
In advertising, it is all about perception and these brands made it seem as if serif design was out of date.
As a result, brands became terrified of being labelled ‘behind the times’ and followed suit even in cases when their existing logo was absolutely fit for purpose.
03. Negative space (1970s)
In art, negative space is the space between and around the spaces of the object. It varies around lower case letters in order to allow the eye to distinguish every word as a distinctive item.
Once again, Shell was one of the first companies to make the change in 1971 with the creation of radiant beams while Kodak used negative space to create flashes of light.
Negative space was big in the 1970s
The following year saw the unveiling of the now famous IBM logo which was created by Paul Rand. Pepsi joined the party in 1973 with its distinctive circular frame coupled with a negative space border.
In 1978, VW changed its logo and placed it inside negative space. Unlike before, Caterpillar was slow to join this particular trend and only added negative space to its logo design in 1989.
Yet again, the changes in design were prompted by a desire to ‘fit in’, as opposed to the alterations being necessary.
04. 3D design (early 2000s)
The rapid improvements in technology ensured that logos needed to be flexible and adaptable to any kind of media while still being simple and built to last.
3D design quickly became popular as designers saw its ability to really make a logo stand out.
Huge brand names such as Ford, Chevrolet, Pepsi and Chevron all made the switch to a 3D logo design from 2000 to 2005.
3D was big in the early 2000s
While it was a good idea in principle; in practice, the logos created during this age fail to inspire.
This is mainly due to the lack of mastery in the use of technology which made the logos look rather tacky.
Nonetheless, as it was the new ‘style’ of the time, major brands followed one another for fear of being left behind.
05. The modern era
Unlike previous eras, we are no longer in an age of a defined logo design ‘style’.
For example, Pepsi has both flat design and 3D in its logo, Kodak is remaining faithful to the sans serif style of the 1950s and 1960s, Wal-Mart is happy to utilise a 2D element while IBM is delighted with its iconic negative space logo from the ’70s.
The 2010s have seen a mix of past and present logo styles
With the growing need for brand recognition in the face of tough competition, it seems as if major brands are simply striving for the best possible design, regardless of the ‘style’.
The end of logo trends?
After decades of innovation and some would say needless changes, it appears as if we have finally arrived in a time where artistic merit is all that matters.
This is a positive thing and hopefully brands will remember this the next time a ‘hot trend’ rears its head.
Words: Niall O’Loughlin
Niall O’Loughlin is marketing manager for 99designs, an online graphic design marketplace that enables customers to quickly source graphic design work.
“Earl Grey Cake With Rhubarb Cream + Hanneli By Easy Fashion”
Diana Moss, a Cape Town, South Africa-based blogger, has compiled a visually appealing collages that bring together food and fashion in a wonderfully creative way.
Drawing parallels between the colors in food and fashion, Moss places delicious pastries alongside stylish individuals whose outfits are a near-perfect color match.
The uncanny resemblance between the two categories provides a fascinating insight into how similar trends in food and fashion can be.
Take a look at some of her collages below, and check out the full series here.
“Peach Pie + Claire By Stockholm Streetstyle”
“Blueberry Meringue Pie + Irina By Streetstyle Aesthetic”
“Almond Cream Filled Cardomom Buns + Tommy Ton”
“Banana Cream Pie + The Locals”
“Sticky Toffee Pudding + Antonia Aiegmund By A Love Is Blind”
[via Miss Moss]
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Andrei Lacatusu, a digital artist based in Bucharest, Romania, has created USB sticks that look like vintage handheld games and other now-obsolete, retro electronic devices.
Cleverly titled ‘Memories Stick’, the realistic illustrations feature miniature versions of retro gaming consoles that crack open to reveal their real function as USB storage drives.
Take a look at some of these nostalgia-inducing USB memory sticks below, and check out the complete illustration series here.
[via Andrei Lacatusu]
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So you’ve just gotten your website or blog up and running, and you need to fill it with beautiful pictures, but have no idea how to go about doing so?
Why not consider using IMGembed, an online platform that lets you ethically use a wide variety of images on your website? Through IMGembed, you can use images to make your blog posts visually appealing and engaging to visitors.
In this weekly feature, we highlight 10 stunning images that have been uploaded to IMGembed from creators around the world.
Whether you’re a blogger or a website owner, these amazing images are yours to use, absolutely free of charge. You can also opt to use the unattributed editions under affordable CPM rates.
Get started by browsing our collection here and make your website stand out from the rest.
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The Japanese design studio has recently created a collection of seven whimsical doors for the 70th anniversary of Abe Kogyo, a legendary manufacturer of wooden doors. The ‘Seven Doors’ collection feature surreal doors, with one that is tessellated to look like wooden lattices, and another that is built right into a corner.
Although the collection is not for sale, Abe Kogyo’s engineers are inspired and have already begun looking into adapting some of Nendo’s ideas for their new products.
Scroll down to have a look at the surreal doorways. You can also visit their website for more details.
‘Hang’, a door fitted with an internal magnetic sheet, allowing you to attach accessories like trays, dust bins, flower pots, vases or refrigerator magnets.
‘Baby’, inspired by the question: “What if babies had their own door to enter a house?”
‘Kumiko’, named after the Japanese technique of assembling wooden lattices without nails, this tessellated door is gradually assembled from the lower-right corner upwards into a smooth, uninterrupted surface.
‘Lamp’, a door and a lighting fixture in one. The lamp is powered using the same wiring techniques used in electronic locks.
‘Slide’, this door contains various panels which can be slid out of the way, like a window blind, to identify who’s ringing your bell or to let some light or breeze through.
‘Corner’, a door that allows the user to enter and exit through corners of a room. The door opens particularly wide and can practically allow for easier wheelchair access.
‘Wall’, a door covered with shelves and picture frames, becoming an extension of a household wall.
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Andrew Parkhurst has managed to channel David Lynch’s eccentricity in this new one-minute spot for the latter’s coffee brand.
The film stars an artificially intelligent robot drinking the David Lynch Signature Cup coffee in an experiment. Unfortunately for the android, the results are not in her favor.
Check out the quirky clip below.
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Since we last featured the work of Russian artist, Svetlana Petrova, more than three years ago, she has created more images of her cat, Zarathustra, photobombing art.
Petrova has now included more categories on her website to accommodate the various ways in which Zarathustra photobombs.
Ranging from ‘Meowvies’ to ‘Still Life’, her fat cat has reenacted iconic film scenes, such as Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of I Wanna Be Loved By You, and invaded famous artworks like Adriaen Van Utrecht’s Banquet Still Life from 1644.
Check out more of these funny images of a fat cat photobombing famous artworks here.
“And Where Is Russian Salad?”
“Wine Vs Catnip”
“Pygmalion the Cat and Galatea”
“Sappho and the Fat Cat”
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Using bright, neon colors against pastel backgrounds, Choice quotes various well-known personalities including American fashion designer Wes Gordon, English model Cara Delevingne and French designer Sonia Rykiel among others.
Scroll down or visit his website to view the entire series.
[via Luke Choice]
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Midway through his work on the book Just Breathe–a photo series on adults suffering from cystic fibrosis–Ontario-based fashion photographer Ian Pettigrew realized that there was a disproportionate number of women patients being featured in his work.
According to Pettigrew, an individual’s comment on how the “project [was] just turning out to be a bunch of hot chicks with CF” finally pushed him to start a series dedicated solely to female cystic fibrosis patients.
There is no known cure for this genetic disease which damages the lungs.
Inspiration for the series title, ‘Salty Girls: The Women of Cystic Fibrosis’, came from one of the common symptoms of the disease–salty skin.
The project focuses on the message of feeling beautiful in one’s own skin. He told the Huffington Post, “A lot of this is back to the issue of body shaming. Women with no scars have it bad enough in this digital age, now grow up with massive scars across your belly, and scars from your double lung transplant…[s]eeing how positive they can remain, when dealing with this horrible disease is inspiring”.
Several images of the ladies can be viewed below. Visit Pettigrew’s website to learn more about this genetic disease and the people who battle against it daily.
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