Category Archives: Part 3

Part 3: Pastiche

 “The pastiche of the British wartime poster ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has been employed to present a wide range of viewpoints, some political, others lifestyle-based. The pastiche works by maintaining the basic visual language of typography and layout while changing the punchline to re-interpret what people might want to keep calm about.

Pick a design or other cultural artefact that you can pastiche to create new meanings. Reflect on the meaning of the original item and deconstruct the narratives or meanings that are already in play within it. What is the key message intended by the designer? What other potential readings are possible? For example, a 1970s advert for cigarettes showing a man smoking at a bar will have been created with the intention of making smoking look manly, social, normal – or some other message to encourage people to smoke. Our reading of the advert is likely to be informed by concerns about the health risks of smoking, its unsocial nature (especially if you live in a country with a public smoking ban), or changing attitudes about what constitutes ‘manly’.

While pastiche is a commonly used tactic in campaigning, you may feel uncomfortable about copying and manipulating somebody else’s work; after all, it could be your own design that is being reworked! On the other hand, you could view pastiche as a form of visual conversation in which ideas are reframed, questioned and commented on. Reflect on your views about pastiche in your learning log.”

Some fun pastiche examples…

We can easily pick up the references if we have see the originals…the Beetles meets lego, 1940s meets Buffy…

We were asked to reflect on our views about pastiche. I think my views are positive. It all hinges on our recognition – I would guess not much pastiche works globally. Its fun being ‘in’ on the joke. We might well have either fondness or respect for the original – such as the Mona Lisa. And to subvert the original can be an act of affectionate fun. I also love the idea of modern life entering the garden of eden. I think stand up comics sometimes say that part of comedy is putting unlikely thing together and leading us to an unexpected conclusion. But sometimes pastiche can be angrier – a battle cry against global business and exploitation.

I went to bed thinking oh I know, I’ll do something related to road signs and instructional information or warning signs…Then I woke up and realised its already been done. (Heres a few hidden amongst the real ones.

After more pondering I thought about all the lovely typography on websites such ‘Not on the High Street’…You can buy numerous products complete with inspirational words

But the more you look, the more it gets…A Bit Annoying

I can’t deny they are very attractive

And sometimes Im all up for a life affirming quote

Oh no. I’m really fond of wine and chocolate too. (I do like ‘Yay I remembered to bring my bag’!)

So being British obviously I have to revert to sarcasm. And just as The Little Book of Calm was followed by the Little Book of Crap, here’s my tribute to all those words of wisdom.

Step 1. Thanks to Pixabay I downloaded a suitable image…

Step 2. And added my own unique wording in photoshop

Reflect on the meaning of the original item and deconstruct the narratives or meanings that are already in play within it. What is the key message intended by the designer? What other potential readings are possible?

Um…I think maybe I picked a very modern trend to pastiche…So the original meaning was to inspire and hang on your wall as a thing of beauty. They key message was the inspirational quote. I don’t think you can read a lot else into this. Maybe I should have picked something else. Sorry.



Part 3: Researching campaigns

“Campaigns of all forms have a rich social and visual history, from the banners of the suffragettes and trade union movements, to the placards, tee shirts and protests of anti-war movements, from iconic government campaigns to enlist soldiers or warn of health issues to powerful propaganda. Identify some ways in which designers have helped to support campaigns through posters, logos or other strategies. Reflect on how these campaigns have worked. What was the key message and how has this been embedded within their designs?”

I actually found it harder than I was anticipating to find information about this subject. Its rather strange that the subject of social campaigning – an area you’d think graphic designers would be proud of – doesn’t appear to feature that much within the general history of graphic design. Perhaps I’m reading the wrong books?!

Of course not all graphic design has encouraged social change for the better. The most horrible visual identity ever devised was the nazi swastika. It was designed by Hitler himself, with the encouragement of the American businessman Ernst Hanfstaengl, who was familiar with the concept of branding. Of course the original symbol is much older, but it has come to represent evil, and is so strongly associated with fascism that it would be hard to understand it in any other context.

War Recruitment Posters


Posters opposing War

Anti war and nuclear disarmament. Many artists and designers have created artwork that protested against war, notably from the first world war onwards.

CND has a very memorable logo designed in 1958 by professional artist and designer Gerald Herbert Holtom. It has featured widely on posters, banners, badges and is instantly recognisable. The slogan “Nukes Out” was commonly used when I was growing up in the 1980s. Key message: Peace. This symbol is only obvious in meaning because its so famous – but it contains semaphore for the letters “N” and “D” (nuclear disarmament) The fact that it is so pared down makes it a very useable logo, that was quickly adopted in other countries, particularly in America.

The suffragettes and suffragists employed various visual strategies – notably the use of flags, banners, badges, shashes all with the distinctive colours – purple, white and green. Its easy to see that the slogan clearly and simply shows exactly what these women were fighting for. Key message: Votes for women/equal rights. The colours are thought to represent purple for loyalty and dignity, white for purity, and green for hope. The white being so light in tone compared to the green and purple, is striking to the eye. The colours certainly work well as a group. So well that Selfridges and Liberty sold various items supporting the cause, including tricolour-striped ribbon to adorn clothing and accessories. No to mention handbags, shoes, soap and slippers. I didn’t know that Sylvia Pankhurst trained at the Royal College of Art – she was responsible for much of the movement’s visual identity.

Amnesty international have a strong tradition of hard hitting poster campaigns, complete with an instantly recognisable logo designed in 1963 by Diana Redhouse originally selected as amnesty’s first christmas card design. It sums up the function of the charity perfectly – hence the longevity of the design. Key message: barbed wire (cruelty/capture) candle (hope)

Campaigning posters


AIDS awareness also has a strong identity; the red ribbon has been used over and over throughout the world. Key message: red (symbolising blood) hope (ribbon)


The campaigns I’ve selected here have been highly effective in terms of being instantly recognisable. Each has a strong visual identity, that is simple, clear, easy to recognise and reproduce. The key message can be summed up in a few words in each case.



Part 3: Branding and packaging

“A family-run café, established in the 1970s by Guido Fratagnoli, is seeking to re-assert itself in a market place that has become saturated by chain and multinational coffee shops. The café was established by an immigrant Italian family and has always valued its cultural heritage, reflected in the coffee, food, conversation and ambience of the venue. The personality of the café is rooted in a belief that what they offer is a social experience in which genuine conversations can take place over cups of coffee and plates of pasta. Rather than ‘have a nice day’ the café owner is more likely to ask how your family is doing and pick up on a conversation you had last time you were there.
The café has a loyal following of customers, but they have noticed that younger customers are tending to opt for chain coffee shops instead. Perhaps this is because of more aggressive marketing from the competition, or because the ethos of chatting to customers is a hurdle for some teenagers.

The family wants you to come up with ideas to rebrand their café to reflect and celebrate the heritage, values and visual language of classic café culture to a younger audience without alienating their existing customers. What visual ideas would you pitch to the café? What values are you going to promote and what do you propose to redesign? Put together your ideas and designs into a format that you can present simply and clearly to your client.”

I had a look at some restaurant branding…

My local restaurants and cafes

If you look carefully, you can see the little fish on the letter ‘Q’

This is the stoned logo (wood fired pizzas)

I noted that the sign above the shop is the same typeface but in a smart grey – the circle becomes a call out: ‘eat in, take out’. this will be deliberate, as the business is very new, and all the branding was designed as a while.

I incuded a pic of the interior just because its amazing!

This Bistro is run by an actual french family – though I think the branding is less strong compared to other cafes – its a bit boring!

Italian design – food and Italian product/industrial design in general

And some Italian themed stuff (!)

The Armani logo is really effective (as you’d expect!) with a very stylish monogram forming a perfect circle.

Italain furniture design – innovative and well made

Screen shots from the Alessi website. This iconic brand started in 1921 – seems to me a good example of a company that is both forward thinking and proud of their heritage. And often with a playful side too.

If you can talk about ‘Italian design’ as an entity, I feel it is often stylish, with a love of good quality materials, a strong sense of history, but often with a nice sense of humour thrown in!

For this brief I could only really guess at what might have an Italian feel based on this research. If my client were real person, I would like to find out more information:

  • Where in Italy is he from? Does the region have any historical links? For example, maybe he comes from a region that is known for a particular dish. Perhaps he hails from an area that is linked to a key ingredient. Or even one that produced a great typeface by a particular designer! (Where did I get that idea?? Just because I was reading that Giambattista Bodoni comes from Saluzzo, Italy. Just a thought)…
  • What dish is he most proud of? And does he have children or grandchildren? What do they like most about the cafe? What do they want to change? What do they think is already working? Do they use social media and do they have a website?
  • And of course it would be useful to know colour preferences and so on…

I have just bought myself a little moleskin notebook with a little dotted grid to try and keep my scribbles a bit neater (particularly if they are typographic). Nice colour eh?

I set about exploring ideas. I was trying to avoid lettering made from spaghetti loops or a fork twirling spaghetti, but I did find it hard not to at least look at cutlery, wine glasses and coffee cups.

I also thought about ingredients such as garlic, pasta, coffee and olives

I thought it might be a bit more original to include somethings different such as the olive tree, but I was a bit unsure how clear this would be – maybe this is more suitable for gardening/products?

The idea of the steaming coffee cup came from my partner (I like it when he makes suggestions as I can pretend he’s the client which is helpful!) I was thinking of the steam becoming the cross bar of the letter ‘t’…

Typefaces – I actually lost the original file for this as my mac decided to crash. So here’s an approximate re-creation: I was mainly looking at scripts, but I wanted to avoid anything too fashionable, which would date too quickly, or anything too classic which might look old fashioned.

I went for the sans serif with the double storey ‘g’ (Seravek), and a slightly informal script (Euphoria Script)

Here I worked on some ideas in Illustrator. Because I chose to pair the coffee cup with the sans serif, it looks unbalanced off to the side, so I centred it. Obviously looking at this again as I’m writing, I could have used a typeface with higher ascenders to get a larger ‘f’.

Colour Inspiration – I was pondering on muted colours and having a ‘mood board’ going in my head… So I noticed an aubergine coloured T shirt that I thought would be a good shade, and also this flyer from popped thought the letterbox.  Isn’t it great? Anyway the point being it has quite a muted matt finish, which I think would also suit the cafe’s style.

I went to for a quick look around, and grabbed a few little screen shots of the sort of colours I was looking for. I wanted some rich colours, such as this aubergine, and I also liked the golds and desaturated lime green. I was hoping for warmth and depth, but nothing too strident! Hot pink does make an appearance tho as its cheeky.

Also a few more pieces of inspiration – if they decided on a circular logo, I think it would look great on a banner like this

Also maybe a striped background with a circular logo might appeal? Something to bare in mind (photos from Graphic Design Essentials by Joyce Walsh Macario)

Logo Designs for Guido Fratagnoli’s Cafe

I have mocked up a number of options:

I can’t argue that the first is very generic, though I do like the typeface. The second is meant to show the knife actually slicing the dot/tittle off the letter ‘i’. I do feel this potentially does the job, as its simple and clean. He is competing against big business chains, so perhaps they need to look sharp – established customers already know they’re friendly – and the audience they are looking to attract probably aren’t so interested in ‘homely’ values. However, may feel quite reasonably that friendliness is his USP!

I still don’t feel this has quite come off, but it perhaps reflects the character of the business better – but I’m not sure how to tweak this to get it to really work?

Again I’m sure someone has thought of pasta shapes before me, but I think they are (hopefully) stylish, friendly and fun. Probably my favourite.

These look a bit retro to me – I think it works, but could maybe be mistaken for homeware? I’ve also read that although its very common to incorporate an image within a wordwork, that it can get lost at small sizes. (I should have reversed out the rim of the aubergine cup!)

Hopefully now Mr Fratagnoli could give me his thoughts and feedback. I’m aware that many designers mock up the logo in context – so if I had a photo of his shop front, I could do just that!




Graphic Design Essentials by Joyce Walsh Macario

Part 3: Researching Supermarket Branding

“Next time you’re at the supermarket or food shopping online, examine what strategies companies use to design their ranges. For example, look at the design decisions made in their luxury, budget, Indian food or other ranges. How do these designs create a sense of branding, and how is the overall image of the supermarket maintained across them?”

Tesco finest

As you can see, Tesco has used the “Tesco Finest” logo reversed out on every item. Black does tend to make things look classy! There’s several typefaces in use across the range. You can see for example that ‘Swiss’ (chocolate), ‘Assortment’ (shortbread) and ‘unsmoked’ (bacon) are the same script…’Rich and intense’ (coffee) ‘indulgent quadruple chocolate…’ (cookies) are another. You can see the packaging is designed to evoke luxury, in keeping with this being tesco’s top end products.

The wine is really only identifiable as part of the range by its top label.

Tesco value

Like all value brands, its easy to identify! The ‘everyday value’ wording is as prominent as the actual product description. The emphasis is clearly on price.  In each case, its the same logo with the wobbly underline, on a pale background with a cluster of little images in a limited colour palette.( I quite often buy value items and I’m enough of an anorak to look at the little images – they do vary across the range, which is a nice touch.) There’s nothing dramatic here; they are meant to be quiet, and not fight the other labels!

Mid Range

Whats interesting about Tesco’s mid range own brand, is that its broken down into sub categories. Heres the general packaging – tesco logo, description of item in the same serif typeface, and a monochrome image of the product.

Some ‘cosy’ branding, such as ‘Redmere farm’ aka tesco’s own brand veg

And (probably because my friend Helen is due to give birth any day!) Nappies – under the slogan “Tesco loves Baby”.

Product Variation

And how many ways can you package the pretty much the same product?? Quite a lot. Here’s apple juice:

Its interesting that we are all so attuned to packaging that we can probably predict the price point by simply looking at it. But these two are tricky – they are exactly the same price!!!

Then there’s with fun movement and characters, obviously aimed at children, and one using complementary colours – its not made from concentrate, so is a higher price. Unusually, they have added a little apple in place of the Tesco letter ‘o’.

And finally the organic one – I love their organic range, the logo with the tree, and every product is illustrated with a loose watercolour.

In conclusion the only unifying feature across the entire range of tesco products is their main “Tesco” logo with the dashes underscoring each letter…except for “Tesco loves Baby”! But you can see the effect of branding within the tesco umbrella – by repeating a particular style across sub groups of products we can start to identify them as a familiar brand. I am guessing they are also keen to give us the feeling that there is plenty of choice within our supermarket, even amongst their own branded products. ‘Redmere Farm’ is presumably invented to make us feel a connection to a particular place , and as the name Tesco doesn’t evoke anything rural itself.

I also did a quick comparison with other supermarkets packaging for organic apple juice…I don’t think you can necessarily identify a common style as such. The co-op uses black in s similar way to Tescos Finest range, Sainsburys ‘So Organic’ and gone for simplicity and elegance, not ‘rustic’. With waitrose, they have used a ‘handwritten’ style script and illustration to identify the product type.

In preparation for this degree, I did a beginners art/graphic design diploma. One of the exercises was to create roughs for three kinds of tomato soup packaging – value, mid range and luxury. It was really fun to do  (if I find it I’ll add it here!) It certainly made me analyse the packaging ‘conventions’ we’re all familiar with.

Part 3: Researching Iconic Brands

“Identify an iconic brand and analyse its branding to work out what kind of narrative or personality is being communicated. You might want to consider whether this narrative differs from previous advertising or marketing campaigns by the same brand. Has the narrative changed fundamentally over time or is it basically the same story? Who do you think the brand is targeting or talking to?

You can now find many branding guidelines online. You may want to search your chosen brand’s own guidelines. Do these guidelines support the narrative you identified? Within these guidelines, reflect on what sort of information is important to graphic designers. How much freedom do you have in working with a brand?”

I chose to look at Cadburys as they have a long history – but I really didn’t know much about them until I discovered they have a very long page on their website detailing the entire history of the company! In 1824, John Cadbury opened a grocery shop in which he sold homemade cocoa. The business grew from there, developing ideas and products, and building homes for the workforce as they went along.

The design story goes like this:

In the early days of the company, the packaging underwent various changes and artistic flourishes without any consistant sense of direction in terms of design.

1866 cocoa packaging – slab serif, with detailed illustrations about the origin and manufacturing process involved in making their pure cocoa product.

Cadburys first easter eggs – price list 1875. Decorative typography for ‘cadburys’

1897 cadburys is made at Bournville – a rapidly expanding village, thanks to several bursts of house building programs funded by Cadbury. Another shift in typography and artistic style.

The first commissioned logo was in 1905. Its was designed by the Frenchman Georges Auriol, the chap who also designed the signs for the Paris Metro! Its absolutely lovely, but due to its fashionable art nouveau styling, perhaps inevitably had a short life span.

Milk is added to make milk chocolate

Cadbury Dairy Milk was first packaged in ‘pale mauve with red script’. The full range transformed to the iconic purple and gold in 1920. The famous logo appeared a year later (based on the signature of William Cadbury) but was only rolled out across the entire brand range in 1952. Although it has been simplified and refined along the way, it remains instantly recognisable in the present day.

I wasn’t able to find out why they chose purple and gold – but its a good choice – it conjures up richness, quality and luxury. Rather regal! Now of course, its changed to ‘friendly’ white.

Cadbury were concerned with making a quality product and showing that they could be trusted to deliver. The ‘personality’ of the brand at the time was tapping into the expanding market in confectionary. It was time of innovation, and as employers, they sort to be ethical in the old style philanthropic Victorian sense.

Here’s a snippet of Cadburys own blurb about the next stage of their evolution:

Its quite interesting that at this early stage Cadbury were attempting to promote a health conscious angle – that its milk chocolate was full of the goodness of milk.

Wartime…(Note: no purple in keeping with the utilitarian expectations of the era)


1958 – This ‘Lucky Numbers’ looks really rather modern, I don’t think I would be able to guess the era. These designs have moved to a more playful and fun style. They would appeal to both adults and children wanting a treat. I think its fair to say that as early as 1950s, that Cadburys was the brand we recognise visually today.

1967 – it seems there actually was an aztec bar!

Throughout its history, Cadburys have sometimes targeted children and adults separately. for example Milk Tray and Flake


And for children

It really depends on how cynical you are but I like to think some of its ethical roots still remain.

However in 2010 Cadbury became part of a huge multinational (Mondelēz International)… And isn’t always loved unconditionally by the British press

The narrative was originally that it was a family business, forward thinking, philanthropic, healthy, broad appeal. The modern branding of Cadburys is more about fun than luxury, they aim to appeal to people of all ages who simply want to have a treat and aren’t that hung up on cocoa content, nutritional goodness or exclusivity. Who are they appealing to? Everyone. Its a mass market product, and increasingly global too. Some of the basic story remains – the company has a long history and is proud of its roots. In terms of individual marketing campaigns, like all advertising, it has become more sophisticated and humorous over the years. The old milk tray television adverts are a bit laughable now, as is the slogan and jaunty song  “A finger of fudge is just enough to give the kids a treat!” Since then we’ve had a gorilla playing drums, and the creme egg is marketed in a daft way to adults too. The basic story remains: that cadburys is for everyone.

Thankfully it was very easy to access the brand guidelines – it turns out that the logo must always be at a 15 degree angle, currently with a surrounding elipse. As you can see they have a bespoke shade of purple, with a CMYK equivalent.

Its hard to say if the guidelines support the narrative of the company – its simply an iconic brand, does purple say ‘playful’? It can do, and does in this context. The wordmark is very recognisable, just like Kelloggs and Coca Cola, its based on a signature and has enormous longevity. The swirling letters is echoed by the elipse, it reminds of us melting chocolate – yummy, and supports a lively ‘persona’.

Graphic designers would obviously find the guidelines vitally important – the exact positioning of the angle of the typeface, the exact colour. I think there would be quite limited freedom working within this brand – they aren’t looking for big changes! However, they are still developing new products and each one has to have a new distinctive identity. If you look at the packaging for example of Roses chocolates, they aren’t on a purple background, and the typeface on a ‘Wispa’ is very different to that of milk tray…it would depend which product you’re working on as to how much innovation or freedom you would have. Probably some typographic freedom, and maybe not always purple!!!



Pinterest & Google images

Part 3: 21st century zoo

“A local wildlife park wants you to develop a logo that supports the idea of a popular and fun family-centred experience, but also helps to make people more aware of the conservation work they do. The trustees of the park have recently visited Toronto and London Zoos to see how they balance the need to attract visitors and funding with a commitment to educating people about animal welfare and habitat issues.

Develop a logo that represents your chosen animal in an appealing way for a family audience, but which also maintains its image and integrity as a wild animal. Record your progress in your learning log.”

I started by looking at logos simply depicting animals, before getting specific…

Luke Bott

Carlos Ferdandez

Joe Bosack

Sonia Gretman

As you can see, these use negative space, with a clear relationship between two ‘friends’.

And some animal themed logos gathered on one of my Pinterest boards. Negative space again, and Picasso style single line drawings…

Then I’ve focused in on Wildlife/safari/zoos/conservation. This got me thinking that it would depend on the audience – is this aimed at mainly at adults or children? Some designs and colour palettes are more sophisticated than others…

I couldn’t find many that had the same sense of style that I found in the general logos – but these are nice. I like the way the zebra stripes ‘fuse’ with the spines of the seahorse.

And here, the stripe drops to form the letter ‘l’.

Some are actually just typographic such as this one at Combe Martin.

I had a feeling animal and paw prints might have been used before!

This is the little zoo in Plymouth they made a Hollywood film about ( I believe the term is ‘loosely based’)!!!! I didn’t notice any of the staff looked like Matt Damon or Scarlett Johansson. But I could be wrong. My friends got married here,  the sun shone and baby meerkats were just outside. So for that reason I remember it as a lovely place.

Sometimes the ‘tone’ seems to emphasise fun and family friendly.

Yep, there is a certain naff quality to this…

OK its not original but its neat and does the job!

This is more like it…

This is my favourite! The animals are in silhouette, depicted in a naturalistic way – this combined with the crown all seem to convey they are a quality set up, and these animals are treated with respect…But its so clever that the choice of ‘aged print’ and colour palette make the effect warm and approachable too.

Google screen shots for zoo logos – a variety of approaches – I like the relaxed feel of Colchester Zoo…I think Whipsnade must have been designed by the same designers as for London Zoo, presumably under the ‘ZSL’ umbrella?

And from the book Logo by Michael Evamy – I love the kipling monkey

San Francisco Zoo

And the brief mentioned the clients have recently visited  London and Toronto Zoos. These have obviously been designed by experienced folk…Various animals interact with the letter forms at London zoo, and for Toronto, its gorgeously pared down. Sleek, but approachable!

Unrelated to animals, but I like this ‘folded style’ for the simplicity and illusion of depth.

My Work

Brain storming animals – what qualifies as wildlife? I’ve underlined some that have potential

I was aware that its unlikely I will be able to produce anything very original! For that reason I didn’t really like the idea of grouping a cluster of assorted animals, perhaps with a sunset or a tree behind them, or spending much time thinking about inserting animal print to fill letters…Maybe better to pick just one animal to represent a zoo, but what on earth do you pick??

These first roughs were done with the help of my niece, Zoe. My visual memory isn’t great, so some of the ‘animals’ are yet to be identified by human science(!)

Maybe a giraffe bending down might work, as it would make a ‘squarer’ format logo.

Here are Zoe’s lovely ones…We were considering an animal lying on top of lettering, or maybe curling round it. And she was able to help me out with the shape of a toucan’s tail!

Having a think about shapes, and big cats


Rhinos etc…

I spent a long time looking at my illustration sketch books for ideas like this rhino…

…and printing out reference pictures, these are paper clipped together by subject…By this point I was of course driving myself nuts.

More sketching…Lemurs. Lovely shapes!

Lion again…

Some really bad ideas..I don’t think I can have a gorilla wearing a snake?!

Some ink versions on layout paper, so I can scan them in

I kept getting pretty distracted by the sheer choice of animals, so at this point, I simply picked one – the elephant – and had a go at some variations. Some are clearly not working, I don’t want to go too childish or absurd.

I scanned in my inked images to allow me to shuffle images and play with layout.

Psst. This is actually my favourite. I didn’t pursue it as I suspect its a bit girly and not that accurate in its portrayal of wildlife??

Rough idea combining images… I like the movement and energy, but is a pelican going to be flying around?

So. What I ended up with was a lot of images…but not a lot of actual logo designs! You may well be asking by this point, where are all the thumbnails with actual ideas? Um. I didn’t do any.

Question: Where does an illustration end and a logo begin? Answer: I don’t know.

I really felt by this point I’d spent a lot of time not getting very far. So I decided to draw a couple more animals, this time head on.

Partly inspired by some squiggles I made when trying out a pen, I drew the markings on a giraffe (badly)

Then firmed up the design. I ran this one by my partner, who agreed it had potential, but needed to be simplified. The question was, how much?

I also drew a springbok, mainly because like the giraffe, it has some strong markings that can be shown simply.

And with a bit of scanning, some tweaking in Photoshop and Illustrator, I had some vector images that actually looked like logos. Finally.

Yes I know, a bit untidy, cramped leading above.

Some variations…

These elephants are OK, but I prefer the springbok and the zebra…

My  Wildlife Park Logos 

I think the giraffe has it? It also works OK reversed out, and would hopefully be versatile – perhaps on a child’s T-shirt in a bright colour in place of black?

Or maybe even given a distressed/slightly vintage feel as with Knowsley Safari? Hopefully there are options.

So. Thats it. I think I found the balance with the stripes – just enough information? It was very helpful asking my partner for feedback on that. I’m pleased with the final outcome, but I got too distracted by the subject matter to be objective. Hmm. Focus. Maybe I should meditate now?

Part 3: Researching How Logos Change Over Time

Research point 1

Identify examples of well-established organisations, companies or other groups whose logos have evolved over time. Alternatively, pick examples of historic logos and compare them with contemporary ones. What do these changes tell us about shifts in approaches to logo design? For example, can you pick out particular historical or contemporary trends? Try and choose a range of examples that draw on traditions of logotypes, emblems, insignia, or use mascots. Plot the development of these logos, describing how their form has changed over time. Document your examples and reflect on your findings in your learning log.”

What a perfect excuse to buy a book. Here it is:

Armed with a selection of 100 logos to choose from, it is difficult not to waffle on about all of them – but I promise I won’t!

Actually, some logos have remained largely unchanged – I think it would be difficult to date these versions at first glance, as they all retain a traditional feel.

BMW have slightly altered the typography and the shade of blue, but its very subtle.

A bit more variation here, though the essential elements appear quite early on – sometimes reversed out, which i think has more impact.

As I looked through the pages, it was interesting to spot the moment from which I can remember a company, and some logos stick in my mind so much that I have trouble remembering more recent versions. For example, the german sportswear company Adidas. The ‘3 petals’ design ran for 20 years, ending in 1990 – this is the one I still picture in my mind!

I’d previously chuckled when I heard Philip Knight’s first response to the original Nike logo was ‘I don’t love it but it will grow on me’…But, its a bit crap isn’t it?! The typeface is plonked on top, and doesn’t seem to have much of a relationship with the gorgeous swoosh tick.  Pretty much caught on after that though eh…..

I had no idea the earliest Apple logo was so retro! It was replaced by the iconic apple within a year, and typography was dropped by 1984 as it was already recognisable by the image alone.

Its only fair to mention Paul Rand (thanks also to this book)

Although the UPS logo has now been redesigned, his version still looks crisp to me. Perhaps they could have just updated the typeface a little rather than a full redesign?

As with many of the logos I was surprised to see how unrecognisable some of the early versions are as you can see with IBM. While being interviewed, Paul Rand put forward the interesting and very modest point that sometimes logos ‘become’ representative of the company because of size of the business. He reckoned that it was just chance that the stripes came to be associated with a computer screen because its IBM, not that they are inherently a short hand for computing! 

Many of these examples seem to be crafted according to the prevailing fashion, which is more apparent in the older companies. IBM began life in 1888 as the International Time Recording Company. You can see that the early logos are monograms (following the name changes that took place) and influenced by Art Nouveau and Art Deco styling.

I didn’t now that the McDonalds previously had a little mascot in the logo (though obviously Ronald Mcdonald persisted for who knows how long in their adverts)

Best mascot? Michelin Man! Starting in the 1880s, the early advertising looks typically Victorian in style, then in 1914, the little chap starts capering all over the letters!

I think he’s here to stay!

I love the starbucks logo – its the style of illustration, and also the originality of researching a two tailed siren from a 16th century woodcut. As with McDonalds, Starbucks is now so huge it doesn’t need to write the name.

You can see that the fashionable typography of the day has often driven change

Most of all perhaps with Barbie – heavy drop shadow for the 70s, followed by further variations, and 50 years after the company launched, they returned to the original typeface.

Conclusion: You can see that the logos often start life as more intricate, and become simplified and refined down over time. Even the ‘mascots’ such as the Starbucks Siren and the Michelin Man become simplified – sometimes appearing in ‘close up’ rather than full body. Adidas for example becomes simply 3 horizontal lines.

Perhaps the typography dates logos most of all, and it shows the pitfalls of closely following fashion – these are the word marks that need updating over time. Interestingly a simple crisp image has a longer shelf life such as the nike tick, and the apple logo.

Research point 2

Return to the logos you chose in the previous research task and try and summarise what you think the logos are communicating. Are there any differences between the contemporary examples and their previous versions?

I think every company wants to communicate their strengths and customer appeal. What these are will depend on the industry. Fast food will be tasty and convienant. Tyres reliability and so on.

However over time advertising has become more sophisticated. Quality, reliability and trust have always been important, but the emphasis gradually shifted, by wanting to say  ‘We are friendly’, ‘We are fun’, or ‘We are Modern’.  More recent values are ‘We care about the environment’ or ‘We have an interesting back story’ has emerged. For example Mast chocolate. Beautiful packaging, elegant typeface, elaborate back story of travel and master chocolatiers.

These companies each have long histories…

With Pathe, you can see a move towards a more informal style, which perhaps reflects our culture as a whole. Who knew Nokia was this old? Again, the earliest version is a detailed illustration which now looks dated.

However, some fashions go full circle, and ‘vintage style’ logos and hand rendered typography are popular now, for example with food labelling that seeks to convey a return to traditional wholesome food production.

Also in other areas such as clothing – as you can see from the date, this is 2004.

Its hard to stand outside fashion – and depending on the type of company, perhaps its unwise to even try!



Logo Life Life Histories of 100 Famous Logos by Ron van der Vlugt

Graphic Design History by Stephen J Eskilson