This Flickr set of vintage logos has been around a while now, and I looked and didn’t immediately get much inspiration. I mean, anyone else who’s linked to them has done the equivalent of, “Hey look, old logos! Um. Yes. Old logos!” so I guess I’m not alone.
Still, patience rewards the virtuous (or something) and I had a closer look through the ‘Original Size’ of all of them - my, that was a fun exercise, thank you, Flickr - and found some logos that I think are pretty interesting. Unfortunately, most of the ‘logos’ on those pages really don’t deserve the distinction of being called logos. In fact, most of them are pretty poor. I guess that makes the good ones stand out better. Perhaps.
So, enough bad-mouthing. I’ve traced (manually, of course, with lovely beziers) the ones I either like, or think are inspirational and felt quite a bit of ’70s and ’80s nostalgia in the process. You may have a different set of choices of course, and no, I wouldn’t include the Lubalin logo in the ‘crap’ ones. I just don’t like it very much. I know, I know, there’s a space in Design Hell reserved just for me… Below are thumbnails of the ones I’ve traced, and I’ve added notes for most of them too. If you’re reading this on the home page, click “Read the rest…” to see the whole lot.
- Forening for Boghaandvoerk
I’ve seen plenty of FF ligatures, but it’s the FB one on this that I like and wanted to keep for reference.
- Cumberland Capital Corp.
Just great. I imagine it’s supposed to imply ‘growth’ with the tree image, but it makes a pleasing image - perfect for a monogram.
- Fernandec & Rubin
This ampersand is wonderful.
- New York Aquarium
Reminds me of Japanese mon, and unlike a lot of the logos that look symmetrical but aren’t, this one is. Perfectly.
- National Sea Products Limited
A fish with a crown? How could I say no? I like the composition and old-timey lettering too.
- Oy Finleuy Ab
This one makes me laugh. It looks like a demented chameleon.
- Norwegian Caribbean Lines
Interesting to keep, just to show any letter can be made to trail off into a wavey line.
- Keystone Park
I did make a slight modification to this - I cleaned up the ‘central reservation’ in the curved road. I’m not entirely sure what a motorway intersection has to do with a parkbut I’m sure it made sense at the time.
- Jonneret SA
Lovely wavey lines… ‘nuff said.