Typographer.org has returned, with a beautiful new design and a single-column format. The infrequent Bald Condensed features will be given their own pages, as in David’s own words:
What happened to Bald Condensed? Nothing, it just appears less frequently, that’s all. New editions of Bald Condensed will be announced in the news feed from now on.
And for the first time (oddly), I notice that the logo is not just truncated Didot - the serif has been removed from the ‘h’. Subtle!
There’s a design agency near where I live called Eighth Day, and when they put up their sign I enjoyed the use of the numeral ‘8’ to form a lowercase ‘g’. I’ve seen some hand-drawn examples of it in the past, but not in a logo. I’m sure plenty of examples must exist - it is after all an effective and yet straightforward typographic trick. I thought this example was even more intriguing, with all the letters formed from part of numeral eights. I’m especially loving the neat positioning of the trademark symbol - it’s unusual to see it nicely integrated into a logo.
I’m fascinated by imaginary products created for films and games - there’s an art to creating something just similar enough to real products to be recognisable as a brand type, but without actually copying any particular identity. Some films and games come very close to existing brands (RUF in Children of Men; GAP for pets, Tube in GTA 3; Subway) while others work within the conventions of a product type so you know what kind of thing it’s supposed to be (pretty much everything in the Truman Show). I have an article I’m writing on brand conventions, but that’s not for today. The reason for this post is some of the work featured in this interview with Sarah Bradley, graphic designer and typographer at Pixar, and ex-lead title designer at Disney. In the article is a matrix for a box of rat poison shown in Ratatouille, which I just had to make into a fake box shot - I do this a lot at work and it’s fun to do, so I couldn’t resist.
The original matrix:
A few weeks ago, I spent a good hour trying to find some background info on the rebrand of Dubai International Airport, without success. I just went back to the Brand New post on it and there it is, a link, courtesy of Ty Wilkins.
While the airport logos have patterns similar to the tesselations characteristic of islamic art, the main logo pattern is rather reminiscent of a compass rosette, perhaps to imply that Dubai is at the centre of things? I generally agree with the Brand New post (and many of the comments) in that the positioning of the type on the individual airport logos seems clumsy and distracting. Having the type endpoint line up with the apex of the implied sphere is a straightforward solution, and yes, it’s not all that bad, but it’s not all that good either.
There’s something oddly old-fashioned about the choice of typeface and colour too, like something from the late 1980s. I’d prefer to see either the word “Dubai” or the airport identifier in a different weight, or black (instead of grey), or something - anything to give the type some life. I’m not sure about the face - it does look a bit like the Emirates logo, and I’m interested to see that there’s no arabic version of it too. Changing the positioning of the type, as below, focuses attention on that centre of the centre-of-things pattern and would look even better in arabic right-to-left lettering - in my everso humble opinion, naturally:
Mind, when we get some wider applications of the logo to brochures, signage, wayfinding and the like, it could appear quite different, with the odd type integrated and comfortable with the patterned globe.
Oh, and I have to point out the odd language on the logolounge article,
Dubai Airports tapped Cato Purnell Partners in 2007 to develop an identity system that would not only unite the organization’s holdings, but also mark Dubai as an international air hub.
Tapped? How do you tap an agency? I have horrific visions of plumber-surgeons installing chromeware directly into living flesh, a media agency relationship direct from the mind of Guillermo del Toro! Of course, this would hardly be the only linguistic horror inflicted on the language by the media industry, I say over and over again, the word creative is not a noun, no, not even when applied to a person, and especially not when referring to artwork. Rant over.
I just saw the new Animal Planet logo here, then after a search, here (of course). My first impressions weren’t too great, immediately I was wondering why the M was on its side - it looks like a reversed sigma, a kind of mathematical AniΣal Planet, if you will - and the mixed of weights and stretched type just seemed confusing and messy. However, after looking at some of the applications on the website (there aren’t many yet, though look at the videos on the home page, and here) I’ve changed my mind. Despite the obvious typographic objections (stretched type - ow!) I actually like it. I still think the sideways M isn’t too great, but overall the logo has a strong identity and fits with the aim of moving the channel from exclusively family friendly fare. They wanted to make the channel more grown up, and I think they’ve done it, simultaneously cutting the apron strings to the main Discovery brand by losing the spinning globe. I often like global ‘over-brands’ like Discovery had but it requires a consistently high standard of application and I think the old Animal Planet logo shows that that wasn’t the case. The new logo has a big advantage in that as it lacks imagery, it has a much wider range of applications for combining it with photography and video - a big strong typographic logo is much easier to apply to transitions, fades and tints than something with an image of an elephant on it, by far. The old one had some nice applications, but I look forward to far more from the new one.
Thursday 7th Feb 2008
I have mixed opinions of this. Even if it is a blindingly obvious thing to use a planet to make the zero, it is NASA and if anyone can use a planet in a logo they surely can, and I think it’s quite nice with the 5. I just wish they’d left it at that, but no. They had to go and stick a big fat lens flare on it. It’s not even a real one even though one thing NASA has, is access to plenty of lens flares. Oh, and I hate the vignetting.
This is interesting, the Bunch design agency got a whole bunch (geddit?) of designers and illustrators they admired to ‘respond’ to their identity. As a result they got a whole load of variations on their logo which they’re now using as part of their identity. Very clever indeed, as commissioning all that work conventionally would be very expensive indeed.
A few of the results are shown on the CR blog page, but I picked my two favourites here. The blackletter style one is very interesting, as the negative spaces aren’t simply a reversed image of the implied continuation of the stroke, but an additional shape on the outer edge of that stroke. Very nice.
Wednesday 16th Jan 2008
I came across this article and my immediate thought was, “The logo was designed?” I thought it was typed. Add a soft bevel and some colours and hey presto, a logo! But no. They got someone else to design it by typing it into Photoshop, add a soft bevel and some colours and hey presto, a logo! Now, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, or a bad logo really, but the justification makes me chuckle. How many times as a designer have you been asked to post-justify a piece of work when really you were using your instincts and your eye to produce something that fit the requirements? I’ve lost count.
It was playful and deceptively simple. The design subtle as to look almost non-designed, the reading effortless. The colors evoke memories of child play, but deftly stray from the color wheel strictures so as to hint to the inherent element of serendipity creeping into any search results page and the irreverance and boldness of the â€œI am feeling luckyâ€ link. The texture and shading of each letter is done in an unobtrusive way resulting in lifting it from the page while giving it both weight and lightness. It is solid but there is also an ethereal quality to it.
Yes. Indeed. Quite. Fortunately for Google, just typing the company name in Catull works just fine too, ethereal quality or no.
Tuesday 8th Jan 2008
As mentioned elsewhere, it appears that Xerox have rebranded, courtesy of Interbrand. There’s a pretty good critique of the new logo over on Brand New which I mostly agree with, apart from one thing. While the pixellated effect was (and is) rather clichÃ©, Landor’s implementation of it was sophisticated and spoke well of what Xeros did, and still does. Sub-pixel anti-aliasing and high resolution screens notwithstanding, we still produce work in a pixellated environment, and it’s only when we print something that those pixels go away, so the big ‘X’ seemed perfectly appropriate for a company making printers, photocopiers and scanners and the like.
Clearly I’m not party to some vital information here, perhaps Xerox are planning to move into the manufacture of cricket, or petanque balls. Nice wordmark though.
No, it’s not a logo, it’s today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. It really looks like a logo though don’t you think? It reminds me of all the swooshes and planetary logos we’ve seen over the years, except this time it’s the real thing. That’s what it looks like.
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