March 1, 2011
I ♥ NY
For decades now, graphic design has a significant impact on popular culture, leaving a lasting mark on society in the form of logos. With social networking taking off within the last decade, we can now use emoticons to express our thoughts and feelings, but logos serve as an international way of communicating a message and recognizing a brand. Here are some of the most iconic logos of today…
Perhaps the most definitive logo of the last decade, the Apple motif is a representation of how technology has taken leaps forward in recent years. Not only have Apple created a line of innovative products, they have also created a new lifestyle and broken product and packaging design boundaries. This well-known logo was first created in 1976, where it featured a small portrait of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. This was replaced almost immediately by a rainbow-coloured silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it – designed to complement Apple’s first slogan; “Byte into an Apple”. The rainbow colour scheme was supposedly used to show that the monitor could reproduce images in colour. However, this was discontinued in favour of a monochrome theme to coincide with the roll-out of the new iMac. Nowadays we are used to the glass-themed version that has been used since 2003.
I ♥ NY
Perhaps one of the most widespread logos throughout the world, with different countries and cities adopting the “I ♥ …” logo to market themselves to tourists. This simple, but very effective image was created in the back of a yellow taxi in Manhattan by Graphic Designer, Milton Glaser.
In 1977 he had been asked to come up with a logo that would regenerate the image of New York, which was suffering badly due to the high crime rates of the time. Using a red crayon, he scribbled the now infamous logo on the back of an envelope – a piece of history that is now a permanent fixture in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As the logo of New York’s official merchandise, it helps to generate around $30 million a year, resulting in Glaser being the first graphic designer to be awarded America’s National Medal of Arts in 2009.
London Underground sign
This ‘Roundel’ design was first used in the 19th Century as a symbol for the London General Omnibus Company – shown as a wheel with a bar through it, bearing the word GENERAL. By 1908 it was used in stations as an obvious way of highlighting station names on platforms, but it was modified by Edward Johnston in 1919, into a red circle with a blue bar saying UNDERGROUND. He developed a Sans-Serif typeface to the text, which was changed slightly by Eiichi Komo of the Typographers, Banks & Miles in 1979. He stayed true to the original typeface, but developed a curl at the bottom of the small ‘l’ and a diamond shape at the top of the small ‘I’ and ‘j’. TFL now owns copyright to this sign that has become a symbol of London’s culture around the world.
The Olympic Rings
Originally designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, the 5 interlocking rings were chosen to represent the world Congress of 1919 as they stand for the 5 parts of the world that are part of the Olympics and willing to accept healthy competition. The colours of blue, yellow, black, green and red were chosen as they appeared on all of the national flags of the world at the time. This recognizable logo not only stands for the Olympics, but it can also be seen as a symbol of unity as the games act as a way of bringing the world together.