I overheard a conversation the other day between two young men about their problem with familiarity. One young man complained “I could be craving Starbucks like crazy and pass three on my way to work and not even realize they’re there until I’m on my way home. I see them so much I don’t even notice them anymore.” The conversation continued as the two young men suggested ways to remedy the common problem of familiarity. I smiled to myself as one suggested color changing logos and another suggested that logos change slightly every 2 years or so. If only they knew how long it took creatives to elaborate over a design as simple as Nike or Apple.
Whenever I hear conversations like this one I can’t help but be amused. If people knew the process of designing as well how far we have come in our designs, they wouldn’t be so quick to speak. The process, as rewarding as it may be, is grilling, competitive, and highly criticized. So the next time you find yourself thinking of how monotonous a corporate logo is, think of how it’s shaped your perception of popular culture, consider a career in graphic design, and check out how some of our most common logos used to look (you may have nightmares).
Logos are something we are bombarded with on a daily basis. You can’t walk anywhere without encountering some kind of trademark. Some of the very clothes I wear hold the emblem of some corporate logo and all the associations attached to them.
When one thinks of a logo they typically have a preset image in their heads upon only the mention of a word. Apple. Ford. Dodge. Nike. I’m sure you could imagine each of the logos associated with those words. The typography (if there is any), the color scheme, and all the small details. Each of those small elements was carefully researched, deliberated among creatives and corporations, thousands of design options and thumbnails were sifted through, and as the times changed so did the logo with the ever continuous movement of society and corporate image. The entire process in and of it’s self could take months or years to do, and in most cases…the process is ongoing. To see more logos then and now click here!
Okay, so the cybergoth in me wishes that there was a rave somewhere in my near vicinity that would take this video into design consideration. This was just too mother boardin’ cool not to show you…and all for a foreign yogurt commercial. Get your black lights ready….
I’d rather be there in person and appreciate the process much more deeply. But I suppose that’s one’s opinion. I can be thankful for YouTube a bit more now if I wasn’t already.
Wim Crouwel. Not many people would know this name unless they were avid Graphic Design junkies. The kind of people who dig up information while trying to come up with the newest and freshets ideas at 2 AM in their studios or basements. In brief, Crouwel is a Dutch graphic designer and typographer who’s work reshaped and fiercely influenced much of the way graphic design is done today. His achievements for the artistic community include (but are not limited to) the development of 3 major typefaces: New Alphabet, Fodor, and Gridnik.
I felt these words were wise for many aspiring graphic designers to hear. In a time where technology makes you want to sit and start right away, designer Wim Crouwel reminds us that it’s okay to be a designer who sits and ponders a design. It resonated with me, because my professor in college always reminded us “Begin with the end in mind, so you don’t lose your way.” As designers we deal with the difficult task of having to work in a fast paced society. You’re in a place where you have to print out the newest and freshest idea before someone else gets to it. Here Crouwel tells us about the sitting and waiting for inspiration aspect, an aspect we sometimes ignore or forget is important because of the stress of everyday life… and then wonder why we can’t creatively work.
Besides those wise words, he gives us a brief history of his life and how it was working in the 40’s and 50’s in the graphic design field. He talks nostalgically about how influenced you are by the time in which you are born, and how it can become so much a part of you as you grow…it eventually becomes your trademark. As I reflect on this interview I’m reminded to let inspiration come in it’s own time and let the time I live in lead me, not push me.
Okay perhaps I exaggerate. But did you ever wonder what people 100 years ago (or just a few decades?) thought our world would look like today? Ever wanted to see how things were done before computers and cell phones? Here is a gallery of the tech of yore.
The Good Ol’ Apple Computer Commercial… from the 80’s
How Did Our Ancestors think we would dress?
Now for the photo montage:
For a better look and greater gallery of this Ancient Technology please visit: