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31 January 2015

Flickr gallery of 70's logo designs [More:]As a graphic designer, I learned my trade throughout the 70's, and my design sensibilities still lean heavily on what I learned back then. This is a nice set of scans from a book from the era, displaying logo designs. It really brings back great memories of design class.

Overall, I find these designs to be very strong and still stand up. Part of the challenge of logo design in that era was designing with a wide range of reproduction techniques in-mind. This includes making sure the design stands-up when reproduced in a one-color print. That requirement is what makes these older designs so strong. Today, a lot of designers never think beyond the web, so you get a lot of illustrative logos that don't translate to anything else beyond a full-blown 4-color print.

These sorts of books were commonplace throughout the 70's and most of he 80's, and were fantastic inspiration.

It's kind of...sad?...that the Flickr poster calls these "vintage". I guess I really am getting old, eh?
These are great. Tx so much Odin.
I'm not a designer so I can't really put words to what makes a design typically 70s or 80s or 90s. I guess it stands to reason that design explores new technical options or optimises for contemporary technical constraints. But all the same I, and a lot of people, recognise it instantly. Somehow that's really fascinating. Even to a person like me who doesn't obsess about fonts and kerning etc.
Somehow I'm reminded of this French 'vernacular typography site. All these dilettante french fonts to me are so full of similar design recognitions. But much more faint and hard to put to words than the professional 80s design you linked to.
I guess it's the reason I like going on holiday in Europe so much. Instead of going to Asia or the US or other continents: the cities are palimpsests of these kind of cultural allusions that are at the same time familiar and strange.

ps here's an american site of vernacular typography.

pps the one Asian country I'm intrigued with is Japan. I imagine that it's rather similar to Europe in a way (high standard of living, in decline in a way (aging population, low economic growth) ) and at the same time it seems to me from a distance that it's a country that has defied the omnipresent US dominated global culture. In other words it seems highly idiosyncratic in a way that not every country manages in the onslaught of global/US media.
posted by jouke 31 January | 11:57
I follow the "Brand New" branding blog at an advertising business site, and so many of the logo changes it documents do not look like a step up to me. I'd say that some of the worst logos in that '70s gallery look better than half of the 'Brand New'. But then, my first adventure in design was making a logo for a newsletter in 1979. Going over an art store's inventory of rub-on lettering, I fell in love with Bookman Italic Swash, mostly for the 'swash' on the lower case 'w', which made "wendell's weakly" look so cool to me. And, yes, that's the totally intentional spelling.
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Bookman is so out of style today (logo-wise, most serifs are), but it became more available as a digital font after I started wanting it for my own 'branding'.
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posted by oneswellfoop 31 January | 15:49
They look pretty solid to me - some of them endure to this day like Elkay, Forbo & Crown. Vail still has some of those elements. But some are in the fair to moderately ghastly 70's swoopage, like that Gerard Martin one. Shades of Farrah Fawcett & 3's Company. Gak.

Oneswellfoop all I can think of with that Bookman font is Shel Silverstein for some reason.
posted by chewatadistance 31 January | 18:39
Well, this was Shel's most famous collected work:
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...and elsewhere in non-Italic
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I've seen it on some local signage...
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and this, recently replaced...
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an occasional movie has used Bookman
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even Disney warped it to its own purpose...
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somebody I wish didn't use it...
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(though I've heard they are replacing it)

but my biggest shock when I was googling Bookman Logos is one I didn't recognize (because it uses the Microsoft Windows "Bookman Old Style" in Bold with no italic or swash...
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posted by oneswellfoop 31 January | 22:10
The logo of my neighborhood designed sometime in the mid-seventies:
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posted by octothorpe 31 January | 23:22
You saw Bookman Swash all the time in tv show titles in the 80's. Mostly for family comedies. It was a workhorse face for a long, long time.
posted by Thorzdad 01 February | 06:45
More assuming the negative in the workplace || propos of nothing