Mid-century modern is an umbrella term that describes the popular industrial design taste ranging from the mid-1940's to the mid-1970's across all disciplines—architecture, interior design, product design, and graphic design. It was huge shift in its time, orbiting around the desire to strip away excessive ornamentation and get things down to their most basic shape elements. Despite the changing aesthetics of the 1970's onward, it continues to endure—in the words gallery owner Patrick Parrish, "It’s been the new cool thing five times in the last 50 years."
Of course, no design era is the pinnacle of perfection. Elements of mid-century interior design can oversaturate our eyeballs—does anyone else completely overlook the Eames chairs placed in the corner of perfectly-styled rooms on Pinterest—and after living in post-Soviet East Germany for a year, I gotta say that the stark minimalism of Brutalist architecture can get really depressing in a snowless winter. (I also have to admit that sometimes even the word "design" is so overused that it feels like a gnat swarm to the face on a muggy day in August.)
Yet, I can't help but love the work of French-born, NYC-based designer Raymond Loewy (1893–1986). You probably don't know the name, but the guy was so prolific that unless you've been living in a cave, I guarantee you've seen his work. Let's take a look at some of his greatest hits.
"Your Logo is Not Hardcore" is a new Tumblr blog that seems to have noticed a curious trend in graphic design - namely, that there are a whole lotta logos with Xs in them. Like, a whole lot, and many of them brands and organizations dedicated to men's interests and products.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London will be here before we know it. And I cannot wait! This is actually the second time that the Games have been hosted in London. The first time was in 1948. The world has changed a lot in 64 years, of course, and so has graphic design. It's fascinating to look at the logos for each of the Olympic Games and observe the changes in the world of design. So, here's a history of the Olympic logos from London 1948 to London 2012.
Earlier this month, the New Jersey Nets moved to the new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, New York, and got a brand new logo by partial owner, Jay-Z. The logo is a basic black-and-white treatment, with the shield motif, basketball, and team name from the previous incarnation reduced to a two-dimensional plane inspired by old public transporation signs. It wasn't super well-recieved by professional designers, who explain, "the logo family is technically worthless and embarrassing.
Stocklogos.com reviews the histories of famous logos, and imagines what they might look like in the future. Some, like the Starbucks above, notes the evolution of the design, which seeems to just be continuously zoomed in with each update. Others are a commentary on the company's performance and presence in its field, as when the ubiquitous Google just becomes search:
Graphic designer Tymn Armstrong has created FauxGo, a collection of "fake logos," a "symbol or other small design created to represent a fictional company or organization that exists only on film."
I have a three year old nephew, and I think he's totally awesome. Not in the "all little kids are adorable way," but in the "this kid has got crazy personality way. He knows that he's funny, and is very smart about using his presence, face, and words to be entertaining and smart.
So, I wanted to get him something special that he could continue to use once all the dumptrucks and Buzz Lightyear Jr. action figures wore out. His favorite thing to do when he comes over is to play around with all my musical instruments and noisemakers. So, I headed to the toy store, and saw this mini-drum set on clearance, I knew I had to get it.
Of course, I couldn't just wrap up the box and hand it to him - my brother-in-law would never have been able to put it together and tune it. (He's lovingly known for his lack of rhythm. He's talented in lots of other ways.)
So, I put in together in my living room, tuned it up, and then the wheels started turning. (Okay, and let's be honest. I also couldn't stop playing it for a couple of days). He loves the Beatles, and his geek dad has got him watching Star Wars, and I certainly can't ever leave stuff alone. So, I knew I has to customize the kit just for him.
Today, Apple announced that the Beatles catalog is now available on iTunes. Most people reacted by saying, "the Beatles weren't on iTunes?" and the rest said, "If you're a Beatles fan, then you already have most of their catalog in your iTunes library."
But, here's a bit of Beatles news worth mentioning: the new book Just My Type: A Book About Fonts contains a chapter “The Serif of Liverpool,” discussing the origins of the Beatles famous logo, forever emblazoned on Ringo's kick drumhead.
The Batman logo...talk about brand recognition. That symmetrical slash of black, looking neither like a man or a bat, and somehow exactly like both.
The Caped Crusader has been around for nearly seventy-five years, and continues to be reinvented to keep things contemporary. The same goes for his iconic logo - immortalized in Bat Signal, and in the backs of suburban kid heads circa 1990 after the release of the Tim Burton films. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers this)