Thursday, March 20, 2008

Your turn #9


popness monster said...

I recently came across this logo quiz online at aol. it gave you twenty logos that are a staple in the american market with two slightly different choices and i had to choose the correct one. while taking the exam i was forced to use context clues and my memory to choose the correct logo which was harder than i thought it'd be. After the exam i found it quite amazing that i got over half of them correct, my score is confidential. I thought about how imbedded in our brains the symbols were and that even though i may have chosen the incorrect one i noticed the symbol within a half a second. these colors and shapes and figures we can so easily recognize are part of our day to day lives and have been integrated into our own existence as we are all consumeristic in this country. all in all i can't help but think of pop art and their theories and conceptualizations upon the consumerism within the US. i guess i was just kind of surprised on that silly exam how easily i was able to respond to the logos.

Emma said...

I really enjoyed looking at the work of Alvin Lustig. I feel as though he was some kind of genius design-wise, especially after reading his biography. His book jacket design for “The Green Child” in particular is so simple and pleasing, I was tempted all week to buy my very own copy of the book, praying the cover hasn’t changed all these years later, so I could worship it rightfully. His design is complete without appearing overworked or unfinished either, he never seems to be trying too hard…. maybe I should just say: Lustig makes graphic design look easy as making a batch of just-add-water pancakes. His definitely had an extremely artful eye when it came to any printed media. His choices in color and form never fail to push our minds to try to understand what he wanted us to understand (and after you’ve read the book, it makes even more sense and the reader has a little “Ooh I totally get it now!”).
He perfected the type of jacket design that makes you judge a book by its cover and hope what’s actually inside the book is half as good. Can you tell I’m kind of jealous? Though maybe it’s not jealousy here, only admiration and longing for some type of design prophet to help me make my own graphic design just as noteworthy. I would have really loved it if he had been my uncle.

Arries99 said...

Paul Rand was one of the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century. His valued contribution to the design medium is remarkable and acknowledged by clients and critics alike. His work received recognition in his early twenties due to his groundbreaking innovation in design, typography and graphic design. However, it was the area of corporate identity design during the mid of his design career, that he shot to worldwide fame. He is regarded as the one who has actually set standards for the creation of corporate logos, and that too, by devising the pre-requisites of modernity, simplicity and ease of recognition. Many of these logos or their basic designs are still in use.
The most important achievement on Paul Rand’s portfolio is in the area of Corporate Identity Design and logotypes. His talent and excellent execution was apparent in the logos he designed for many firms from a broad range of industries like IBM, Apple, UPS, ABC Television, NeXT, Enron, the Cummins Engine Company, El Producto Cigar Company, Compton Advertising and Westinghouse Electric Corporation and many more.

mick304 said...

It seems to me that “Popness Monster” is almost embarrassed about the fact that he got a high score on a logo test. I don’t think this is anything to hide, it means that those designers did their job and they did it well. At a young age we are bombarded with these symbols and logos, we may not even know what the company does, but we can recognize its logo. Being able to recognize a logo is a huge help in the highly technological world we live in today. A example of this that we all encounter every time we post on this blog is our choice of sign in names, we can use our google/blogger name or our screen name from other programs such as AIM, LiveJournal, etc. Although I have never be able to recognize the logos for the other optional sign ins, I did recognize my ability to use my AIM name due to the logo. Another example of logo/symbol recognition we are all very familiar with is the use of a heart to mean love. The word itself does not form that shape when it is written, our physical hearts do not look like symbolic hearts nor do they have much to do with the word that a heart represents, yet we are all able to identify what a heart means. We see hearts so often used in our day to day life that we would read “Suzy <3 John” as Suzy loves John even though that is not what we physically see.


A.T. said...

Inrteresting point Michaela. The reason popness did well is that these signs are floating the cyberspace... they sink in (agree, no reason to feel shame).

Alfred said...

-from Wikepedia:
An icon is a graphic device that represents some object or action, the graphic device being ascribed symbolic meaning(s) beyond the object represented.
A symbol has only the meanings ascribed to itself, representing only a concept and not recognizable as a particular object.

Human factors is an area of academic study concerned with how humans interact with equipment. Equipment design needs to accommodate both cultural and historical variations and human limitations. The hands of clocks rotate in the same direction since the middle ages. Light switches around the world use the up direction for ON and the down direction for OFF. But automobiles drive on the right side of the road in the US and on the left side in England. English reads from the left to right and Hebrew from the right to left. Linked to human factors is the design and use of symbolic languages. A device manufactured in China needs to be labeled so it will be understood by most potential users in the United States.

This illustration shows a graphical symbolic language created by Roger Cook and Don Shanosky (1974). Some are icons and some are symbols. They are minimalist and provide for quick recognition, lack of ambiguity and ease of reproduction. They are like fonts and combine language with art. Like fonts, they are constrained in expression but may achieve aesthetic merit within these constraints.

Lisa Kaplowitz said...

When I first looked at this week's blog, the signs caught my attention and I went through each one trying to see if I knew what each stood for. I think I did quite well, not because I am necessarily familiar with each one but because the signs are simple, smart design. Roger Cook and Don Shanosky...true graphic designers with an eye for strong design, it's amazing how simple each symbol is yet brilliant because in their simplicity it's so easy to tell what they mean and are "saying" to us. The system of symbols they created for the U.S. Department of Transporation in 1974has been being used for all these years and the symbols are known, they are helpful in everyday life and they have a universal language we can all understand. You can't do much better than that (creating signs we can all understand and "read" without any words at all)!

xjagannathx said...

George Lois’ esquire covers are quite different from the covers of today. Today, the cover of esquire much like every other men’s magazine follows a formula. Take an actor put him in a suit and add typography to the left and right of him. That is all that goes into the thought process. The work of George Lois was different because it was driven by concept, not by celebrity or even typography. I think this may be a contributing factor to the decline in circulation of both magazine and newspaper. Print design is not a priority when circulation rates start slipping. Other departments preempt design, and hence ingenious designers move other places like the Internet. I think this is only contributes to the problem, especially when every magazine starts to look the same. I think people would spend more time reading print if more time, money, and effort was contributed to the aspects of design.

-Raymond Mathews

rhett bradbury said...

I keep seeing Paul Rand noted for being one of the greatest figures in American graphic design. As a studying designer myself, Mr. Rand intrigues me very much. What was his secret to his success? How can his childishly simple designs bring so much notoriety and accolades? He put lines through the IBM logo, "genius".
But maybe the simplest designs are the only way to get your name to the masses. Requiring people to infer or think about too much often leads to a bunch of angry people.
But more questions keep coming when thinking about big corporations and their logos, their "identities". Would UPS, ABC and Mobil have done just as well with a Rand logo? It's hard to say knowing what happens after the fact. The concept of having a little emblem encompass and define an entire business still seems strange to me, even though these things saturate every facet of my world. I want to believe I live my life with the freedom to choose what I want when I want it, but seeing how my life revolves around devices and things with these little mind warping logos shows how much I am only doing what I've been programed to.

Bruno R. Matamoros said...

I was curious so I looked up and completed the logo quiz that popness was talking about, and though I made some mistakes, I too realized I had seen almost all of them before; we have been bombarded with those images ever since we were born, and somehow I realized that we are probably capable of keeping thousands of logos in our memory even though we might not match them with their corresponding companies or organizations. Of course not all logos remain in our memory that easily, only if they are well designed and they make some kind of sense it will remain (or if it has been shown in our face repeatedly), it’s like music, if a song is good it will make you feel something, it will be catchy, just like a good logo can be. If it is not good you will more likely forget about it.

I noticed that most logos are very simple designs, simple but precise, generally logos don’t have more than they need to represent a brand or idea, like we can see on the symbol signs, they are simple and communicate ideas without unnecessary complications. (very simplified or stylized people, objects etc) It’s like an international sign language.

Also came up to my attention the style of George Lois, the way he plays with ideas and images is very smart and makes people stop and think about it for a while, and like Triff said that is something important for designers. Today we see countless adds with that kind of humor or style of Lois, perhaps strongly inspired by him.

Ruth said...

I too will like to focus this blog on the logos and symbol signs in general. About the logos that the popness mentioned, I remember taking a corporate logo quiz and also did well. The question that I remember getting incorrect was one of Hardee’s (?) and that was because I have never even heard of that company…. EVER! What I realized though is that because I have become so accustomed to seeing so many logos throughout my life is that I have stopped noticing the real artwork behind them all. When going back to the website about the history of the logos I was surprised about the different designs and changes that have been done. In fact, I never even bothered to notice when exactly Nike decided to just remain with the swoosh or the different meanings for Superman’s “S” (“Saving Lives, Stopping Crime and giving Super-Aid wherever it is needed”). There is so much explanation to all of these logos that it makes it outstanding to believe that what seems like such a simple design can be so complex. Now that’s art.

jaqi_tumas said...

First off. I took a similar quiz as popness monster, and got 18/20. I was also ashamed at first, ha. But then quickly got over it. As visual people we all have a certain knack for picking this kind of stuff up. I mean I grew up without cable, so I didn't watch much TV and still knew what these were. And yes, it does also mean that the designers did their job, and maybe it's better to focus on what we can take from them that they did correctly. Here is the link- Try it! See how you do!!!

This week I would like to talk about the progression into Cook and Shanosky's sinage symbols. Since the beginning of the course we have looked at and learned about the delicated and esquisite details of typography. Over the centuries, the typefaces have changed and simplified consistantly. And now in the 1970's we reach the ulitmate simplification of the symbols we use everyday.

I just find it interesting how we progress so much that we find ourselves progressing into simplification. With all of the thousands of perceptors that our brain has we still use the most simple of signs to get around throughout the day. Stop and go- red and green. Bathroom- boy and girl. So are we really progressing? I understand it is to make everything more effective and easily accessable, but when do we start helping ourselves?

I agree with Rhett's idea about Rand's simple designs and the question of When can we start thinking again, and why is it so bad to have to think about a product? As designers we try so hard to simplify our ideas to appeal to the mass. Clarity and simplicity are two different things and I think the design world needs to start acknowledging that. Companies can present their products clearly without simplifying themselves.

Spencer said...

It is interesting to note how one's ability to identify particular logos almost seems common. It is now the norm to be able to recognize a particular advertisement or logo and associate it with its respective company. Graphic designers have successfully developed attractive designs and the bombardment of advertisement has weaved its way into a part of one's everyday life. One cannot escape the different slogans, symbols, and other depictions that seem to catch the eye one way or another. Our society is visual based and accustomed to being fed constant visual images through a variety of different mediums.