Fall 2021 ︎︎︎ CUNY Queens College ︎︎︎ (DESN241) Design 1
Spiel: Logos & Symbols
A Collection of non-historical or chronological examples of approaches to symbols.
The Lesser Key of Solomon︎
AIGA Dot Pictograms︎
Otl Aicher’s Olympic pictograms︎
Pha Yant (Thai Spirit Cloths)︎
NTT Docomo Emojis︎
These were the (second) set of emojis created for phones in 1999. These were based on a 12︎12 grid based on limitations of displays at the time.
Your audience is not stupid.
Chip Kidd who is known for the cover of Jurassic Park, among other things which are good, cites the image above as something he was taught not to do. He says it is because it assumes the audience is dumb. In the context of what we’re talking about today that intelligence stems from the power of symbols. You don’t have to do all the work, you don’t have to explain every single thing. The more cliche language around this is to “show, don’t tell”
In a related What he talks about that always interested me is the notion that logos are an empty vessel into which we pour meaning. The logo does not need to tell everything, or even “show” or represent anything. What is the Nike “swoosh”? It has been imbued with meaning by the brand, culture and time.
All this is less to train you for the process of making a logo, but to utilize the powers of image making to avoid cliches and the general in favor of something that might be more esoteric or personal. This is less about “self-expression” but about embuing your symbols for your sigils with meaning and resonance.
I’m interested in you exploring the technical details of Illustrator for example but also exploring the idea of meaning, which is why we’re talking about logos. So while being able to create vectors like this for
Something like the Draplin Family Crest below, while simpler is infused with meaning through is personal narrative.
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