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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Logos: Inside the Creative Lab

Famous last words:

"Can you whip out the logo for new client today?!"

Are you kidding me? "Whip out a logo?" It's not as easy as it looks. Every person from the CEO to the janitor gets to weigh in on the new brand identity. It's simple, right? Think again.

There's more to whipping out a logo than playing in PhotoShop, slapping a name on a circle and calling it a day. Just because Nike swindled Carolyn Davidson out of her $35 was super efficient in the purchase of their Swoosh Logo in 1971 doesn't mean they grow on trees (or in college computer labs)**.

Impact is job one of a logo. The subtleties come from special training and a sharp visual eye. Some of this you can learn and some of it, quite frankly, you have to be born with.

"Born with" you ask?

Take a look at some of these logos. They are instantly recognizable. But do you know the real stories behind them? Some of them might surprise you...

We all know and adore Baskin Robbins’ ice cream, founded in 1945 in California by Mr. Baskin and Mrs. Robbins. Their slogan has changed many times over the years, but it often mentions their famous 31 flavors: “31 Flavors of Fun,” “31 Flavors at Their Best,” “Trust 31” and “Celebrate 31,” just to name a few. In the logo, you can also see the number ’31’ in pink in the Baskin Robbins logo, just one of many stories behind famous logos.

The Apple logo is well-known worldwide, but did you know that it was created because Steve Jobs had just come back from an apple farm after starting a fruitarian diet? The Apple logo was first rainbow-colored to show that Apple products could create color graphics. The bite was taken out of the apple because Steve Jobs was worried that people would think it was a cherry!

The logo for Nike, otherwise known as the ‘swoosh,’ was created by a lady called **Carolyn Davidson in 1971, after she was chosen while working on a graphic design assignment at school. She wasn’t initially happy with the design, stating, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.” She was paid $35 for the design, which is crazy considering what it would be worth today!

If you look at the original design of the Starbucks logo, you might be shocked - it’s a shirtless mermaid with two tails sitting in a surprisingly sexual way! It is thought that the mermaid is one from Greek mythology. This mermaid design was often criticized due to its sexual nature, so it was adapted and changed to what it is today.

The logo for the famous lollipop brand, Chupa Chups, was designed by the wacky painter known for his melting clocks, Salvador Dali, in 1969. The colous for the design were taken from the Spanish flag, because the name ‘Chupa Chups’ comes from the Spanish word chapur, meaning ‘to suck.’ The logo was designed in an hour while Dali sat in a cafe with a friend.

Essentially, the Mercedes Benz logo was designed to tell everyone how wonderful they are! The three points on the logo are meant to represent three elements - water, air and earth - and Mercedes Benz’s dominance over all three (due to their boats, airplanes and cars). Modest!

It’s easy to see these logos every day of your life, but be so unaware of how they came to be! There are so many interesting stories behind all kinds of famous logos, it’s definitely worth checking them out. Did you know any of these? Which other logo origins do you know of?

The colors in the Pepsi logo are meant to represent the colors on the American flag, showing the company's patriotism and pride. That’s not the end of it, however - apparently the Pepsi logo represents feng shui, the Pythagorean theorem, Einstein’s theories, the Earth’s magnetic field and so much more. How? Your guess is as good as mine.