It’s not always chocolate candy and roses in relationships – and that’s true in this blog post. With Valentine’s Day coming up, Boston.com has written about the curious history of publically shaming one’s former flame by way of the classified ad.
Vox tells the story of how the automobile industry used public relations tactics to change the way we used our streets.
100 years ago, if you were a pedestrian, crossing the street was simple: you walked across it.
Today, if there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green.
To most people, this seems part of the basic nature of roads. But it’s actually the result of an aggressive, forgotten 1920s campaign led by auto groups and manufacturers that redefined who owned the city street.
The idea that pedestrians shouldn’t be permitted to walk wherever they liked had been present as far back as 1912, when Kansas City passed the first ordinance requiring them to cross streets at crosswalks. But in the mid-twenties, auto groups took up the campaign with vigor, passing laws all over the country.
Most notably, auto industry groups took control of a series of meetings convened by Herbert Hoover (then Secretary of Commerce) to create a model traffic law that could be used by cities across the country. Due to their influence, the product of those meetings — the 1928 Model Municipal Traffic Ordinance — was largely based off traffic law in Los Angeles, which had enacted strict pedestrian controls in 1925.
“The crucial thing it said was that pedestrians would cross only at crosswalks, and only at right angles,” Norton says. “Essentially, this is the traffic law that we’re still living with today.”
As The Verge reports, Sony asked the public to redesign its logo. It didn’t work out.
In 1981, Sony decided that its now-iconic logo was due for a redesign. But the company didn’t enlist a design team to come up with a new logo. No, Sony decided to make the redesign a public spectacle.
It launched the so-called “Sony International Logotype Design Contest,” and it took in nearly 30,000 submissions from around the world. A committee was formed and viewed every single entry before narrowing the list down to 59. The finalists were shown to the board of directors, company executives, designers, and sales managers. As executives were looking through the finalists, Sony must have realized it had made a huge mistake.
Redesigning a company’s brand identity is a delicate and complex process that must be taken with care. It’s not rare for companies to explore a redesign before discovering through that process that its old design is the best of them all. But by putting the entire affair in the public eye, Sony essentially obligated itself to change its logo. Worst of all, the company would have to choose a logo designed by an amateur to be the face of its brand.
As you might expect, the designs weren’t up to snuff. It’s a lot harder than it looks to create a timeless logo. According to Sony’s official history, co-founder Masaru Ibuka “decided that none of the designs was better than the original one.” And so the company moved to gracefully end the whole affair: a panel of judges chose three finalists, and instead of awarding first, second, and third place prizes, it split the prize money equally. An ad was published in Time Magazine thanking everyone for their time and effort, and it quietly noted that “until the time comes in the future that we decide to make a change, the Sony logo will remain the same.” The design contest then faded into memory.
Hannah Rothstein’s parents probably encouraged her to play with her food. The San Francisco-based artist created 10 portraits of Thanksgiving dinner as would-be designed by famous artists. Pollack splatters the plate like a 2 year old, Mondiran restrains himself to a linear feast and Rene Magritte insists “This is not a meal.” To see all 10 visit the artist’s website. Prints are available, and Rothstein is donating 10% of the profits to the SF-Marin Food Bank.
At Skiilight, we hold that iconography is the building block to your brand. Logos, letterforms, and icons combine to provide a user experience that creates meaning. Take a few moments (6 in fact) to learn the icons that billions of people already know.
In this TED Talk, ShaoLan walks through a simple lesson in recognizing the ideas behind the characters and their meaning — building from a few simple forms to more complex concepts.
When I was getting my start in the business of graphic design, I began life as a sign maker. Yes, mostly with vector graphics and a vinyl plotter, but I lived in that interesting moment in time when the old ways were stepping aside to the new digital age. I had to have one foot into the old world of how we “used” to do things.
New Texas head coach Charlie Strong had the iconic Longhorn logo removed from the white Texas helmets as fall practice commenced in Austin in preparation for the 2014 college football season.
According to writer Laken Litman of USA Today Sports, Strong’s offseason motto for Longhorn football in 2014 is to “Put the ‘T’ back in Texas Football,” one step at a time.
“He (Strong) prohibited players from throwing up the ‘Hook’Em Horns’ sign with their hands, saying they had to earn it. He’s made them walk the half mile to practice instead of taking a bus as they used to under Mack Brown. And he’s even stripped the Longhorns off their helmets.”
When the Texas players arrived for the first day of fall practice on Monday, their helmets were solid white,” Litman reported.
Presumably the Longhorn logo will return to the helmets of those players Strong and the coaching staff at Texas deem worthy of seeing game action come the start of the 2014 season later this month.
Browsing Amazon Prime Video a few days ago I discovered a fantastic little movie called “Linotype: The Film.”
Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.
The Linotype (pronounced “line-o-type”) completely transformed the communication of information similarly to how the internet is now changing communication again. Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the Linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.
The highly-skilled operators of the Linotype are in a battle against time. If their skills are not passed along to a new generation of operators, the machine will die completely. There is a small group of former operators that want to save the Linotype from the scrap yard, but some see this as a fruitless endeavor.
What place does the Linotype have in the age of new technology? Should the machine be shoved into a museum and left to rust? Why should anyone care about typography or the technology of communication? The film seeks to answer these questions.