Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Put A Crown On It

So many great chrome logomarks of royalty have adorned our cars, trucks and fire engines over the last century. Some of which still reign supreme. I was admiring all of the beautiful examples of typographic logos on the Chromeography Flickr site recently, and couldn't help notice the crowns that so many of their designs include. Nearly as many as those containing wings or rockets, but I'll save those for another day.
      Often referred to as car badges or emblems, the chrome logomark's design is as important as its name. Over many decades of car manufacturing, the chrome crown has become a frequent feature in these emblems. Because of their symmetry, they often 
appear centered above the vehicle's name or a shield. The one exception is the Mercury Monarch mark below, but it has a grill surrounding the crown which then nicely frames it. No matter how much elegance or prestige the crown icon may add to any mark; in the end, it is the typography which is still king. 

::Photos in order of appearance are from the Flickr pages of: Crown Firecoach: Your Pal Dave, Wolfsburg Horch: Puckfiend, Chrysler Windsor: Studiobaker1948 Chrysler Windsor: Mark Saunders, 1941 Cadillac: Steve Sexton, Ferrari 206: Eric Rosendahl, 1963 Galaxie 500: John P SullivanGhia: wcraig, Ghia Streamline: Delicious Industries, 1953 Crown Imperial: John Lloyd, Jensen Interceptor: wcraig, Mercury Monarch: DAT67Carlover, Carrozzeria Touring Badge: wcraig, Vignole: Delicious Industries.   

Monday, July 30, 2012

Please Make a Note of It

The makers of Field Notes writing products are getting back to the soil. Their latest "National Crop Edition", of six earthy-colored notepads (one color for each of the six farm crops), are modeled after the many great farm memo pads often available as giveaways at local feed and hardware stores across the country over the last century. This new boxed set promotion is sure to inspire you to draw or write down every seed of an idea. 

Field Notes partner, Aaron Draplin talks about the the industrial branding of their products and the many farm memo pads that have inspired him in this short video, "From Seed".

Field Notes Brand: From Seed from Coudal Partners on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Signage R Us

My town is taking on a capital challenge of the typographical kind. Seattle Ad agency, Wexley School for Girls, has a new promotional campaign to restore the giant neon R which sat atop the old Rainier Beer Brewery until it's demise in 1999 when the brewery was sold. The legendary Rainier icon was created in 1953, and though now gone, it is not forgotten. It merely went into "recovery" all these years and is receiving some some much needed R & R in the archives of the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle. The museum intends to restore, rewire and repair the aging R back to (his or her?) original neon glow. They are inviting fans to actively participate in this process by completing some physical challenges over the coming months. Some of the 250 challenges posted on their website will include such tasks as creating an origami R, building a sculpture of Rainier beer cans, cooking something in the shape of an R, or taking a bath in Rainier (the beer or the town?). For each challenge completed, one of the 250 lightbulbs on the giant R will eventually light up again. The restoration is scheduled to be completed by December 29, 2012, in time for the official opening of the MOHAI grand opening at their new location at South Lake Union Park in Seattle. I've got a challenge for them: Name the dang script font used for the Rainier R. I don't have a clue.


Words of Mystery

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "every word was once a poem", but where do these words come from? Independent filmmaker Jessica Oreck unfolds some of the etymological meaning of words in her new animated mini-series, Mysteries of Vernacular. Each word is skillfully constructed within the pages of old books, then animated in a 90 second short, often taking 80 hours or more to create. When complete, the Mysteries' shorts will contain 26 installments of word origins in alphabetical order. By day, Oreck produces documentary films on such topics as Russian folktales against a backdrop of war in The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga, and Arctic Cowboys, about reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland. The Mysteries mini-series began as a fun exercise in more immediate gratification, in contrast to these lengthy documentaries. To date she has completed three shorts, for the words Clue, and Pants, and Assassin, however three more word stories are said to be in the wings and should be posted soon.
::Via A Little House in the Clouds

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Remains of the Day

Collage artist, Cecil Touchon makes nice use of the residue of printed materials, books and text in his minimalist Fusion Series. These are quite different from his visual poetry series of Post-Dogmatist paintings and collages below. I rather like the works above, but maybe this says more about my fear of large deconstructed letterforms. I can't help wanting to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.