Logo Lookalikes: Vintage Predecessors to Contemporary Company Logos


This article was originally published in its entirety on 99percentinvisible.org by Kurt Kohlstedt.

“Designing a new logo is harder than it looks. Even when designers come up with something they have never seen before it does not necessarily mean their design is entirely original.

Tech industry veteran Spencer Chen was flipping through the pages of Trademarks & Symbols of the World: The Alphabet in Design, published in 1989, when he found a series of remarkable lookalikes. In aggregate, old logos from the book can look somewhat dated, but design goes in cycles and some approaches and styles have come back into fashion.

As designers like Michael Bierut of Pentagram know from experience, there are only so many truly unique variations that can be assembled from existing typefaces and simple geometric manipulations.”

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