Now in its second edition, Logo R.I.P. is a collection of lost design icons. “Icons that despite achieving ‘stylistic durability’ have been deemed defunct, consigned to the logo graveyard, no longer allowed to signify.”
Here’s an excerpt from the book’s foreword.
“The selection contained in Logo R.I.P. reveals the optimism, skill and craftsmanship of some great classic trademarks and logos. Apart from the functionality of these marks, which represent services and trades, these logos conjure up emotional responses — which range from the depraved (the Swastika) to the ingenuous (Spratt’s).
“This book is an important alternative to the new trend in logo design that is marketing-orientated nonsense. Many of today’s solutions are produced by agencies that consist of a ratio of ten pin-stripes to every one creative. They are strategy-driven and lack stylistic durability, are missing concept, magic, wit, emotion or narrative — some of the major ingredients of a good logo. Metaphorically speaking, these agencies are the ‘gravediggers’ for many design classics.”
— GERT DUMBAR, STUDIO DUMBAR
And here are just two of the logos with a snippet of the accompanying text.
“Since the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies in 1945, all forms of the Swastika have been banned in many countries. Hitler took an ancient symbol and perverted it to such a degree that it can never be used again without evoking all the associations of destruction, death and vileness that the NSDAP perpetrated… Buddhists and Hindus still commonly employ the Swastika as a religious symbol.”
Spratt’s ‘dog’, 1936-1972
Design: Max Field-Bush (UK)
“In the 1930s, the Spratt’s company diversified into many other types and varieties of pet food. These products were all branded with a series of ‘calligrams’ — a graphic device that combines thought, letters and picture… The amiable logotypes were soon erased by the slick sameness of globalisation. In 1972, the Spratt’s brand was replaced by Spillers and the charming calligrams were canned forever.”
A beautifully crafted book.