A selection of famous trademarks in a handwritten style.
Designer: Zino Davidoff, in 1968–1969.
Zino Davidoff was born on March 11, 1906, in Kiev, and died in 1994 at the age of 87.
Davidoff made it his business to upgrade cigar smoking, and every cigar from the company carries a label with Zino’s signature.
Oddly, the Davidoff website is unavailable to UK viewers, and I was greeted with the above screenshot with this text:
“We are sorry but due to UK legislation we are not allowed anymore to show you our Website www.davidoff.com. Thank you for your understanding.”
The cynical among us might think this is due to prices placed upon Davidoff products, combined with the strength of the British Pound. If you know the real reason, do let me know.
Designer: Childe Harold Wills, in 1909.
Ford‘s first chief engineer and designer, Childe Harold Wills, is thought to have developed the stylized Ford script in 1909. The oval was added in 1912, and the design has remained virtually intact since 1928. The Partners are responsible for the most recent update to the Ford identity.
Designer: Minale Tattersfield, in 1967, modified in 1984.
The 1984 re-design for this UK department store incorporated ‘Knightsbridge’ into the mark, which is Harrods‘ London address.
Designer: unknown, designed before 1888.
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier when he took over the workshop of his master. Today, Cartier lends its name to a long line of prestigious products, from watches and jewellery to leather goods and fragrances.
Cartier’s largest stores can be found in New York, Milan, Beverly Hills, Rome, Boston, San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris, São Paulo, Shanghai, London and Vancouver.
Paul Smith logo
Designer: Zena (a friend of Paul Smith), date unknown.
The Paul Smith logo design was actually written by Zena, a friend of Paul, so handwritten trademarks need not be authentic signatures. Paul Smith is an integral part of his company; he is both designer and chairman, and is continually involved in every aspect of the business.
Designer: Liquid Agency, sometime after 2005.
Olive is a digital audio equipment manufacturer based in the United States.
Designer: Walt Disney, in the 1940s.
Today’s representation is an evolved, stylized version of the founder’s signature that now identifies a media empire worth over US$25 billion in annual sales.
Designer: Will Keith Kellogg, in 1906.
One of the world’s most recognizable wordmarks, the Kellogg’s logo is a classic case of using the founder’s signature as a guarantee of authenticity.
Designer: Jesse Boot, in 1883.
The Boots Company PLC known as Boots and financially branded Boots The Chemists, is the dominant pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom, with outlets in most high streets throughout the country. In recent years they have diversified their business from a traditional pharmacy to one offering one-hour photo-processing, opticians, and even home appliances in certain stores.
Designer: Shawn Stussy, in 1980.
Stussy is a streetwear label in the USA. Shawn Stussy was already shaping and signing surfboards on Laguna Beach, California, when he started to apply his marker pen to T-shirts.
Your thoughts on handwritten logo designs
When you come across a logotype that uses a handwritten script, what qualities do you see? Personality? Guarantee? Pride?
Some of these logo designs have lasted more than a century, with few (if any) alterations. Others have been going strong for approximately 50 years. What is it about the above designs that offers such longevity?
Are there any other handwritten logos that have caught your eye?