Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Best Of Underground Branding

Source: Branding 10,000 Lakes
With the school year almost over, we've been looking back at our planbooks, checking what to keep and what to chuck for next fall. It's inspired us to gather together our favorite logos and emblems from our year of teaching media literacy.

All year long, we've urged our students to become branding aficionados. We want them to avoid being duped by artful marketers so they can take ownership of their own social identities. It's helped to have engaging examples of modern logos to spur their interests and reinforce contemporary messaging. Talented designers all over the world are constantly sharing their latest ideas with little fanfare. It's been fascinating to track the evolving work of these innovative graphic artists.

Here are our favorite old and new branding initiatives, created by both individual tinkerers and large conglomerates. Examining these insignia have made for great Monday morning conversations or quick student blog responses. They also provide intriguing models for students themselves to follow in generating their own icons. Our resources page features many easy online tools for creating customized logos.

Branding 10,000 Lakes

Source: Branding 10,000 Lakes

This is not only the coolest branding project we've come across all year, but it's also the epitome of fascinating, niche blogging. Designer Nicole Meyer has promised to create one logo every day for each of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. After 27 years, it will be amazing to see her catalog of quirky, crisp, colorful trademarks. This is a blog we check everyday.

Railroad Company Logo Design Evolution

Source: Christian Annyas

Designer and curator Christian Annyas has collected 100 company logos from 100 years of American and Canadian railroad history. His collection reveals how marketing and printing has transformed over the century, offering a stylistic chronicle of American expansion, industry, and identity.

The Metrocard Project

Source: Melanie Chernock, AIGA

Graphic designer Melanie Chernock undertook an assignment to update the classic (but relatively bland) New York subway Metrocard. She also offers good advice for aspiring artists and thinkers: "Creating the cards is an experimental process - I found that the first few I made were very conventional and as the project progressed became more unusual."

National Park Stamps

Source: Valerie Jar

Valerie Jar created these evocative stamps for the National Parks by National Geographic iPhone app. Clear and iconic, they follow in the National Park tradition of ground-breaking art, established by the WPA travel posters in the 1930s.

The Brooklyn Nets

Source: GOOD

The movement of the NBA New Jersey Nets to the heart of Brooklyn has generated a lot of news here in New York. Following buzz about changes in the stadium plans and about the high-profile team owners, the black-and-white retro redesign of the Nets logo created equal waves among hip urbanites and basketball purists.

Hipster Branding

Source: Hipster Branding

Hipster Branding created these clever redesigns of familiar brands. Simplified and nostalgic, they offer great examples for students to reimagine logos they often take for granted.

Other Resources

Source: I'm Just Creative

Here are some other terrific sites for brands, logos, and visual inspiration:

Also, as we've mentioned before, Logopedia is an invaluable resource of historic logos and their metamorphoses over time.


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