15 November 2017
Hi MLE,A trove of leaked documents published last week by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have confirmed how the world’s ultra-rich become richer by exploiting tax shelters.Nike’s European headquarters is based in the Netherlands. In 2006 the Dutch government granted the brand a new tax deal that allowed it to open a subsidiary in Bermuda (which is of course a shell company). This subsidiary owns Nike’s intangible design assets – like its logo and trademarks – for all markets outside of the United States. Since it is based in Bermuda, which is a tax-free country, Nike is not taxed at all on the billions in revenue these licensing fees generate.But this was not enough. In 2014, Nike found a way to successfully exploit a Dutch tax law from 1830 called a “commanditaire vennootschap” (CV), or limited partnership, which lets multinational corporations skirt taxes in the Netherlands and abroad, too.Thanks to its corporate restructuring, Nike’s tax global rate dropped from 34.9% in 2007 to 13.2% this year.Other leaked documents show how other multinationals like Uber are doing the same thing. The UK is losing out on much-needed tax dollars from Uber. Yet another reason why I don’t want them in this country.
Speak next week!
8 September 2017
Hi the MLE,Our classic logos list would not be complete without the London Underground logo. I’d dare say it is the most recognisable logo that we have looked at, with so many imitators around the world. It is also one of the oldest classic logo we have seen, besides Michelin (1898). It’s hard to believe that the version still used today is almost 100 years old.The roundel shape is actually more than 100 years old - it first appeared on station platforms in 1908. These early versions consisted of a solid red enamel disc and horizontal blue bar and served to highlight the station name amongst the surrounding ads. (See the Covent Garden sign above).This is thought to have been inspired by “the winged wheel,” designed in 1905 for the London General Omnibus Company. (See the metal cap badge above).British transport administrator Frank Pick, a man ahead of his time, knew the value of design: “Design is not a mode that enters in here and there and may be omitted elsewhere. Design must enter everywhere.”He commissioned Edward Johnson to create a standardised version of the logo (which up until then existed in a variety of forms) to strengthen the brand in the public’s mind. One can say that this job was a success! In 1919, the underground logo was born, with the white space in the center. (See the Holland Park sign above).Then a German designer called Hans Schleger came along. He reimagined Edward Johnston’s bull’s-eye while creating signage for a system-wide collection of fixed vehicle stopping places in 1935. This was a very bold and innovative graphic for 1936, which drew on developments in modern art.In the early 1950s the corporate symbol is finally streamlined to look more like Schleger’s logo from almost 20 years earlier. So much German influence on London during this time!This is my last Classic Logos post. It’s been really interesting to explore the stories behind these logos. How portraying the company’s rich owner (Michelin) has fallen out of favour. How the lack of a strong marketing voice can lead to innovation (Deutsche Bank). How the love for a logo is actually tied up in the company itself, rather than the qualities of the logo (Apple, Nike). How much concept matters (FedEx). How inspiration can come from the most random places (CMS).
28 July 2017
Well today I am having a look at the birth of one of the most liked logos of all time: the Penguin Books logo. I do not know of anyone who does not like it.
At the time, Albatross Books based in Hamburg was very successful. See one of their book covers above. So what did Allen Lane do to for his newly formed publishing company? He called it Penguin and has a little penguin drawn up by the 21-year old production editor and designer Edward Young.
Over the years, the little penguin has been tweaked a lot by various people. During the forties alone, it was changed nine times by Young, as you can see above. The famous typographer Jan Tschichold changed it in 1949, so at least it stopped trying to do that little waddle!
Today’s logo looks like Tschichold’s 1949 logo, which in turn looks very similar to Young’s second ever logo, designed in 1938. Well, except with improved feet.
30 June 2017Hi MLE,I can see why a lot of people would not consider this a classic - until they see the forward-facing arrow created in the negative space between the “E” and the “x”.Of course this subtlety has been a bit of an issue. The logo designer (who has a great name), Lindon Leader, said that FedEx’s PR firm wanted to make the arrow more obvious, like fill it in with another colour. But of course this would miss the point. What makes this a great logo is what is not obviously there, not what is.Have a nice weekend,Suzan 16 June 2017
Hello MLE,The I ♥ NY logo is similar to other classic logos in the following ways:1) It is timelessI never realised that this is a seventies logo, thought it was more recent, which is often the case with classic logos. It was created at a time when the state was almost bankrupt (and entered a certain Donald Trump who took advantage of this to get a good chunk of NYC real estate for a deal). New York wanted to increase morale as well as tourism. And it worked.2) It was sketched quicklyRenowned designer Milton Glaser had a typographic logo finished and signed off (I wish I could see what this was!) Then, a week later in a taxi, he sketched the sketch above and said to the client, “wait I have a better idea!” The client was reluctant to entertain yet another logo when everything was done and everyone was happy, but luckily he gave in.3) The designer did not get richGlaser designed the logo at no charge, so he never did get any money for this logo. He had thought it was just a very small project that would vanish in no time that he could do for free.Have a nice weekend!Suzan