26 May 2017
It’s a gorgeous sunny Friday here in London, which is perhaps why I have selected the Michelin logo as the topic of “Classic Logos” today.
It’s hard not to feel at least a twang of affection for the Michelin logo. That cute little sunny day dude called, “Bibendum” constructed from tyres.
But Bibendum has not always appeared so jolly…
Michelin is a French company officially incorporated in 1889. During this time, using characters was trendy. The Michelin brothers simply saw their product at an exhibition and commented that the tyres looked like a little man - great logo idea for their new company! They hired a poster artist O’Galop (Marius Rossillon) to draw him et voila, he was an immediate success.
It is interesting to note that this was a time when there were no graphic designers, marketing departments, perception managers and so on. Businesses could be more honest and less self-conscious of who they really are.
Hence, Bibendum was portrayed as a successful, fat, champagne drinking, cigar smoking business executive always out to promote his product and make money.
Over the past 120 so years, Michelin has actually tried to stop using Bidendum. But they always go back because of his extreme success. Of course now Bidendum can never be seen drinking a huge glass of champagne before driving, or constantly chain smoking while chatting up the ladies. He’s slimmed down a lot, so that he is more muscular than fat.
And obviously he is a cute little sunny day dude, not a reflection of the company executives, as this no longer goes down well with consumers.
19 May 2017
Being Canadian, I particularly like this instalment of "Classic Logos." Creative Review here in London polled their design experts and of all the classic logos, this was the overwhelming favourite!
A good sign of a classic is that it is in use for a long time unchanged and this is true of the Canadian National Railway Company logo, designed by Allan Flemming in 1960. At the time he said, "I think this symbol will last for 50 years at least. I don't think it will need revision because it is designed with the future in mind." Well, it's over 50 years and he is right!
See the lovely early sketch above by Flemming. The Art Director has added just one more comment. I love seeing these sketches, us designers are so dependant on our Macs, it's so hard to believe there was a time when graphic design was done with pen and paper.
The logo (known at the time as "the worm") symbolizes the movement of people, material and messages from one point to another - but no explanation is really needed as this is pretty clear.
I always wondered why the R for Railways was missing. Well, just CN makes the logo bilingual in French and English, important in Canada. Also it make it suitable for the many non-rail businesses that CN was running at the time, like hotels and ferries.
5 May 2017
Hello MLE,Some do not find it objectionable at all for a President to have business interests while he is in the White House. Others do.Regardless of where you stand, it is interesting to realise that this is actually the first time in history, that the president of the United States is a fully commercialised Superbrand, with family members who are best understood as spin-off brands.To Naomi Klein, this presents a very interesting opportunity for the first time in history. The opportunity to systematically erode the brand of a man who is banking on profiting from his presidency both before, after and during his time in office.SuzanPosted in: branding