February 2, 2009


1. Atm

Stealing the idea from other blogs I decided to wake up and take particular attention to the logos I would see that day, get pictures of some twenty-four and post them here.

Some of them are actually logos I discussed in this blog.


2. Untho


3. Zero Milano

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February 1, 2009


Nipple Clthing Logo by Luca Napoli

Luca Napoli is a friend. Yet before this he’s a young designer with a great passion for graphics. He studies Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano in Bovisa and likes to apply his creativity in his spare time working with symbols and images.

He created several logos just for fun or even for some friends’ projects. Recently he designed his own brand Nipple Clthing.

I was explained the meaning behind the logo sharing a beer some weeks ago: “First of all Nipple Clthing is a project of Love and Brotherhood. I chose the nipple because it is universal, since everyone shares this body part, no distinction being made between men and women or between races. Secondly the nipple represents the first feeding from the mother’s breast, and in this sense it symbolizes Life and Birth”.

Then he told me what he wants Nipple Clthing to be, a repository for good designs and beautiful stories, without everything related to commerce like publicity, and more importantly nonprofit. Going with an under-exposure of the brand he wants it not to be presented as “cool” or “successful” by others. On the contrary he desires that everyone who sees the brand can decide on its own whether he appreciates it or not. Raising spontaneously in other words.


Nipple Clthing graphics by Luca Napoli


January 31, 2009


Lombardy stem by Noorda, Sambonet, Tovaglia, Munari

In 1974 a supergroup of milanese graphic designers, Bob Noorda, Roberto Sambonet and Pino Tovaglia, headed by Bruno Munari as coordinator, were to develop the Lombardy Region symbol.

The field of studies was particularly wide, from Agilulfo’s cross to Carroccio representations, from the Legnano Battle to the Sforza Castle, but then the most evident references to Milan were eliminated, as for the complicated symbols or those like the Biscione already used for commercial companies.

The final choice was a petroglyph in Val Camonica, the so-called Camunian Rose. The project relation reads: “With the help of these rock drawings we get to know the beliefs, uses and costumes of the Cammuni, the ancient inhabitants of Lombardy, who were witnesses and messengers of foundamental phases of the european civilization from Neolithic to Bronze Age”.

The graphics was then regularized with a geometric design with Leonardo Da Vinci style. The color was green on white because the Lombardy region is full of water and nature.


The Camunian Rose petroglyph down.

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January 30, 2009


The Milan Expo 2015 Logo

As you may know there is to be a Universal Exposition in 2015 that will be hosted by the city of Milan.

The designer community resented the choice of the logo to the 2015 Expo in Milan. Some argued that it appears as a poor mix of clip-arts with the stylized Vitruvian Man and the earth image centred on Mongolia(?). It surely cannot represent at its best Milan, one of the worlds design capitals.

So in 2007, when the Bie had not chosen yet the city that would host the Expo, Socialdesignzine an italian design blog wished for Izmir to win. Quoting the article “We like to believe in the existance of a god of good-design that will punish the communicative arrogance of the pro-Milan committee”.

So I made a logo myself, and I hope Mrs. Moratti will take it into consideration when she will change that out-dated stem of Milan.milanome


January 29, 2009


Photo of the Eni Logo

The six-legged dog is the logo to the Eni, the italian multinational oil and gas company, and to every other other company associated to the group. Eni was founded in 1953 by the Italian Government and was transformed into a joint stock company in 1992.

The figure was presented the first time in 1952, when it won a competition to design billboard ads to the Supercortemaggiore oil produced by Agip. The official author was Giuseppe Guzzi but it was attributed post-mortem to the italian sculptor Luigi Broggini.

The interpretation given by the company itself is that the six legs of the dog symbolize the four wheels plus the two legs of the driver. It also draws back to African mythology where to represent the concept of power animals like lions or leopards were depicted as having six legs.

The logo was restyled by Bob Noorda in 1992 when the company went private.


January 27, 2009


The rededesigned New York State Logo by Saatchi & Saatchi

The I Love New York logo is a rebus created by Milton Glaser 1977, set in a rounded slab serif typeface called American Typewriter. The innovative pop-style icon became a major success and has continued to be sold for years.

The logo and advertising campaign have been used for decades to promote tourism in New York State, not just New York City as many believe.

The image became especially prominent following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the city, which created a sense of unity among the populace. Many visitors to the city following the attacks purchased and wore the shirts bearing the I Love New York logo as a sign of their support.

However the fact that it was seen as representing just NYC was disturbing and in 2008 the New York State Division of Tourism has spent $17 million with advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi to redesign the logo (adding a squirrel, a butterfly and some grass below). Do you see the 17 million dollars worth change?


January 26, 2009


Deutsche Bank by Anton Stankowski

Martina, a friend of mine, studies design at the Politecnico di Milano University. She had some lessons on logo design so I asked her to lend me some materials about the theory.

Their study starts from semiotics and proceeds showing the differences between logos and logotypes, or between monograms, pictograms and ideograms. They explain the processes of identification, appropriation, comunication and evocation that come with logos.

Afterward the characteristics that a perfect logo should have, with the aid of the world-known Deutsche Bank logo designed by Anton Stankowski in 1974.

‣ Solidity and Compactness, Simplicity, Regularity


‣ Legibility, Recognizability, Resistance to “noise”

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January 25, 2009


Coop Logo redesign

I have already talked about milanese designer Bob Noorda. In 1985 he developed the coordinate image of Turin-born Coop. Coop is an Italian cooperative which operates the largest supermarket chain in Italy. 

Not only did he redesign Albe Steiner’s 1963 logo, Noorda went on to “reduce to unity”, both from the outside and the inside, the visuals and the graphics of every selling point.

He designed every single graphic element to diffuse the brand (from papers, to stickers and plastic bags) and developed the whole system of signs and lightings, the colours on informative panels, redefining internal spaces on consumer paths and expositors.

That is basically what a corporate coordinate image is about: creating brand recognition through the unity of logo, packaging and advertising.


Coop coordinate image by Bob Noorda

APPLE 1984

January 24, 2009


Apple Logo by Rob Janoff, used from 1976 to 1998

The 24th of January 1984 Apple launched the Macintosh. 25 years have passed, the company has transformed  and the logo has changed. Happy 25th anniversary!

Apple’s first logo, designed by Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Almost immediately this was replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow Apple”, the now-familiar rainbow-coloured silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it, possibly as a tribute to Isaac Newton’s discoveries of gravity and the separation of light by prisms.

While it is generally accepted to have referred to Isaac Newton, another explanation exists that the bitten apple pays homage to the mathematician Alan Turing, one of the fathers of the computer, who committed suicide by eating an apple with cyanide. The rainbow colors are rumored to be a reference to the rainbow flag, as a homage to Turing’s homosexuality.

Another theory is that the missing bite is a reference to the Fall of Man, representing the acquisition of knowledge.

The logo’s shape is one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world, identifies all Apple products and retail stores (the name “Apple” is not even present) and has been included as stickers in nearly all Macintosh and iPod packages through the years.


The original Apple Logo featuring Isaac Newton; the monochrome Apple logo, used from 1998 to 2000; the stylized Apple, used from 2001 to 2007


January 23, 2009


United Colors of Benetton Logo by Vignelli Associates

The italian clothing brand United Colors of Benetton is also known for his controversial publicity campaigns.

Photographer Oliviero Toscani was given carte blanche and ads were created that contained striking images unrelated to any actual products. They included a variety of shocking subjects such as a deathbed scene of a man (AIDS activist David Kirby) dying from AIDS, a bloodied, unwashed newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached, a priest and nun kissing, a collage consisting of genitals of persons of various races. The company’s logo served as the only text accompanying the images in most of these advertisements.

The logo is simple and minimalist, a plain combination of white characters on a green background. It supports the idea behind Benetton designs: minimalism, elegance and vivid colours. 


One of the controversial Benetton ads by Oliviero Toscani


January 22, 2009



Googa Cola and other mash-ups by Mario Amaya

Dedicated to those colleagues of mine who said logos are boring. This won’t change their minds yet maybe raise a smile. Someone on the net seems to have found a very humorous way to treat brands.

Above the brazilian blogger Mario Amaya mixed the Google and the Coca Cola logo. It is actually better than the original Google one, which in my view is one of the worst ever. Searching would be a better experience without those coloured characters. What about  the other mash-ups?

Below Logólogos, a neat blog by Argentinian bloggers Javier and Luna, is all about transformation of logos through clever use of quasi-mathematical equations. Here’s what they did for the Italian energy company Agip and Wikipedia.


Logo equations from Logólogos


January 20, 2009


Obama Logo by Sender LLC

As Barack Obama is today inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States I get the chance to talk about his campaign logo, which the great media coverage during this elections has turned into one of the most recognised political brand logos. It was designed by Sol Sender and his team and had generally positive reviews from the designer community.

“We were looking at the “o” of his name and had the idea of a rising sun and a new day,” according to Sender. “The sun rising over the horizon evoked a new sense of hope.”

The final design was chosen among nine options. Two finalist logos follow.


Here an article about the unchosen logos.


January 17, 2009



Fatto da YO! is the name of a shop in viale Monza in Milan that allows people to stamp designs on virgin t-shirts or sweaters. The peculiar thing is that YO Milano is also becoming a vital community where young creatives share their ideas and their styles.

Some friends of mine always show proudly what they’ve designed and then made by YO (which is what Fatto da YO! means). I know because the Fatto da YO! logo is easily visible on their back. So good news for those lads who wanted to print their clothing on good materials with brilliant tecniques and at reasonable prices!

A consideration: the logo can be easily misread as Fatto da voi (Made by you). Is it just a coincidence?


A sweater design by Lorz


January 16, 2009

Qoob dynamic logo by The Designers Republic

Qoob is a new way to make cinema, television and music.

Produced by Mtv Italy Qoob started to move its first steps into the ether in November 2005 as Yos, a tv channel in a somewhat underground and clandestine fashion, programming alternative music videos only, interspersed with artistic and often delirious shorts. A few months later the mystery is revealed and a newly baptised channel, Flux, comes to life, a 360 cross-media without borders. Flux is a refreshing explosion of the best short contents around, organised in a randomic schedule that alternates music vids to seemingly nonsensical quotes, cinematic shorts and 3d animations. All contents are viewable individually on demand or in simulcast on the site.

A year after Yos first switched on, as a demonstration of its organic and ever evolving nature, Flux becomes Qoob by digitalising all its frequencies on the Italian territory. It’s in this new state of the art that the adventure of this cross-media platform fine-tunes, making it a showcase and a propeller of new content coming from the independent world of animation, cinema, graphic design and music.

Starting from the website and the channel branding, styled by one of the world’s most famous british design studios, The Designers Republic, up to the collaborative productions between the website users, Qoob has made a point of being a pioneer in the production of value and quality content that is appealing to the masses, without borders. A perfect mix for the new digital era.

Works by The Designers Republic here.


January 15, 2009


The Alfa Romeo badge is the quintessential milanese logo.

In 1910 a draughtsman named Romano Cattaneo was given the job of coming up with a badge for a new Milan-based automaker company, ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili). The story goes that as he was waiting for a train at the Piazza Castello terminus in Milan, he gained inspiration from the great Visconti family’s red cross and biscione (human child-bearing serpent) coat of arms emblazoned over the great door of Castello Sforzesco. The Visconti family was a noble dynasty who ruled the duchy of Milan from the Middle Ages until the early Renaissance.

The company wanted to drive home the point that it was a milanese company, not from Rome or Torino, where they are now based. By putting these classical elements of Milanese history into the badge, they associate themselves with the city and its status as a newly emerging European economic center, as it was in the early 1900s.

In 1918 after the company was purchased by Nicola Romeo, the badge was redesigned with the help of Giuseppe Merosi, including now the City of Milan’s emblem and that of the Visconti in a circular motif, bordered by a dark blue metallic ring containing the inscription “ALFA – ROMEO” and “MILANO”.

The name “MILANO” was eliminated when Alfa Romeo opened the factory near Naples in the 1970s.


January 10, 2009


Chupa Chups 50th Anniversary Logo

It’s curiosities time!

Chupa Chups was the first candy designed with children in mind. Back in 1958 Barcelona native Enric Bernat Fontlladosa launched the Chupa Chups hoping to create a more practical lollipop for kids. After the end of the Francisco Franco dictatorship the company’s founder managed to make his sweets known worldwide. An innovative company as Chupa Chups needed an effective logo to represent it.

Most people are quite surprised to find out that the Chupa Chups distinctive daisy logo was designed in 1969 by the famous surrealist Salvador Dalí. It’s all 100% fact. After Bernat introduced his idea of a more universal logo, Dalí needed an hour only to draft on a newspaper what would become the basis for today’s Chupa Chups logo. It actually makes sense. Salvador Dalí throughout his later life-time would lend his image to a variety of commercial interests, using himself as a brand. The Chupa Chups logo can currently be found on all kinds of lollipops and related items, and the company maintains its focus on creating new, exciting products.

The Chupa Chups site, restyled for the 50th anniversary, deserves a view.


January 7, 2009


Box Vision Logo

Box Vision is a cultural youth association. It was born several years ago when some guys decided to offer an event/performance that allows for the transformation of the self, from “here and now” to“we, not here, not now”, via the integration of artistic expressions like electronic music, visual, lights, installations, design.

It starts from the fact that the milanese youth is stuck compared to that of other european cities, and that youngs experience the most the stress from living in a city like Milan. The name in fact comes from the idea that while nature is cyclic society is cubic. The intent is then to break this mental bokes/cages.

From this concept it comes the situationism of Box Vision, which means bringing music to the meeting places of Milan by night, like Mom, Colonne di San Lorenzo and Eastend, where the movida is usually found.

The logo was created two years ago by a friend of the association who studies graphic design. The name appears in the logo to create awareness rather than consolidate it because Box Vision isn’t yet a very known reality. Then they use simple signs like cubes, lines and spheres because they’re easy to recognise as they’re the first abstract shapes.

The site provides news about the nights they organise plus the possibility to subscribe to a newsletter to stay updated about interesting events.


Box Vision at Mom

On Flickr you can find photos about the happenings.


December 20, 2008


Splatter by James Cauty

Pretending I’ve got a public, if you speak italian there is an interesting article on laRepubblica.it about the history and the evolution of the major film studios logos.

Quella dei loghi degli studios che hanno fatto grande il cinema americano è una storia avvincente fatta di incontri fortuiti, ricordi adolescenziali ed immagini destinate a diventare eterne. Tra montagne innevate, enormi iniziali e una splendida Lady Liberty che impugna una torcia, spesso a rendere immortali i pochi secondi che introducono le pellicole non sono solo le immagini accattivanti ma anche i celebri jingle orchestrati e composti ad hoc.

The whole article here.

As for the image above it is an artwork by James Cauty, British musician (founder of the seminal electronic bands The KLF and The Orb) and irreverent artist. More of his works here.


October 22, 2008

Fuzzyenergy by Metaforma Design, Italy

Wolda (Worldwide Logo Design Annual) is the innovative graphic design awards scheme that rewards the best logos and trademarks designed throughout the world. Wolda’s mission is to promote excellence in visual communication and to provide real recognition to the people who invest their passion in this field.

The international jury consists of 10 top design professionals, 10 marketing managers from major international clients and 10 members of the public. This judging mechanism reflects the actual process that turns any logo idea into a successful logo. Wolda is run by Eulda Books, a Milan-based publishing house created in 2005 specifically for this project.

As for the 2008 edition there is a “Best of World” trophy for the overall winner plus “Best of Continent” and “Best of Nation” trophies for the designers of the best logos from each country. The image shows the winning logo from Italy, developed by the milanese design agency Metaforma for the RACE company. RACE (Research for an Alternative and Clean Energy) is a milanese corporation operating internationally with various innovative projects in the ecological and in the environmental field.

The Wolda ’08 overall winner down.

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October 14, 2008

Welcome to Milan by brtsergio

Now suppose I’m new to Milan. I’d go around down town like a tourist, the nose risen up and a slow-paced walk because that’s how you usually see a city. I’d start with a map and a guide but in the best option I would leave them in my room to get familiar with the city by myself. Still what would I need? When you’re in a big city the best and easiest way to orientate is relying on the public transports. There isn’t a more valuable model than the tube map, fact. So the symbol of the Milan Metro would be one of the first things of the city that I’d learn to recognise as I go around.

The Milan Metro graphics have been designed by Nederland-born Bob Noorda. He lives in Milan since 1957 and has been one of the key figures in italian graphic design. In 1963 he worked for Metropolitana di Milano and his work inspired Massimo Vignelli for the New York subway graphics. His project for the yet-to-be mark of the Metro still remains as a paradigm for logos. Two particulars: the arrow shape between the Ms, the second M under the first one which brings the pictogramatic idea of “subterranean”. Unfortunately the logo was never fully implemented.

Milan Metro Logo by Bob Noorda


October 3, 2008

Zero.eu Logo by Edizioni Zero

Zero was born in Milan in 1996 and since then has been the most-read magazine about events and lifestyle. If you are young and alive, if you live in Milan or in the other major cities you must know what I’m talking about. In 2008 Edizioni Zero opened an online community platform, a social network centred on events and people, on culture and entertainment. That is Zero.eu, which came out with a brand-new web-2.0-style logo.

Ok, that was all an excuse to introduce an article I’ve read about the 2008 trends in logo design. Out of the 10 trends discussed I will report about the one type that we can all recognise and refer to. That is Web 2.0. Remember Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Last.fm and so on?

A web 2.0 logo is now synonymous to a modern and trendy logo, and this is why we find an impressive number of tutorials on the Net that allow designers to transform existing logos into web 2.0 logos. What characteristics do web 2.0 logos have? They have bright colors, color levels, cute, icons, 3D effects, shiny surfaces, shadows and reflexions. The fonts are simple and most of them rounded. In some cases the color levels, shines and 3D effects are also applied to the lettering.

These effects must be used very carefully, because we have seen countless cases where the logo designer uses these elements to make a logo look good but neglects to give the concept the necessary attention it deserves. 

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October 1, 2008

Motion FM Logo by Krghettojuice

Krghettojuice is a multidisciplinary design agency based in Bologna. Krghettojuice is a one man band, and that man is Giovanni Paletta, a young designer from Crotone. He grew up as a DJ but finally found out he had both the time and the desire to work on graphics.

Krghettojuice creates web-designs, logos and logotypes, illustrations for cd-covers and vinyls. Not only his illustrations are music-related but many of his logos are made for companies in the music business.

More of his logos down.

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September 27, 2008

Detail from Sistine Madonna by Raphael Sanzio

What has a XVI century painting to do with logo design? To be honest very little. Still the logo of a globally popular Milan-based fashion brand was modelled after the archetypal representation of cherubs in this painting.

Fiorucci’s logo, designed by Italo Lupi in 1970, depicts two cheeky angels with two golden crowns that somehow resemble the bored angels by Raphael.

Fiorucci is a young fashion label founded by Elio Fiorucci in 1967. The first store was opened in Galleria Passerella in Milan. The brand became worldwide famous in the 1970s and while its New York store was once called the “daytime Studio 54” and attracted trendsetters like Warhol or Madonna the italian shop in Piazza San Babila still is impressive with its lavish interior design and bright colors.

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September 25, 2008

Manifesto Campari 1960 by Bruno Munari

Let’s make things personal.  Last year on November I went to an exhibition at the Rotonda della Besana in Milan about Bruno Munari. He has been a polyedric artist in the field of visual arts and one of the key figures of design in the twentieth century.

He was born in Milan in 1907 and has been the most important designer during the economic boom in 1960s Italy. Working in an absolutely free, flexible and ironic way yet being simple and rigorously methodic he won during his career three Compasso d’Oro awards  and an Andersen award for his imaginative children’s books. He has been so eclectic that no catalogation could be done but the great collection exposed at the Besana was not dispersive even though on a 70-years-wide production and personally I found it compelling. That’s why one of the first topics that came to my mind deciding to write about logos was his poster for the Campari brand.

Munari collaborated with Campari to design an advertisement in 1960 and he worked on the lettering of the logo making a big collage of how it could have been modified or cut or repeated. The logo and its alterations were then the only elements of the advertisement. The poster is now housed at the MOMA in New York between the graphic works.


September 23, 2008

Maker Faire Poster 2008 by eBoy

There is really no need to talk about the importance of design in the New Economy. Images and creativity add new value to products thus design has become an essential part of the production process. A far less wide area of design yet not only used by manifacturing industries is the logo design.

The logo assumes so much relevance that the sign becomes the identity of an organization in the eyes of consumers. A friend of mine for example calls McDonald’s “The Great Yellow Hug”. Graphic design is then a means for companies to portray their brands in a way that consumer will like and recognise.

I think the logo fits perfectly as connection between design and business so exploring his origins and evolution we’ll be able to learn something of both these worlds. Since I was born, have so far lived and studied in Milan, the logo topics we’ll be talking about will be mostly Milan-related. Stay tuned!