A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

We like logos – making them, looking at them and taking them on long walks on sunny afternoons in the park. Please don’t laugh, it’s unkind.

The process of exploring a symbol for someone or something presents so much potential. The road is clear, the sky is blue and the options are many. Creativity abounds, imagination runs wild and our electrons and neurons bounce around in an ever changing free-for-all that would make quantum theorists proud.

And then, the dreaded day comes, the selection process. One by one, the mark flecked, the seal splotched, the stamp smeared, the emblem blotched. One by one specked, stained and smudged until the one—that one—stands out.

But whether she was chosen out of reason or emotion, no matter the logic or rhyme, it is often hard to look back and remember how she became the one.

Is it? Could it be? Tweaked, twisted, turned … then ooh la la, she’s the one. Yes, that one. She is carted off with excitement and anticipation, only to catch one last glimpse of her brothers and sisters, looking at her with a sideways smile as they fade into the distance.

A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

The polish and prep work begins immediately and the one goes on to the great famed halls of logo-dom. Unless she is later refused. Never to return, she goes off in isolation, living a quiet life of solitude and regret.

But whether she was chosen out of reason or emotion, no matter the logic or rhyme, it is often hard to look back and remember how she became the one. And while the one is out getting famous—on TV, in Times Square, on a package, magazine or a respectable cover letter—their brothers and sisters were left behind, but to what end?

A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

We at AREA 17 feel a responsibility to take care of them—the unused and yes, even the black sheep, the refused. To nurture and educate them, helping them understand that it wasn’t personal, and they are no less important, even without the famed path of their now dissociate sibling.

This presentation of logos is somewhat of a family reunion of the used with the unused, and the refused. Though stoic in nature, the love between logos is present.

A family reunion of used, unused and downright refused logos

Additionally, we bring them together here as an exercise for us—the observers of logos—to see frères et soeurs together, to appreciate the ties of kindred-ship and celebrate their enduring spirits, famed or otherwise.

Originally published in 2007 on area17.com.


Also published on Medium.