222. Graphic Design 101: Logo vs. Symbol
Dec 16, 2008 at 08:57PM

Tap, tap, tap. Class…class?! Settle down now! I said settle down NOW! That’s better.

I’ve noticed a trend over the past nine years. I thought it was just a flash in the pan, a simple lack of good judgment. Like most bad trends I thought, “this too shall pass.” But for whatever reason - complacency, the need to impress one’s self/clients or forgetfulness, design terminology has fallen apart.

I’m referring specifically to the use of the word logo. I’m not sure how, why or when this happened but it hasand it must stop.

Let’s review:

Now, I know you’re saying to yourself…what a tight ass! What’s the big deal? The big deal is that it just isn’t right! It’s like bad grammar. I’m sure Paul Rand is probably spinning in his grave. Should all tissues be called Kleenex?  Well, of course not! This improper use has gotten so bad it’s reached the White House! Even my star student Jason Smith has begun using this description for all marks.

The Pepsi globe is a freakin’ symbol! The type treatment for the word Pepsi is the logo. The typeface is not the logotype! It’s the typeface used for the logo….PLEASE!

(clearing throat sounds)….sorry for the outburst.

Now, can you stop trying to overly impress your clients with flashy made-up words to describe a mark? You’re professionals…so start acting like it. If not, I’ll have no choice but to write you a pink slip and send you to the principal’s office.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to the teacherslounge for a cigarette and a stiff cocktail.

Class dismissed. :)

**More clarification is needed. Logotypes are special typographic characters consisting of multiple letters much like ligatures but not blended together. However, my encounter with the term Logotype has been misused to describe a logo (see above) or the typeface used for the logo.


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