Short Off Book Documentary on Logos

Last week PBS posted a new episode of Off Book on its YouTube channel. The short documentary Off Book: The Art of Logo Design/a> produced by Kornhaber Brown examines how great logos are created. Off Book is a web-only series from PBS Arts that expands the definition of art. Each episode explores a cutting-edge genre that invites the viewer to engage with the artists and creative process.

Logos surround us in digital and physical space, but we rarely examine the thought and artistic thinking that goes into the design of these symbols. Utilizing a silent vocabulary of colors, shapes, and typography, logo designers give a visual identity to companies and organizations of all types. From cave painters to modern designers, artists throughout history have been reducing the complex down to simple ideas that communicate with the world.

In this episode design historian and author Stephen Heller retraces the origin and evolution of logos throughout history. Using examples like Smithsonian and Mobil Sagi Haviv of Chermayeff & Geismar explains the basic rules for good logos. Kelli Anderson offers an insight into the process of creating a logo with her design for Off Book. Finally Gerard Huerta expounds on the timelessness factor of logos.

Now if PBS Arts would only wise up and do something about that crummy typeface they use for the title screens…

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