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Marks of Excellence: The History and Taxonomy of Trademarks Paperback – March 18, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (March 18, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714838381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714838380
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.1 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Finding the roots of trademarks in heraldry, potter's marks, monograms, and other such ancient devices, this book traces the history of the corporate visual lexicon and produces a taxonomy of the commercial age. An alphabetical section covers motifs from animals to waves, with short definitions and analyses beautifully complemented by daringly cropped and crisply photographed images. Pictures of this quality and interest would steal the show in most volumes, but the text stands up well to the challenge of images that gain force because of the familiarity of their subjects (corporate trademarks), and the unusual sense that the book's context lends to them. Marks of Excellence is a worthwhile exploration at the modern language of ownership. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Phaidon's Marks of Excellence is a glossy homage to logos through the ages, backed up with trainspotter-ish annotated notes.' The Face 'Perfect for anyone who wants to start building their own global brand.' Wallpaper '...a handsome book...excellent...' Creative Review 'Per Mollerup's beautiful yet pithy book.' Graphis '... the Danish designer, Per Mollerup, is a master of modern visual shorthand, and his perspective makes a refreshing change from the dominance of Anglo-American thought on the subject. His designs...are exemplary in their wit and economy.' Business and Design Newsletter (Chartered Society of Designers) '[Per Mollerup] has assembled an exhaustive collection of marks, and backed up the images with some highly informative text. This is an excellent book whatever your philosophical position in design.' U & LC 'Marks of Excellence is another contribution to Phaidon's de luxe series on design and architecture which provides an appropriate platform for communicating through impeccable and generously reproduced images. The indulgence of the coffee-table format is combined in this book with an intelligent and comprehensive text to create a reading experience properly saturated with looking. The illustrations are presented in two ways. Firstly the text is regularly punctuated with opulent full-bleed spreads ...By contrast, illustrations are also supplied in a diagrammatic fashion... ...the book contributes to the concerns of design history and to existing texts on the subject. Mollerup's encyclopaedic overview provides an updated addition to more personal accounts by designers... Perhaps the most original portion of Marks of Excellence is the 'Taxonomy' which uses theories put forward in the preceding chapters to form a model by which we might understand how trademarks signify. This takes us beyond mere recognition or subjective response to a formalized level in which we may sort the 'letter marks' in a logo into a number of categories... ...The book may be used by students as an introduction to communication theory and as a good example of the application of such theories to graphic design practice. It will be useful to designers... as a self-proclaimed canon of approved design ... For the general reader the book will usefully enhance perception and identification of the system, rules and techniques of communication through corporate identity.' Journal of Design History 'Unique...Marks of Excellence reflects this dedication to combining deep theory with surface beauty. Its 240 pages and 600 beautiful illustrations are both a feast for the eyes and an education in design.' Critique

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Per Mollerup's Marks of Excellence is an interesting and beautifully illustrated look at trademarks. The most interesting part for me are the little anecdotes which occur here and there about particular trademarks. For example the Guinness harp is based on the O'Neill clan harp, when the Irish State was formed in 1922 they had to reverse the harp because Guinness owned the copyright.
The look and feel of the book is similar to any of the Graphis range. The book begins with a brief look at the precursors of trademarks such as heraldry, monograms and brands for animals and goods. It then examines the design process looking at the type of corporate identities that can be created and their application. The bulk of the book though is the taxonomy of trademarks breaking them down into classes, such as birds, botanical, buildings etc.
There is a brief look at the background to the trademark accompanied by the name of company which uses the trademark and the designers behind it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David E. Carter on April 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a beatifully designed book that is very complete. There are hundreds of examples of good design, and enough text to satisfy those who need detailed explanations. Quite simply, I have seen nearly all the books available on logo design, and this one of the best I have ever seen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By meagainstme on September 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a great resource for the methods behind some of the most sucessful logos created. Even if you are not a "logo designer" this book is a good reference. The author gets extremely deep into the psychology and methods of successful logos. Although sometimes laborious - it provides great background.
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By Rowann G. on July 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a typography nut. If you are too, you need this not just for reference but for sheer admiration of the marriage of concept and its proven dead-on communications successes. Invaluable for ANY design professional involved in media, shape, form, design, architecture, fashion, artful communication, and the thoughtful analysis of all of those.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains the best of the best in terms of the concepts and understanding of typography and its versatility, as well as some of the most classic typographical designs and logos that have made such a strong mark that they remain instantly recognizable today. These concepts and designs never become old or outdated, but continue to be modernized and adapted in very intelligent ways by those who grasp their underlying ideas. You can't be a graphic designer if you don't see things differently from the rest of us or aren't actively involved in the spirit of the times. These marks are conceptual icons, and only after their study can one evolve a finely-tuned design. You'll learn everything you need to know about these things from this superb book. It is a must-have for any designer from fashion to filmmaking; menus to marketing. Buy it.
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By Theo K on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the great work done by the author. Iam a real fan of applied knowledge picturing it into the mind. The book has got its own Identity and is very useful for people that want to dive into the visual world of coding and decoding.
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