Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity, neutrality, clarity, wit and a bit of playfulness = a great commercial symbol, June 19, 2011
This review is from: Symbol (Paperback)
Put logo, trademark or symbol into Amazon search and you'll come up with a few hundred books that cover every aspect of the subject, from how to design them to copyright problems. The subject is now a staple in the design publishers catalog. Hyland and Bateman's book is a notch above most because they've stripped the subject down to the basics and look at symbols only, so there are no typographic and image marks like UPS; Dole; MetLife; Exxon or Coca Cola, for example.

The 1300 symbols in the book are divided into two sections: Abstract and Representational. These are subdivided into categories like stripes (fifteen examples) arrows (twenty-five) radiating/circular (twenty-three) sun (fourteen) birds (thirty-two) or hearts (twenty-two). I thought the Representational pages the most fascinating because designers have to use a familiar object and change it into a unique version for a company so it will be recognizable anywhere. Anything that has a curve to it (bird, heart, eye) seems to encourage designers to create some wonderful company brandmarks.

Scattered through the pages are some case histories (over two or three pages) where there is a closer look at selected company marks. These are the only pages that use color. All the symbols have credits for company, country, designer, date and a brief description of what the design is for.

There are a few hundred names, from around the world, in the designer index and Pentagram gets the most inclusions with sixty-two symbols, Chermayeff & Geismar get thirty-six and Karol Silwka (from Poland) gets thirty-one. Oddly the great designer Saul Bass only has one entry and Herb Lubalin none, I suppose because he was essentially a type man. There is a company and sector index also.

The book is a nice clean production with a maximum of nine images to a page. My only criticism is that the paper is a rather thick which makes the book a bit unwieldy while handling it. I think this is a worthwhile buy for design professionals and students.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 6, 2011 4:14:05 PM PST
What an excellent, well-written review. The pictures you uploaded--and especially the annotations you made of some of those images--make it spectacular. Thank you for providing wonderful guidance to someone who is thinking of investing in this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011 10:18:59 PM PST
Robin Benson says:
REJ: thanks for the kind words and enjoy the book.
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