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Branding Terror: The Logotypes and Iconography of Insurgent Groups and Terrorist Organizations Hardcover – April 2, 2013
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About the Author
FRANCESCO TRIVINI BELLINI is a graphic designer who has created the branding identity of various companies and cultural institutions.
STEVEN HELLER, former Art Director at the New York Times, is the author or co-author of more than 120 books on design and popular culture.
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Logotypes and iconography are intended not only as a means of communication--often in the simple terms of "sending a message"--and identity in the public and international sphere, but also as a means of internal, often secret or guarded identification, focus, and cohesion for members of a particular group.
Artur Beifuss is a counter-terrorist analyst for the United Nations. Francesco Bellini is a graphic designer involved in branding for companies and institutions. In Beifuss's Introduction, he notes the logos as a way of branding for a group. Beifuss also notes the book's purpose to help understand by a survey of the 64 logos collected mostly from open sources such as websites "why certain visual elements are preferred over others [and the] certain meanings, emotions, and values" attached to such elements.
The schema used for accomplishing the book's purpose is the same for each "logo". Under the heading of the respective group is its name in the script of its national language (many in Arabic) followed by the translation or approximation in English. Underneath this is a brief overview of the group, and underneath this a chronology of it major terrorist acts. The second page is a plain, black-and-white, drawing of the group's logotype with lines to notes pointing out its features above a chart breaking down the colors and associated pantone coding for each. The last, third, page is a full-color picture of the logotype with explanations of the meaning of its colors, elements, and symbols.
The book would be used by most as a reference to find out more about Middle East and other terrorist groups defined as groups using violence for political or ideological aims when specific or related groups were mentioned in the media, for example. Since many of the groups are similar, the details of each start to run together when used as a study text. However one regards this work, it has a distinctive, notable, self-evidently relevant and useful place in contemporary studies of the global terrorism.
These logos are important to each group's self-identity, as well as to the identity the group wishes to broadcast to its friends and enemies. It includes a wide range of active groups, from al-Qaeda to the Red Brigades. It does not include ALL the groups, as not all of them have branding and there is some disagreement as to whether other groups are terror groups. The book includes a list of terror groups, including those not featured. A very handy book to have. Also, a unique study of this particular kind of branding.