Monocle on Design

What’s in a logo?

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31 May 2016

Episode 242

30 minutes


Photo: Andrew Urwin

Today we mull over the benchmarks of branding and the benefits of a likeable logo. We talk nation branding and Canada’s visual identity with Toronto correspondent Chris Frey and chart the rise and fall of logos in fashion. Plus: we hear the history of the iconic Olivetti icon and Josh Fehnert asks a partner from Pentagram about the rules for designing a decent visual identity.

31 May 2016

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Chapter 1

9 minutes


Photo: Roland Tanglao

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Chapter 1

Canada’s true colours

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Monocle’s Toronto correspondent Chris Frey took up the mantle of decoding the success of brand Canada and the history of its distinctive visual identity.

9 minutes

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Chapter 2

5 minutes


Photo: Hiro Kokoro

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Chapter 2

Logos in fashion

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Fashion journalist Dana Thomas, author of ‘Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster’, visits Midori House to explain why the fashion industry has fallen in (and out of) love with logos.

5 minutes

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Chapter 3

8 minutes


Photo: Andrew Urwin

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Chapter 3

How to design a logo

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The London office of design agency Pentagram is behind some of the most exciting examples of brand building, including the identity of the Great Western Railway. Partner John Rushworth shares a few rules of thumb for identity design.

8 minutes

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Chapter 4

5 minutes


Photo: Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea

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Chapter 4

Olivetti: Beyond form and function

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Olivetti, the Italian company that’s famous for its typewriters, also has one of the late 20th century’s most recognisable logos. The firm was an early adopter of meticulous design not only in its products and showrooms but also in its visual identity. Henry Rees Sheridan reports from an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

5 minutes

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