American Trademark Designs
by Barbara Baer Capitman
This collection of 732 American trademarks and symbols is widely representative of major past and current trends in American trademark design. The marks are arranged in categories that include entertainment, education, real estate, insurance, food and beverage, retailing, transportation, utilities, heavy industry, and others, and are chosen from local and internationally known examples.
Reprinted in black-and-white, the marks appear here in their standard form on signs, letterheads, book bindings, T-shirts, sugar bags, household appliances, bank checks, drinking cups, coasters, screened commercials and printed ads, ashtrays, clothing labels, shopping bags, awnings, and so on. For several current trademarks, earlier versions are also illustrated and dated, tracing trademark genealogies of possible interest both as history and design. Captions identify the trademarks, giving year of design, and, when known, the name of the designer. The editor in her introduction describes the development of American trademarks from Ralston Purina’s homespun “checkerboard square” to the Cities Service corporate “triangle.” Notes on the specialized uses and requirements of various kinds of marks introduce each section.
This is a remarkable sourcebook for graphic artists, students, and commercial designers. Social psychologists, market researchers, and others interested in group behavior may find it the starting point of ideas and experiments. This book also has a curious fascination as browsing, illustrating at a glance how familiar, memorable, and widespread trademarks seem to be.