Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Friday, November 13, 2015



The staff of the DUNER BLOG was on assignment in Eugene, Oregon last week. We learned that many people call Eugene 'The City that Nike Built." Everywhere you turn, you see the omnipresent Nike swoosh. It's not just running shoes either. It's on sports bras, the OU football jerseys and the impressive Event Center. All of which got us thinking...Which are the most recognizable logos in the world?

#1. Nike. Year: 1971. Designer: Carolyn Davidson. When a tiny Oregon sports importing company decided to diversify into sneakers, they hired a local graphic designer to dream up a logo. She says she was inspired by the Greek goddess of Victory, who embodies movement and speed. Unfortunately, poor Carolyn only received $35 for her revolutionary design. 

#2. McDonald's. 1961. Designer: George Dexter. All children around the world know: When they see the 'Golden Arches' that means good food...and a toy...are coming. Yay! When Ray Kroc bought the chain, he hired George Dexter to dream up something special. He designed two enormous arches that would form an 'M,' visible for miles around...a must for a Drive-Thru.

#3 Coca-Cola. 1886. Designer: Frank Mason Robinson. There wasn't such a thing as a Graphic Designer back in the 1880's when the Coca-Cola Company first began bottling pop in Atlanta. The closest thing they had was the bookkeeper, Frank. When asked, he simply wrote the name in Spencerian Script typeface, as this was the standard practice for signage in the era. Sure looks different today!

#4. Mercedes-Benz. 1902. Designer: Gottlieb Daimler. In case you've wondered, Mercedes was a popular ladies' name first, and a name for a car second. Specifically, founder Gottlieb Daimler's daughter's name. He also designed the three pointed star to represent where a Mercedes can take you: Land, Sea and Air.

#5. Apple. 1970. Designer: Ronald Wayne. The founders of the tech giant felt their product was as revolutionary as the apple that fell on Issac Newton's head. The first design was deemed 'too cute; for Steve Jobs, so designer Ronald Wayne unveiled a much simpler design. The bite was added so people wouldn't confuse it with a cherry.

#6. Seven-Eleven. 1946. Designer: Fran Gianninoto. During the Depression, an entrepreneur in Dallas began selling eggs, milk and bread out of a makeshift ice house. He wanted folks to remember his long hours: 7am - 10 pm. Turns out people loved the convenience of being able to buy basic items any time. When he expanded, a designer used bright yet contrasting colors to grab attention...and a Slurpee.

#7. Google. 1998 Designer: Sergey Brin. Sometimes simplicity wins. Co-founder Brin selected a Sans-Serif Type face from a free, online design site. He then decided to spice it up by printing each letter in a primary color.

#8. Starbucks. 1971. Designer: Terry Heckler. In a Seattle antiques store, Terry Heckler stumbled across a Norse 16th century woodcut. It had a mermaid with a crown and a long tail. It was instantly selected as the new logo. Over the years, it has evolved a bit. Gone are the mermaid's bare chest and her crown has been simplified.

#9. Warner Brothers. 1923. Designer: Saul Bass.  This entertainment giant wanted a power logo with strength. The four brothers voted for a shield with the stylized 'WB' dominating the middle. It stood for quality entertainment in theaters, record turntables and television.

#10. NASA. 1958. Designer: James Modavelli. The big dreams of the Space Race are found in the future-moving NASA design. Approved by Eisenhower, then modified by Kennedy, it has graced the Apollo missions, the Space Shuttle and Station. It makes the top ten because its the only logo in space!

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