I think it’s been about a year since I bought a logo design book, possibly the last being Logo R.I.P which was a little disappointing. Nonetheless, Designing Corporate Symbols by David E. Carter was highly recommended to me, and I’m so glad it was.
First printed in January 1975, this is a treasure-trove of iconic logo designs and symbols that are mostly all new to me, despite many of them being over 50 years old. Just like Pentagram’s Marks book, another favourite of mine and one I recommend you check out, Designing Corporate Symbols presents each logo in black and white, one to a page, with a little bit of it’s history.
Talking about presenting your logo in monotone, it’s the best way to really focus on the shape, form and contrast, free from distractions. The best logos in the world aren’t limited to their stylisations or effects, they work in the simplest form, without having to be adapted. A tip to remember if you are designing your own logo is to start looking at it in one colour, only then adding colour if needed.
The hundred or so logos in this book are great inspiration into the key values of logo design and I seriously recommend young logo designers check it out. If you’re ever stuck for an idea, inspiration can come in any form – sometimes flicking though a book full of random shapes can be all it takes to inspire an icon.
I got it on Amazon for a bargain £10! It smells great – like an old book you’d find in the library – funnily enough it’s stamped “Indiana University Southeast Library”, so if you go there, I may have just nabbed a gem out of the collection, sorry about that.
You can buy it here.