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Symbol [Paperback]

Angus Hyland , Steven Bateman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 23 May 2011 --  
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Book Description

23 May 2011
Symbols play an integral role in branding programs. More often than not, symbols are used alongside logotypes, the two working in tandem to illustrate the values and qualities of a brand to its audience. However, symbols can be hugely effective on their own, providing organizations and brands with marks that provide an instantly recognizable signifier when seen independently of the brand name and/or logotype. Nike's Swoosh is seldom seen with its corresponding logotype these days: it has become so familiar that we dont need the name to recognize the brand. Among countless other examples, the Shell symbol, Michelin's Bibendum, London Transports intersected circle, the Guinness Harp and the Woolmark symbol form a unique visual vernacular as ubiquitous and familiar as the man at work pictogram. The book features over 1300 symbols, organized into groups and sub-groups according to their visual characteristics. Each category includes a short introduction, with expanded captions providing information on who the symbol was designed for, who designed it, when, and where appropriate, what the symbol stands for. These sections are interspersed with short case studies on both classic examples of symbols still in use, and exceptional examples of recently designed symbols.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King (23 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856697274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856697279
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 19 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Steven Bateman is a freelance writer who has worked with some of the UK's leading design agencies. A regular contributor to Grafik magazine, he also writes for ISTD Condensed, Nico and Varoom. Angus Hyland is a graduate of the RCA and a partner at Pentagram Design London. In 2001 Hyland was the cocurator, with Roanne Bell, of Picture This, a British Council exhibition featuring the work of London illustrators.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Put logo, trademark or symbol into Amazon search and you'll come up with a few hundred books that cover every aspect of the subject, from how to design them to copyright problems. The subject is now a staple in any design publishers catalogue. Hyland and Bateman's book is a notch above most because they've stripped the subject down to the basics and look at symbols only, so there are no typographic and image marks like UPS, BMW, V&A or Coca Cola, for example.

The 1300 symbols in the book are divided into two sections: Abstract and Representational. These are subdivided into categories like stripes (fifteen examples) arrows (twenty-five) radiating/circular (twenty-three) sun (fourteen) birds (thirty-two) or hearts (twenty-two). I thought the Representational pages the most fascinating because designers have to use a familiar object and change it into a unique version for a company so it will be recognisable anywhere. Anything that has a curve to it (bird, heart, eye) seems to encourage designers to create some wonderful company brandmarks.

Scattered through the pages are some case histories (over two or three pages) where there is a closer look at selected company marks. These are the only pages that use colour. All the symbols have credits for company, country, designer, date and a brief description of what the design is for.

There are a few hundred names, from around the world, in the designer index and Pentagram gets the most inclusions with sixty-two symbols, Chermayeff & Geismar get thirty-six and Karol Silwka (from Poland) gets thirty-one. Oddly the great designer Saul Bass only has one entry and Herb Lubalin none, I suppose because he was essentially a type man. There is a company and sector index also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are three kinds of logos: text only, text with symbol, and symbol only. Symbol is a catalogue of symbol only logos, organised by theme.

There is no possibility of any book being a complete catalogue of commercial logo symbols. There are just too many. Rather than focusing on well known symbols, this book gives a judicious range of different types, with occasional explorations in more depth.

This is a book I use a lot in working with designers and developing company brands. There are no poor or ill-conceived symbols in this book, and it gives a strong basis for taking things in a new direction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 28 Nov 2012
By Clivery
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loads of black and white logos, all made with symbols. The book has loads of examples and is a must-have!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean 23 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very clean design, perfectly organized and containing the most suitable examples for each category. Excellent value for money, I highly recommend this book for every branding afficionado.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another fantastic reference book
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