Entertainment Industry for Peace and Freedom, logo

Entertainment Industry for Peace and Freedom, logo

Weller & Juett Inc., 1971


Juror Notes

I think we should all be grateful to Don Weller for
providing these spoofs of the most marvelous fraud that the
American graphic arts have ever perpetrated upon American
business: The abstract total-design logo. Contrary to the
conventional wisdom, these abstract logos, which a com-
pany (Chase Manhattan, Pan-Am, Winston Sprocket,
Kor Ban Chemical) is supposed to put on everything from
memo pads to the side of its 50-story building, make absolutely
no impact—conscious or unconscious—upon its
customers or the general public, except insofar as they
create a feeling of vagueness or confusion. I'm talking about
the prevailing mode of abstract logos. Pictorial logos or
written logos are a different story. Random House (the
little house), Alfred Knopf (the borzoi dog), the old
Atlantic-Richfield flying red horse, or the written logos of
Coca-Cola or Hertz—they stick in the mind and create the
desired effect of instant recognition ("identity"). Abstract
logos are a dead loss in that respect, and yet millions
continue to be poured into the design of them. Why?
Because the conversion to a total-design abstract logo
format somehow makes it possible for the head of the
corporation to tell himself: "I'm modern, up-to-date,
with-it, a man of the future. I've streamlined this old
baby." Why else would they have their companies pour
$30,000, $50,000, $100,000, into the concoction of
symbols that any student at Pratt could, and would gladly.
give him for $125 plus a couple of lunches at the Trattoria,
or even the Zum-Zum? The answer: if the fee doesn't run
into five figures, he doesn't feel streamlined. Logos are
strictly a vanity industry, and all who enter the field should
be merciless cynics if they wish to guarantee satisfaction.

-    Tom Wolfe

Collections: Communication Graphics (1972)
Discipline: Brand and identity systems design
Format: Logo