Throwback Thursday: A Pair of 100-Year-Old Logos

A brief look back at two of my favorite logo projects: refining the eccentricities of the Variety nameplate, and adding rhythm and clarity to WWD's three letterforms.

By 2013, the Variety logo was long over-due for a face lift (108 years to be exact). The stylish yet wonky letterforms created an instantly recognizable word mark (primarily due to the flying V and the curly R), but little effort had ever been made to make these shapes work well together as a whole. I called up Jim Parkinson to resolve five glaring problems: scale (the extra large A and diminutive R, condensed E and T), spacing (squished IET), perspective (the R is falling backwards), balance (where to begin!?), and the inconsistent terminals seen in the various swashes and serifs (some sharp points, some flat, others rounded). The new logo appears more refined and confident while preserving the original character and visual equity of the previous mark.

By 2013, the Variety logo was long over-due for a face lift (108 years to be exact). The stylish yet wonky letterforms created an instantly recognizable word mark (primarily due to the flying V and the curly R), but little effort had ever been made to make these shapes work well together as a whole. I called up Jim Parkinson to resolve five glaring problems: scale (the extra large A and diminutive R, condensed E and T), spacing (squished IET), perspective (the R is falling backwards), balance (where to begin!?), and the inconsistent terminals seen in the various swashes and serifs (some sharp points, some flat, others rounded). The new logo appears more refined and confident while preserving the original character and visual equity of the previous mark.

Previous logo (left) on the old daily edition and the newly redrawn logo (right) on the weekly magazine.

Previous logo (left) on the old daily edition and the newly redrawn logo (right) on the weekly magazine.

Originally set in blackletter as 'Women's Wear Daily', the fashion trade paper (now simply called WWD) started using Swiss Extra Compressed in the mid 90's for their logo, crashing the letters into one another to create an awkward mashup of varying stroke weights and negative spaces. Using Cyrus Highsmith's Salvo Sans as a starting point, I linked the W's to create a continuous zig-zag pattern and tucked the D in slightly on the end to balance the negative spaces. I then experimented with tints and shades of color to create a zipper pattern which created depth and a bit of fun . . . until Christian Schwartz laughed upon seeing this and suggested that I couldn't be seriously considering it. I quickly added gaps between each letter and sent the sketch off to Jesse Regan who tweaked the proportions a bit and rebalanced the counter forms. The new logo is clearer, allowing each letter to be visible on its own, and stronger as a more cohesive structure.

Originally set in blackletter as 'Women's Wear Daily', the fashion trade paper (now simply called WWD) started using Swiss Extra Compressed in the mid 90's for their logo, crashing the letters into one another to create an awkward mashup of varying stroke weights and negative spaces. Using Cyrus Highsmith's Salvo Sans as a starting point, I linked the W's to create a continuous zig-zag pattern and tucked the D in slightly on the end to balance the negative spaces. I then experimented with tints and shades of color to create a zipper pattern which created depth and a bit of fun . . . until Christian Schwartz laughed upon seeing this and suggested that I couldn't be seriously considering it. I quickly added gaps between each letter and sent the sketch off to Jesse Regan who tweaked the proportions a bit and rebalanced the counter forms. The new logo is clearer, allowing each letter to be visible on its own, and stronger as a more cohesive structure.

Rejected 'zipper' pattern logo. The red D found a home in the digital daily and printed fashion week editions as a way to emphasize the daily frequency. The weekly magazine uses a solid black or white version. 

Rejected 'zipper' pattern logo. The red D found a home in the digital daily and printed fashion week editions as a way to emphasize the daily frequency. The weekly magazine uses a solid black or white version. 

One of the final printed daily editions (left) — before the launch of the new weekly magazine — using the Swiss 911 Extra Condensed logo. The new logo on two fashion week dailies (right). 

One of the final printed daily editions (left) — before the launch of the new weekly magazine — using the Swiss 911 Extra Condensed logo. The new logo on two fashion week dailies (right). 

Weekly magazine featuring the new logo, February 2016. 

Weekly magazine featuring the new logo, February 2016. 

Hermosa Beach Renovation. Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation

A brief look at my first attempt playing Design Architect with my wife. This was a 2-month renovation . . .

Ikea kitchen with walnut fronts by Semihandmade. All appliances by Bosch. A new fireplace face extending to the ceiling is planned.

Ikea kitchen with walnut fronts by Semihandmade. All appliances by Bosch. A new fireplace face extending to the ceiling is planned.

Skylights were added to illuminate the dining areas and bring light down to the entry. Tolomeo Mega Wall lamp and Melete sconces from Artemide. A breakfast nook with Saarinen oval dining table is planned . . .

Skylights were added to illuminate the dining areas and bring light down to the entry. Tolomeo Mega Wall lamp and Melete sconces from Artemide. A breakfast nook with Saarinen oval dining table is planned . . .

Bath: Wall-hung toilet by Duravit, shower hardware from Hansgrohe, custom encaustic cement tile from cementtileshop.com. The shower control module is positioned on the near wall to allow dry operation. A skylight (off-camera) aligns with the window and brings light into the shower and across the room throughout the day.

Bath: Wall-hung toilet by Duravit, shower hardware from Hansgrohe, custom encaustic cement tile from cementtileshop.com. The shower control module is positioned on the near wall to allow dry operation. A skylight (off-camera) aligns with the window and brings light into the shower and across the room throughout the day.

A superfluous staircase post was removed and ceilings were raised to 10 ft. to create a more spacious and comfortable entry.

A superfluous staircase post was removed and ceilings were raised to 10 ft. to create a more spacious and comfortable entry.

Bath with lateral drain, Duravit toilet, Hansgrohe shower. Ceiling ductwork was rerouted into a soffit above the sink and vanity allowing ceiling height to be raised to 10 ft.

Bath with lateral drain, Duravit toilet, Hansgrohe shower. Ceiling ductwork was rerouted into a soffit above the sink and vanity allowing ceiling height to be raised to 10 ft.

Before and After: Looking into Living Room from Kitchen

Before and After: Looking into Living Room from Kitchen

Before and After: Looking into Kitchen from Landing

Before and After: Looking into Kitchen from Landing

Before and After: Bathroom

Before and After: Bathroom

Before and After: Entry

Before and After: Entry

Before and After: Entry

Before and After: Entry

Before and After: Bathroom

Before and After: Bathroom

New Work: Footwear News Spy

While working on an update to my 2014 redesign of Footwear News (check back here this Fall), I was given the chance to consult on this summer's issue of FN Spy featuring Disney dynamo and millennial fashion phenomenon Zendaya. 

New Work: WWD Issue 31

WWD's first holiday gift guide! Fashion photography by Eli Schmidt, still photography by Will Anderson and Corey Olsen. Festive typography set in Dala Prisma by Commercial Type.

Photograph by Eli Schmidt. Headline set in Commercial Type's Dala Prisma

Photograph by Eli Schmidt. Headline set in Commercial Type's Dala Prisma

Still photography by Will Anderson

Still photography by Will Anderson

Photograph by Corey Olsen

Photograph by Corey Olsen

Illustration by John Ueland

Illustration by John Ueland

Memorable fashion moments of 2015 as holiday sweaters. Illustration by Megann Stephenson

Memorable fashion moments of 2015 as holiday sweaters. Illustration by Megann Stephenson

That time Dali tossed a bathtub through a Christmas window display . . .

That time Dali tossed a bathtub through a Christmas window display . . .

New Work: Beauty Inc. Redesign

The new issue of Beauty Inc. is out today, completing a redesign trifecta of the Fairchild print products (Footwear News and WWD relaunched earlier this year). The Beauty Inc. update features a new type palette starring Commercial Type's unreleased Chiswick Sans and the Font Bureau's Benton Sans.

Unilever President Alan Jope, photographed by Jude Edginton.

Unilever President Alan Jope, photographed by Jude Edginton.

Front-of-book opener, photographed by Claire Benoist

Front-of-book opener, photographed by Claire Benoist

Back-of-book data page

Back-of-book data page

New Work: WWD Issue 24

Illustration by Javier Jaen

Illustration by Javier Jaen

Raf Simons departs Dior. Layout by Nick Mrozowski

Raf Simons departs Dior. Layout by Nick Mrozowski

The season's rainbow of suit colors, photographed by Jacob & Carrol. Styled by Alex Badia,  layout by Nick Mrozowski

The season's rainbow of suit colors, photographed by Jacob & Carrol. Styled by Alex Badia,  layout by Nick Mrozowski

Accessories from Spring's RTW runways, illustrated by Mathilde Cretier, art directed by Nick Mrozowski

Accessories from Spring's RTW runways, illustrated by Mathilde Cretier, art directed by Nick Mrozowski

New Work: WWD Issue 19

Best issue yet. 

Thom Browne, photographed by Mark Mann. 

Thom Browne, photographed by Mark Mann. 

Mark is the king of the 4-minute celebrity portrait, but give him 45-minutes and a cooperative subject . . . 

Mark is the king of the 4-minute celebrity portrait, but give him 45-minutes and a cooperative subject . . . 

Designer sketches for Madonna's upcoming tour. Layout by Nick Mrozowski

Designer sketches for Madonna's upcoming tour. Layout by Nick Mrozowski

Layout by Gino Chua

Layout by Gino Chua

Public School, photographed by Peter Ash Lee

Public School, photographed by Peter Ash Lee

Robbie Myers, editor in chief of Elle. Photographed by Mark Mann

Robbie Myers, editor in chief of Elle. Photographed by Mark Mann

Layout by Nick Mrozowski

Layout by Nick Mrozowski

New Work: WWD Issue 16

Thom Browne for Barneys. Photograph by Eli Schmidt

Thom Browne for Barneys. Photograph by Eli Schmidt

Special package for Hong Kong-based supply-chain company Luen Thai, art directed by Christa Guerra.

Special package for Hong Kong-based supply-chain company Luen Thai, art directed by Christa Guerra.

Illustration by Christa Guerra

Illustration by Christa Guerra