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Seth Taylor Graphic Design

Observations about the logos of highest valued companies

This April Apple’s company valuation passed the $600 billion mark. There are only 5 other company’s to reach that same value. Here’s a few commonalities of their logos.

Simplicity reigns supreme.

  • All of them employ a strong super-simplistic-easy-to-remember logo
  • 4 of the 6 use a single color for their primary logo
  • 3 use red; 3 use blue.
  • 3 of the 6 use a clean typographic ligature.
  • All of the 6 have simplistic customized fonts. Even Apple a customized version of the ubiquitous Myriad.
  • All of them have gone through revisions that greatly simplified the logo. This helps logos to be easier to reproduce and apply to products.
  • 4 use a sans-serif font. One uses a script.
  • 3 use a shape and then repeat it at least 4 times
    • Microsoft with one block repeated in various colors
    • GE with the tear shape rotated and repeated
    • Cisco with varying and repeating vertical lines
  • All of them make legibility and readability absolutely obvious
  • None of them use dimensionality – shadows, layers or foreshortening.

highest value logos

Living in the Venn

Great quote celebrating the importance to have an integrated approach to conceptualizing and creating.

Somehow, the powers of the commercial design and advertising industry often have the unfortunate effect of separating the “thinkers” from the “makers” over time. Our goal is to buck that trend, and to build a company that has powerful conceptual thinkers (people who have inspired, blank-canvas ideas) as well as powerful makers (who bring those inspirations to life, within the constraints of the real world). There are a few renowned companies who seem to have successfully done this; we aim to follow suit – and we are.

Erik Karasyk at hush studios

In many ways it espouses the Bauhaus movement to bring artisans and engineers together so that each can be benefitted from symbiotic constructive comments. In the end an artisan/designer will become more efficient and effective in building; and simultaneously, the engineer/developer powerfully contributes to the enjoyability of the finished product. The more these disparate skills coordinate and overlap, the larger the sweet spot of the living Venn diagram.


Have you ever drank motor oil?

Stop a moment to think about how ugly some of the food you eat is. Ever tried looking at a Clif Bar for too long?

At Eli Kirk, there’s a current food packaging project that oozes interesting visual challenges. And whenever there’s a good challenge, there’s always something that can trigger a several creative ideas. Some products look absolutely delicious the moment you unwrap them. Meanwhile some of the products require some creative problem solving to figure out which colors, patterns and typography are going to make the product look its best.

When I look for inspiration in packaging, one of the great successes that comes to mind is Odwalla. Take a look at the picture below. Without its label, the thick viscous liquid seems like remains from well-blended slugs. But with the intelligent color combinations and strategic appealing shapes, I’m more inclined to enjoy a drink.

Roll over the image below to see the difference a good label can make.

The new movie font

For years, movie posters have utilized Carol Twombly’s  font creation Trajan. There’s even a montage of covers here. Thankfully, it’s a well drawn font. Let’s all be grateful that we don’t encounter Avant Garde on many movie posters. There may be a bold new font on the rise and a few people have asked me about it. It’s called Brothers, designed by John Downer at Emigre. It’s accompanied by a great set of alternate glyphs, word logos and elements. I first used Brothers on an identity project 5 years ago and I’ve enjoyed it ever since due to it’s bold, chiseled and lithographic forms.


links from lecture

typefoundry.blogspot.com — Documents for the history of type and letterforms

type tool — simplified font creation, limited in features from it’s older brother Font Lab

Mercury — font based on the  Scotch typefaces designed in the 1770s (from H&FJ)

Google goggles resurfaced

Yay, my idea came to fruition, they even kept the name suggestion :)

google goggles

google goggles

Original post in Aug 2006: http://sethtaylor.com/b2/2006/08/14/google-goggles/


As you can see, there are a few differences, mainly, my version would use glasses which would be a projector screen and the front of the glasses would be a camera to help identify landmarks or whatever you were seeing.

I wish I could have explained it with those great accents though. Good job team.


Jpg artifact art. This is after 20 iterations of saving a jpg at 0% quality and then isolating the artifact pattern. The irony? This final image was saved at 100 % quality to preserve the artifact sharpness.

artifact art

artifact art