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Give Me an “A”! That’s It, Just an “A”!

give me an A.jpgAnd speaking of Eye magazine, the new owners have just published the spring 2008 issue (#67), and it’s a type special. Among the standout pieces is Garech Stone‘s treatise on single-letter logos (O, how timely). Born of the monogram and powered by the instantly recognizable letters that are their starting points, these chameleonlike logos transform “the obvious…with the spark of imagination and wit.”

Such renowned figures as Paul Rand, Saul Bass, and Lance Wyman realized this. Many of their logo designs embrace the inherent communicative power, symbolic potential and raw immediacy of the alphabet. Bass, for instance, adapted a ‘C’ for Celanese, a ‘U’ for United Airlines, a ‘W’ for Warner and several ‘A’s (Alcoa, Avery). Rand claimed a ‘C’, an ‘E,’ and a ‘W’ for Cummins, Enron, and Westinghouse respectively. Wyman modified an ‘M’ for Minnesota Zoo, another for the Mexico City Metro, an ‘S’ for the Setauket Center, and a ‘H’ for Hoboken. The familiar transformed and made new.

But not all letters are created equal. Stone notes that M and T are popular, and everyone loves an A, while “‘J’ and ‘Z’ seem difficult to resolve.” Although we know a certain masked master swordsman who would beg to differ.

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