LogoArchive is a publication founded on an enthusiasm for well-crafted, mid-century graphic symbols and form language — form language being the non-verbal, pictorial way of communicating. Founded by freelance graphic designer Richard Baird, the document has multiple intentions that involve building a story around these symbols and generating ideas. Now in its third issue, LogoArchive’s design and content has developed as a physical response to the Instagram account of the same name, @LogoArchive. The Instagram archive studies the form of language through logo design, documenting a “recovery, research and restoration project”.
Alongside the presentation of mid-century symbols, each issue of the zine also features a unique insert examining the vernacular of specific graphic symbols. In issue two, the insert looks at the significance of the eye within logos. It explores how graphic references to the eye denote associations with “human sociological development”; an example of how logotypes can have a strong, semiotic power over our universal understanding of symbols.
Issue three, however, tackles the reconfiguration of logos more concisely. The zine documents the evolution of found scientific symbols and how it can be used as a tool “for the reconfiguration of the natural world.” With the addition of three original texts on the same topic, the 20-page zine is printed on recycled paper as a further nod to the concept of “repurposing”. The three texts also delve further into the subject. The third text considers how a symbol can “transcend its corporate utility and become a form of artistic expression” and this is reflected in the graphic design of the page responding to the provocation: “can design be an expression of Art?”
Richard decisions around LogoArchive’s design, particularly his emphasis on the graphic qualities of the logos by using uncoated paper, was due to the designer wanting the printed zine to deeply contrast with “the deep black gloss of the screen” that a viewer experiences on Instagram. Through the zine’s physical existence, Richard attempts to challenge the idea of “passive consumption” that plagues us through social media. The publication is a mode of “meaningful engagement”, beyond the restrictions of coded algorithms used online in order to truly be “a tool to move ideas and draw people into a worldview” of understanding symbols.
The third issue of LogoArchive is now available from Counter-Print
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.