In this book review, we are looking at Logo Modernism by Jens Müller and Julius Wiedemann a book that has become a must-have for logo designers and a holy grail for logo fanatics and enthusiasts.
Logo Modernism was written by Jens Müller and Julius Wiedemann and was published by Taschen at the back-end of 2015. The book focuses on the period between 1940 and 1980, examining modernist ideas in graphic design through documentation of close to a whopping, 6000 logos!
This book is truly an instant classic, the book quickly made its way into the hearts of most major creative studios, taking up a prime position on their bookshelves (If it would fit that is!).
After all, with its almost-florescent orange cover and standard-defying size of 25.5 x 38cm, the book is far from being a shy publication! In fact, its rather peculiar size is probably the only major issue most people would have with it but that’s what I think makes it a unique book.
A design feature I truly love is what can be found when removing the dust sleeve, a pure white cover with embossed logos within the cover itself, it’s that tiny little attention to detail that make it that much more unique.
Looking at its size in a practical way then I would say it can be really awkward and does not fit many standard shelves. Weighing at approximately 3.5kg, the book is quite heavy, and its strange dimensions make it feel cumbersome and therefore, heavier still.
However, all is forgiven upon opening the first pages of the book that’s if you haven’t been sold by the cover alone. The bulk of the interior is predominantly black and white with color used either very sparingly and or in very specific sections within the book. This is how a logo book should be it’s well designed and laid out with pure black and white logo marks with plenty of white space to separate each logo with descriptions for each which is nice as you don’t have to keep going back to the index to cross reference the logo for its information.
What makes Logo Modernism truly great is how practical it is as reference material. The content is split into three key parts: Geometric, Effect, and Typographic. Each of these parts is then organized by sections, led by style and form-based themes, such as dots, squares, alphabet, etc.
Apart from being an invaluable logo design resource, the book also features eight case studies, detailing important projects such as the famous branding for the Mexico Olympic Games of 1968 by Lance Wyman.
Featured, are also spotlights on logo designers such as the legendary, Paul Rand, Paul Ibou, and Stefan Kanchev, with each profile highlighting their life and work achievements. If that is not enough, the introduction of the book provides an excellent overview of the general history of logo design, as written by the author, Jens Müller. To top it all off, there is also an essay on modernism and graphic design written by R. Roger Remington.
What is interesting is that the value of the book lies in the simplicity of the logos that it features. It is astonishing to see how many identity marks have stood the test of time and are still in use today. Yet, most of the logos included in the book are nothing more than simple geometric forms, constructed out of primitive shapes like the circle, square or the triangle.
Logo Modernism seems to drive home the message that a logo need not be complicated in order to be successful and it does this with great aplomb.
For logo designers, this is a great learning resource chock-full of logos and information on every page. One can study it, use it as inspiration for new ideas and or simply admire it for the handsome coffee table book that it is and also if your coffee table is big enough to fit it on!
Logo Modernism is a book that is well structured, well researched and the logo selection inside is nicely curated. The layout is easy to navigate and the images are generously sized, but not imposing or distracting.
Overall, Logo Modernism is a rare gem of a book that deserves to be placed front-and-center on any bookshelf but more than likely on the top due to its massive size!. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any creative. An absolute must for all logo designers and creatives!
Go get it while it is still available at stores, as I suspect this will be hard to find once it goes out of print. The link below is to wordery who i highly recommend to purchase books from and you can save a whopping 35% + Free Delivery with the link below.
Also published on Medium.