If you think about the most icon logo books in history, you will probably think about that red or pink ‘Trademarks’ book from ‘that Japanese guy’ which name you never seem to remember. That ‘Japanese guy’ is called Yasaburo Kuwayama and he made quite some books on logos. His books are so famous that when you Google his name, you won’t even find a picture or information of the man. His books seem to have become the representation of himself.
The book featured in this review is called Trademarks & Symbols of the World (1987). It’s phenomenal. The cover already tells you that you can expect something special from this book. It looks a bit chaotic with those strange shapes behind the logos and the blue and yellow colors. Nonetheless, don’t let this deceive you. The layout inside the book is kept clean and tidy. But what about the cover? Don’t worry, you’ll learn to love it.
The book comes with a dust jacket and has, strangely enough, a green textured hardcover (as shown in the video at the end of this review). On any book from Kuwayama I’ve seen so far, you can find this returning ‘surprise’. The cover is always special, just like the end sheets.
The book is build and structured in a way to make it easier to look up a specific type of logo. It’s divided in chapters featuring alphabetical logos, concrete forms, abstract forms, symbols, numbers and letters. All of this is good for a total of approximately 6000 logos which are all printed in black.
Besides logos, the book contains some colored pictures of logo applications. These pages can be found throughout the book, but Kuwayama was very careful with the number of these kind of pages.
There is little to say about the logos itself, except that they are ridiculously good. The fact that they are all printed in black will add to that, but the quality of the work that is featured in this book is of a very high level.
Trademarks & Symbols of the World is an outstanding publication and should be on every designer’s shelf if it weren’t that expensive and so hard to find. If you have the possibility to get your hands on this book, or any of the books Yasaburo Kuwayama made, I can highly recommend you to at least flip through it. The beauty, simplicity and boldness of the book and its content will strike you with stupefaction.