Logo Design, Punctuated


We’ve already chatted about the America Online rebranding, in which the online media conglomerate went hip with a sans-serif font, lowercase letters, and punctuation. (Aol. > AOL?) It got us thinking about the efficacy of that one small dot, and what brands are trying to convey by punctuating their logos. From greater-than symbols to obnoxious exclamation points to a growing number of quotation marks, we have to wonder if punctuation is the new emoticon.

You know what to do. Give us your thoughts and tips on any other punctuated logos we might have missed, in the comments.

Is this logo getting familiar yet?

Perhaps it doesn’t count as punctuation if the greater than symbol is floating about the letters in the company’s name, as in consultancy firm Accenture‘s brandmark. Regardless, it’s an obvious allusion that’s distracting in a logo.

Designed by powerhouse firm Pentagram, the EAT. logo works as a persuasive tool in differentiating the London chain from other similar eateries.

In 1993, Pentagram also designed the logo above for Curious Pictures, a mixed media, live action, animation and computer graphics studio.

Michael Beirut and team at Pentragram are punctuation happy, judging from this logo design for The Library Initiative.

Swiss furniture line Vitra is also fond of end punctuation.

What is it about tiny electric cars that inspires whimsical punctuation? Th!nk, a Norwegian car company, inserts a pesky exclamation point in their text as well as its official logo, while G-Whiz, a British relative, contains what the New York Times calls a “spurious hyphen.”

Social media purveyors are big fans of the quotation mark to symbolize technology-enabled chatter. Godpress, a social platform for Christians, has a logo designed by Matthew Reynolds: “The quotation marks as the letters G and D symbolize the fact that prayer is simply talking to God.” Talkmore is a mobile phone outfit.

For some background on the ethos behind brand punctuation, check out Alice Rawsthorn’s article for the New York Times.