The first issue of LogoArchive in print was conceived, designed and sent to the printers (for quotation) within a day. It was inspired by a panel discussion that took place the day before at Somerset House as part of the exhibition Print! Tearing It Up. Following a successful launch of the first and second issues, LogoArchive returns with its third release dedicated to the corporate symbols of science and exploring the theme of reconfiguration.
LogoArchive is founded on an enthusiasm for a well-crafted mid-century symbol; a convivial metaphor, a communicative immediacy and a smart use of form language. However, in print, it was never conceived as a document with a singular intention; the simple documentation of symbols, rather a mode in which to build a story and share ideas.
LogoArchive explores the potential of the zine to reshape itself frequently over time. Alongside the presentation of mid-century symbols, each new issue features a different insert, a surface for enquiry and self-criticism, typographical, spatial and material play. This began with Issue 2’s text on the eye as a crucial part of human sociological development and its evolving associations as a graphic symbol.
Issue 3 sees LogoArchive begin to assert its concept more concisely, tackling the theme of reconfiguration directly in the collation of found science symbols (science being a tool for the reconfiguration of the natural world), three original texts, the recycled paper of the insert and how the singular vessel of the logo book has been reimagined as an ongoing series of light booklets.
As LogoArchive moves into its third issue, it continues to mark the passage of time by volume, introducing a further sheet, taking the zine up to twenty pages. In the spirit of the theme of reconfiguration, this sheet is made from recycled paper—material repurposed—and is a subtle nod to another publication that has had an impact on the development of the zine—ideas repurposed.
The three texts also take a look at reconfiguration in their content, presentation and in the architecture of the bound booklet—the potential to create new relationships and reveal alternative dialogues by way of the half page.
Text 1 explores the transition from object-hood to object-image. Put differently; the movement of historical design artefacts online, and the potential for contextual loss. This is explored in three distinct ways. Firstly, through the visceral language and structure of a concrete poem, a useful way to say something that cannot be stated as fact. This is fragmented as an expression of the way in which object is unbound online. Secondly, in the potential to draw readers into a worldview through a form of lyrical design writing. And finally, by way of a more formal piece. Each part builds on the previous, initially fractured, occasionally repeated, and then finally resolved.
Text 2 uses the view and voice of another, Real Review’s Jack Self, to bring to light the beauty and innovation that can be achieved in the reconfiguration of the world around us through design, specifically, in the way innovation was drawn from the commonplace by OK-RM in the vertical fold of Real Review.
Where texts 1 & 2 focus on the reconfiguration of the material, Text 3 takes a look at the reconfiguration of perspective, to experiment with alternate views, re-orientating the mind as a mode of enquiry. This text considers the symbol as being able to transcend its corporate utility and become a form of artistic expression. The architecture of the half page reveals two responses to one provocation, “Can Design Be An Expression of Art?”
The LogoArchive project is also interested in the relationship between printed object and the demarcated space of social media platforms. How the digital economy; of the eyes, of engagement, imposes itself on the material landscape. For example, LogoArchive’s cover acknowledges and responds to how material objects migrate across the digital landscape. How these often become object-images, their value measured not initially by content but cover, by its surface not its meaning.
The layout of LogoArchive intends to use two ideas in dialogue with one another, informed by the cheerful animal symbols of Issue 1. The first reference is that of the storybook; a response to the cheerful semiotics employed by mid-century designers, expressed by a full-page symbol and large type. The second is archival; an articulation of the practice of recovery and documentation. These serve to not only divide content but bring to light the two components of LogoArchive; an appreciation of individual form language and the value of collation. This is the foundational structure of LogoArchive, remaining intact and establishing a continuity, alongside cover, between each new issue.
LogoArchive Issue 3 is printed by WithPrint on Colorplan Ebony 175gsm with multiple passes of white ink on an HP Indigo press. The insert is printed in Cyclus 100gsm with black ink. These are bound together with black staples. It is available directly via the Buy Now button below, from Counter-print (UK), MagCulture (UK), MagmaBooks (UK), Standards Manual (USA / Coming Soon) and Reading Room (IT / Coming Soon).
Richard Baird is a London-based freelance graphic identity design, writer and publisher. Alongside LogoArchive he also runs BP&O. His work predominantly focuses on the development of graphic identities for architecture and interior design clients and within the field of property branding. Having spent eight years sharing opinion on graphic design, he has recently begun to explore designer as author, designer as producer and the self-assigned brief as a mode of design criticism.