April 25, 2013
Marks of Excellence
New book on trademarks explains how the simplest of images can carry volumes of information
It seems somewhat silly to publish a book filled with pictures of nothing but trademarks; after all, how useful can a book be that deliberately shows pictures of the things that already permeate everyday life? There are trademarks on the clothes I wear, on my coffee cup, and on nearly every product I see on store shelves. One would be hard-pressed to find a more ubiquitous subject matter. You wouldn’t be wrong to ask such questions, however, Marks of Excellence is much more than a catalog of brand logos. Revised and expanded for its latest edition, the book is filled with over 1,000 color illustrations, each one carefully selected to be an object lesson on some aspect of trademarks the purpose they serve. Used as a launching pad, this collection of trademarks is able to draw connections and bring insight to almost every aspect of their use. The book covers the history of trademarks, lessons in branding and marketing, semiotics, and the use of various motifs in trademarks. As such, Marks of Excellence is sure to be of interest to anyone interested in design, branding, or the visual cues that we encounter everyday. Marks of Excellence is an invitation to look deeper. It asks why, and explains how the simplest of images can carry volumes of information, meaning, and impact. It finds complexity in the everyday and presents it in a volume that is, both visually and intellectually, a pleasure to take in.
Image courtesy Phaidon
Brian Bruegge is an undergraduate student at Fordham University, majoring in communications and media studies, and history. He also studies visual arts and environmental policy, and has previously written for several other websites and publications on a range of topics.