I was curious to see what difference there’d be between this and Michael Evamy’s Logo from the same publisher.
Symbol shows "1,300 symbols organized into groups and sub-groups according to their visual characteristics." And Logo contains "1,300+ logos in 75 categories, classified by shape, indexed by sector."
They’re clearly going to overlap, and they are very similar, but there’s a lot of work in Symbol that was created after the 2007 release of Logo, and it includes a few more in-depth case studies, too, giving context to some of the more well-known projects.
An obvious difference is that this one focuses solely on symbols, whereas Logo contains a mix of symbols, wordmarks, and lockups.
"They acquire value. These things become these vessels which so much is poured into over time—there's a hell of a lot wrapped up in these things. They're quite mundane, they're part of our every day visual furniture, but take it away and whoof! That's why it's an interesting subject area."
— Angus Hyland
It's the type of book I'll dip into for specific design details (year of creation, designer responsible, etc.), or to help ensure I don’t infringe on earlier designs when coming up with my own ideas. A worthy addition to the bookshelf.
Angus Hyland is a graduate of the RCA and a partner at Pentagram in London. He is the author of C/ID and the best-selling The Picture Book.
Steven Bateman is a freelance writer who has worked with some of the UK's leading design agencies. A regular contributor to Grafik magazine, he also writes for ISTD Condensed, Nico, and Varoom.
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