Saul Bass and the other guys

By Erika Goering,

  Filed under: ColorForm, KCAI
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Saul Bass was a ninja.
He designed a lot of logos that are still in use today, in their original form or slightly updated. And that says a lot about his genius. If you do something right the first time, there’s no way to improve it; only tweak it for the changing times.

Bass (1920-1996) lived a life of creation. He was a prominent designer who made logos, film posters, and more. His work changed the way the world looked at commercial art. Bass used angled lines and unusual typography in his work. People don’t realize that when they think of 1960’s logo design, they’re thinking of Saul Bass.

There’s an unwritten rule in the design world that you don’t mess with a Saul Bass logo. That’s why when designers are hired to redesign one of his creations, they hesitate. So when OCD (Original Champions of Design) were hired to update the Girl Scouts logo, they made very small updates to maintain the integrity of the original masterpiece.

The current Girl Scouts logo combines the badge-like shape of past logos with profiles of young girls looking toward the future. The shift in negative and positive space shows the individuality of each of the girls. None of that ever changed. The changes the OCD made were subtle, but meaningful. The girls are more youthful, and the image is stronger, possibly to signify the change in society since the original, dainty logo’s time. (The original was designed in 1978.)

Since I mentioned Saul Bass, I have to mention the Original Champions of Design. (After all, I used their version of the logo for my project.) They seem relatively new to the design world. Their portfolio is very typographical in nature, and their work is very clean and straightforward. I personally hope they don’t fall victim to some of the trendy crap that rolls around every now and then.

Overall, I think OCD did a good job with Saul Bass’s logo. The united, feminine feeling is the same, only stronger and younger. This is one case in which messing around with a Saul Bass logo went pretty well.


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