In his 1952 essay “On Trademarks,” Herbert Bayer refers to the trademark as a form of “pictorial stenography.” A good trademark is glyphic, and functions as visual shorthand for the client’s product or service. Our MC monogram for Mission Cliffs in San Francisco exemplifies this approach.
As I tell my students at CCA, the trick is to create a mark that is simultaneously simple but distinctive; that reproduces well in one color at less than half an inch, but that nonetheless pulls the eye and engages the mind. Here are two applications of the Mission Cliffs identity at extreme scales in size: lit signage above street level, and dumbbells.
A warm “thank you” to former student Sarah Devyani King for letting us use her photo of our signage! [MF]