The Nike swoosh, the McDonald's 'M', Twitter's blue bird and the Playboy bunny... These instantly recognizable logos are of primordial importance to major companies today. Yet, it would appear that some of these famous designs are not exactly original.
In fact, according to vice president of marketing and business development at Alibaba, Spencer Chen, some of the most profitable brands in existence quite simply nicked their logos from a book dating back to 1989:
Sharing his revelation on Twitter, Chen states that a number of logos from companies such as Airbnb, Beats and Flipboard found their designs in a Japanese textbook called Trademarks & Symbols (Volume 1: Alphabetical Designs).
Coincidence or plagiarism?
As one Twitter user points out, a large number of these logos are actually regrouped in another book: Logo Modernism, published by Taschen in 2015, which analyses the visual identity of some 6,000 brands between 1940 and 1980.
Some expressed their understanding: "With these tight deadlines, who has the time to invent something new?" while others ask how these copycats ever made it into the public eye. Whether the similarities boil down to mere coincidence or are the act of sheer plagiarism, one thing is for sure: the past continues to provide us with a wealth of infinite inspiration.
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