It’s always nice to go to a bookstore, grab a book of logo designs, sit down, inhale that new-book smell and absorb the goodness. But knowing where all of these designs, fonts and creative elements have come from is also good. In this article, we look at modern art movements and a series of diverse logos inspired by those movements. You may be surprised by how easily these colors, shapes and strokes can be adapted to logo design. Have a look, see how logo design works and maybe even draw inspiration for your own creativity.
|J. Schmidt, Bauhaus|
In 1919, the Bauhaus school was founded in Weimar Germany. More of a lifestyle than a school, Bauhaus was based on the static rules of Art Deco. One basic idea of the Bauhaus was to remove everything superfluous and break a design down to its essential elements. This static minimalism changed everything and can still be found in design today, such as in the logos of Faboo Taboo and Axion.
|Kandinsky, On White II. Paul Klee, Castle and Sun.|
|A.M. Cassandre, Pivolo|
|A.M. Cassandre, Yve Saint Laurent Logo|
|Tamara de Lempicka, The Musician. |
Michael Kungl, Americana Deco Coffee.
|The Sugar Hill and Cotton Comes to Harlem posters.|
|The blaxploitation logo of Star Wars|
|Theo van Doesburg, Kleine Dada Soirée|
|Hannah Höch, Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. Marcel Duchamp, Fountain.|
|Frank Stella, Agbatana III|
|Richard Anuszkiewicz, Temple of the Radiant Yellow. |
Theo van Doesburg, Counter-Composition V.
|In 1973, the U.S. Postal Service put Robert Indiana's |
design on the very first "LOVE" stamp
|Picasso, Vase of Flowers|
|Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke, Untitled.|
Vicki da Silva, Obama Hope at the End of the Tunnel.
|HLCFPA Students Toan Vuong and Alex Borovski worked |
with students in Imperial, NE to create light paintings. Summer 2011.
|Masson Magalie, Massais|
|Fronty Aurelia, Au Marche. Obote Jerome, African Tunda.|
|African Art Sticker|
|Alphonse Mucha, Job|
|Aubrey Beardsley, The Peacock Skirt. |
Alphonse Mucha, Bieres De La Meuse.
|Identifont.com: Art Nouveau Bistro font|
Art Nouveau Poster
|Pablo Picasso, Figure au Corsage Rayé|
|Georges Braque, Woman With Guitar. |
Juan Gris, Still Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin.
|1. Iconologic, US Virgin Islands 2. Z&G, Brandogolik |
3. Gardner Design, Graphic Impressions 4. Andrei Bilan, Kubis
|Many typefaces and typographic styles were developed during the Cubist movements of the early 20th century. In Bohemia, from about 1910, influential artists were producing posters and periodicals using and promoting Cubist shapes and forms.|
|The influential book, Zang Tumb Tumb, fused content, typographic style and layout into a single poetic work of Cubist-Futurist expression.|
Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein
|Hopeless and That’s the Way.|
|Whaam and Drowning Girl.|
Pop Art by Andy Warhol
|Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn.|
|Campbell’s Soup I and Zebra.|
|Chenrezig, Tibetan Thangka|
|Gordon Wiltsie, Buddhist Painting Inside the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. |
An Important Tibetan Thang.ka Depicting Bkra.Shis.Dpal.
- When creating your designs, look anywhere and everywhere for inspiration.
- The further you look from your industry, the more original your designs will be.
- Don’t be afraid of where you draw inspiration from. Paul Rand said it best: “Don’t try to be original. Try to be good.”
- Modern art can provide a lifetime’s worth of inspiration for design.
- For a more original design, draw on abstract elements from various images; such as the color from one image, line work from another and composition from yet another.
About the Author
Moritz Schürmann is a contributing editor of Freshbump.com, Formatmag.comand Collect3d.com
Other ResourcesLiterally hundreds of renowned movements fall under the umbrella of modern art. Learning about these movements is not just fun but brings new life and perspectives to your work.
- Wikipedia: Modern Art
For an extensive list of modern art movements, start on Wikipedia.
- Pop Art Survey
A Smashing Magazine survey of famous pop artists, and a great place to get started with reference material.
- Bauhaus Survey
A Smashing Magazine survey of the Bauhaus movement, and a great place to get started with reference material
- Vital Tips for Effective Logo Design
If you’re just getting started with logo design, this post is a great starting point to turn your favorite modern art piece into a quality logo.
- Taschen Books
Unfortunately, not a whole lot of quality modern art is easily accessible online. Your best bet is to buy some cheap art books from your local bookstore. Taschen is a good publisher to start with if you’re having trouble at the bookstore.
- Google Images
If you’re broke or don’t want to buy books, type in a movement you like into Google Images
- Modern Art Infographic
Check out this awesome visual timeline of the origins of modern art.
- Modern Art Timeline
An interactive timeline of modern art, with in-depth information on many movements and artists.