A view of the world from my own unique perspective

I think I’m old enough to admit this now: I must have had perceptual problems as a child, because I didn’t understand the imagery in many corporate logos. In fact, they remained baffling to me until I became a teenager (and in some cases, an adult). Naturally, as a child, I never questioned why these designs didn’t make sense to me – that’s just the way the world was, and I had to figure things out as well as I could. Now, in hindsight, these logo designs are obvious.

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The BayThe Bay: As a child, I saw this stylized yellow ribbon as some kind of abstract shape. Although I knew it was supposed to be the letter B, I didn’t recognize the 3D ribbon effect, and never saw the letter that it formed. It was just an odd, two-dimensional shape that looked a little like a glob of spilled paint. Even today, I have to look at it for a couple of seconds before I see the letter B. I guess my brain is wired this way permanently.

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DominionDominion: I learned that it was the first letter in Dominion, but when I was a kid, I just never saw it as the letter D, especially when the logo was displayed by itself. I was probably 11 or 12  years old before I finally saw the D in the design.

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Montreal ExposMontreal Expos: When I first saw the logo, I thought “what do the letters JB have to do with the Montreal Expos?” I wondered if JB represented a French phrase related to baseball or the Montreal Expos – “jeu de baseball”, perhaps – but I couldn’t think of anything that made sense or that referred to the Expos specifically. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I finally saw the M and the tiny e in the left corner.

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ChevronChevron Gas Stations: Technically, I didn’t misinterpret anything, but I was in my mid-20s before I discovered that the red and blue shapes were actually called chevrons. Sometimes you don’t learn all of your shapes in elementary school.

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CBSCBS: It seems obvious now, but I never saw the CBS logo as an eye until I was a teenager, watching an episode of All In The Family. Edith said that a truck was parked outside, and that she knew it was a TV truck because she recognized the CBS “eye”.

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       Global     Music Staff Marker

Global Television Network: I know now that these parallel lines are supposed to represent the letter “G”, but when the network first debuted in the 1970s, I just didn’t see it. The original logo was reddish-orange on a black background, and those lines reminded me of the gadget that my music teacher used to draw a staff on the blackboard.

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                CBC Logo - Old     CBC Logo - New v2

CBC: As you can see, this logo has been simplified over the years. The logo from the 1970s and 80s is on the left, and the modern, streamlined version is on the right. Even now, I still have no idea what this is supposed to be. If the letters CBC are embedded in its design somewhere, I can’t find them. I may still have the perceptual problems of my youth…

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Comments on: "Misinterpreting Corporate Logos" (1)

  1. I’ve always thought of the CBC logo as a top-down view of an antenna at the centre with broadcast beams radiating outward from it.

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