I recently went for a short getaway with a very good friend by boat from Oslo, Norway to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. It was delightful and as always on travels I soaked up inspiration. Visiting both the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the Royal Reception Rooms at Christiansborg Castle, we were actually wallowing in a great variety of visual impressions. Standing on the boat deck while the ship was slowly going into the Danish port, my eyes fell on the logo on the lifeboat in front of me. Shortly, I was deep in thought. I was reflecting on logos where the originator have attempted to make the very name, the word, of a business into a drawing. I have seldom seen this work well, and the logo in front of me was no exception! In fact I had to take a step back and squint to see what it was.
Neither the name nor the boat-image came out clear to me immediately and I thought: – Logos should not be riddles! It was obvious that the originator had also had some doubts if the drawing could carry the name on its own, because he had found it necessary to repeat it with ordinary letter forms underneath the “typographic drawing”. So what was the use of the typo-boat?
Letterforms have developed over hundreds of years to convey the meaning of a typed or written word clearly and quickly. They are not intended to be drawing tools. But the letterforms appreciate the help of a good visual, drawing or photo, to enhance the perception of the word (or words) that have been set with them. In the case of this lifeboat logo, the companion drawing COULD very well be a lifeboat, because the words NORSAFE does not say anything about the product. It could be any kind of safety equipment, really.
So I could not stop thinking about it, and had to “fix it” in my mind. Here it is 🙂
Direction: The typo-boat is clearly home bound. It is moving to the left ⬅︎, which we perceive as “back” or home. The typography, in italic, is leaning right ➡︎ out to sea again.
The 2 elements of the logo is going in opposite directions!
A set of different logos for different uses.
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