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NFL: Streamline your design to look FAST

March 31, 2009
Streamlined Car Logos

In my posting about Pepsi wasting our time,  I didn’t give John Maeda’s third Law of Simplicity due diligence. Saving time feels like simplicity.  In the 1930’s industrial designer, Raymond Loewy, was credited with the concept of “streamlining.” The idea of streamlining in business is simple, right?-make it quicker, easier and better…now. Loewy had a fantastic career in the automotive, branding and transit industry. He streamlined the design for Air Force One and the New York Transit System. In addition to his industrial design he created numerous identities for Exxon, Shell and Coca-Cola just to name a few.

To streamline something in graphic design means to make it jet-engine fast. A common joke amongst graphic designers is how to make type look fast:

  1. Make it italic
  2. Make it bold  and italic
  3. Set it in all CAPS BOLD ITALIC AND YOU ARE JET ENGINE FAST!! (add a few exclamation marks to really make the point)

I am totally joking, please don’t ever do this, or repeat that I said to do this. This is the lamest way to make something look FAST, but it is so common.

I have selected a few automotive logos and a few NFL logos to look at. Note the strength, boldness, color, forward movement, slight danger, and a bit of arrogance in each. These aren’t necessarily streamlined, in the way that Maeda was referring to, that these companies are saving us time, instead these are meant to give the user the illusion that their car, or there team is faster, stronger and bolder than the next one. 

I also found the overuse of strong animals was abound in each category. It seems logical, and when you compare the Miami Dolphins to the St. Louis Rams, who would you bet on?

NFL Logos

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