In recent years, a number of observers of the commercial landscape have commented on an increasing sameness across the world of brand design. James Edmondson’s 2018 “Everybody fall in line” tweet pointed out the tendency of tech giants to adopt similar vanilla sans-serif logotypes. Thierry Brunfaut and Tom Greenwood decried…


It may be that no company today better personifies America, or perhaps simply ’Merica, than Black Rifle Coffee, which has grown into a multimillion-dollar concern by building a brand centered around a right-wing political stance that is heavy on, as the name would suggest, its reverence for firearms.

Black Rifle’s…


The use of initials, sometimes combined with athletes’ uniform numbers, is extremely common.

As college sports have become increasingly big businesses in the United States, with many coaches’ salaries measured in millions of dollars and television contracts reaching the billions, the NCAA and its member institutions, the universities that field the teams, have had difficulty in continuing to maintain the façade of amateurism


SOPA Images / Contributor

Logos have become popular topics for public discussion in recent years, thanks in large part to the emergence of social media. And in the past decade, perhaps no logo has generated as much online chatter as Airbnb’s 2014 “Bélo” mark, formed by a simple line tracing a triangle, with a…


“Screenshots last forever @NewEraCap,” tweeted @EricHarrisUA on May 25, 2021. Headwear giant New Era removed its “Local Market” line of baseball caps after being subjected to vigorous mockery on social media.

In a remarkable case of a company tucking its tail between its legs, headwear giant New Era last month apologetically pulled its “Local Market” line of baseball caps from its website after they were subjected to vigorous mockery on social media. The caps were similar to those that New Era…


A photo illustration with different line textures around a box of Pearl Milling Company pancake mix and a bottle of its syrup.
Photo illustration, source: PepsiCo

The Black Lives Matter groundswell last year prompted reckonings across many aspects of American business, including branding. The criticism of long-established commercial icons like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, which had been building for decades, finally reached a tipping point. The result was their removal from packaging in overdue recognition…


The Supreme logo replicated several times over a red background with various templated graphs and lines.

The November sale of streetwear icon Supreme to apparel and footwear giant VF Corporation for north of $2 billion raised the question of what exactly was the retail conglomerate getting for its money? To the uninitiated, Supreme’s business model seemed to be based on little more than slapping its familiar…


A collage of different images with various brand custom fonts like “Salesforce Sans,” “Southwest Sans,” and “Uber Moves.”
Photo illustration, sources: Banana Republic/Salesforce/Uber/Southwest

Apparel retailer Banana Republic found itself in hot water last month, accused in a lawsuit filed by New York typographer Moshik Nadav of unlawfully appropriating the ampersand from his Paris Pro typeface. But the attempt to add some sparkle to the clothing retailer’s brand — after a recent rough patch…

James I. Bowie

Principal at Emblemetric, Sociologist at Northern Arizona University. Data-driven reporting on trends in logo design: Emblemetric.com

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