Saturday, 9 April 2011


Theme continues...

Can Antares have been the only brand with a pictorial logo? Lots of typewriter companies had text-based logos, but do any others have a picture? There's an eagle on the paper tray of my Corona 3 and the same bird perches atop the odd Adler (where it makes more sense), but it didn't seem to stick. Early Imperial GCs bear a king's coat of arms. Olympia almost have a logo - but it is just an O with a superimposed i. Some Empire Aristocrats feature a Landseer lion, but not all.

Where's the bejeweled crown? The palatial citadel? The tree with a hand beneath? The single red rose? The greek gods' mountaintop? Mercury's winged heels? The silhouette of Hermes?

In their heyday, typewriter manufacturers practically invented 'marketing'. They knew about brand value and how to pitch their USPs inventively, in the press and door-to-door. Even into the fifties and sixties when world became more susceptible to visual clues, typewriter manufacturers unanimously eschewed the visual identity - it seems to me - with the exception of Antares and their little star.

Please, somebody prove me wrong... 

OK: after digging, Adler were pretty persistent (if not consistent) with their deco style spread-eagle over an uppercase moderne display font.


  1. Hi Rob. Love your work on the Antares graphics. And, yes, a T-shirt is definitely on the way. Will post photos when made. Regarding logos, one that has always intrigued me (as to its relevance) is the little medieval messenger man on the British-made Oliver portables. The US Olivers amusingly used "Officer Printype" (see Jett Morton's new book). The ornate artwork and especially the crest on a Sholes & Glidden I saw in Melbourne in February was amazing - can send pics, if you like. Remington had its distinctive star and Underwood its nice crest, and of course the Hermes Featherweight had a feather, which looks like NZ's fern leaf. I could go on ...

  2. Many typewriters (including Olivers and earlier Underwoods and Remingtons) have decals with pictures of ... the typewriters themselves. Infinite regress alert!

    The Demountable -- a wonderfully engineered machine, but with no sense of marketing -- featured a decal of a woman "demounting" the machine, and she has the expression of a zombie -- couldn't be more bored. Then they updated it to a woman wearing a housecoat who seems mildly amused by the process.

  3. Olivetti had this odd spiral thing:

  4. Olympia kind of sort of uses a pictogram with their orange circle thing. Kinda.