The first North American railroads were built 50 years before the first logo was trademarked (Bass Brewery, 1876). Stationery was created by printers, not designers. That’s the reason why the images above – from three different companies – look so similar. They were made with existing wood type fonts and if you look closely you’ll notice they all use the same ‘stock image’ of a locomotive.
The images here show the evolution after the first logo was trademarked. The first decades are the most interesting, simply because there were so many different. Like the department stores world, the railroad world has it’s own Macy’s. Companies like Amtrak and Union Pacific have taken over many smaller companies. Today, as the result of mergers and bankruptcies there are only eleven major ‘Class I’ railroads operating in the United States and Canada.
The early designs all have a certain handmade quality. Most of them are simple, bold, black and white. And timeless. Some of them can still be seen on box cars and locomotives; they still remain powerful. In 1960 the notion of what a logo is, or can be, had changed. The Canadian National Railway logo, designed by Allan Fleming, is a radical departure from the aesthetics and style we’ve seen until then. The logo is still in use today.
View the entire collection here.
(via Corinne, fellow Auburn Architecture Alumnus)blog comments powered by Disqus
- aypetersson likes this
- maskofash likes this
- adhocratic reblogged this from epicenter and added:
- magickcity likes this
- sakisakisaki reblogged this from changethelocks and added:
- stem-cell likes this
- changethelocks reblogged this from epicenter and added:
- epicenter posted this