With Good Reason

Logos: Then and Now
August 24th, 2013

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Oren neu dag

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Oren neu dag

The power of logos and branding wasn’t lost on the ancients. Bruce MacDonald (Virginia Military Institute) says after William the Conqueror defeated Harold, the Saxon king, William wisely combined the crests of the two forces into a new British logo—two winged lions on a yellow field—which helped him unify and govern his new land. Also featured: Sequoyah, or as he signed his name, (ᏍᏏᏉᏯ Ssiquoya, is the great Cherokee Indian who invented the Cherokee alphabet that made reading and writing in Cherokee possible. Ken Smith (Radford University) is having the students in his typography and design class create new typeface designs for the Cherokee language. And: As summer comes to a close and incoming college freshmen gear up for their first fall semesters, we visit the College of William and Mary, where new students are welcomed with a unique and celebratory tradition. Later in the show: Brian Ulrich’s (Virginia Commonwealth University) new book Is This Place Great or What is a decade long photographic study of consumerism in America, post 9-11. His pictures portray shoppers and employees in “Big Box” stores and small thrift stores. He also documents abandoned shopping malls on the brink of demolition, holding a mirror up to our society’s love of the retail economy. Also featured: The story of America is a story of dreamers and defaulters and of dramatic financial panics that defined the nation and created its political parties. Scott Nelson (College of William and Mary) is the author of A Nation of Deadbeats, a fresh, irreverent look at our addiction to debt and how it has made us what we are today.

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