Monday, May 11, 2009

Pixar Logos (Part 1)

Maybe I am biased when it comes to animated films, but I cannot deny my humongous support for Pixar. It deserved it, time and time again with every project they have showcased. From bringing the first fully computer animated theatrical piece Toy Story, to their upcoming piece Up, Pixar has always grabbed my attention and interest. Always grabbing my inner child, like a parent ready to showcase a new present.

I want to talk a bit about the logos, what I find astounding in their logo designs in a two part series. The next post I will definitely talk more from an passionate animation critic's side (that's a mouthful).

The Company:

Pixar's logo alone represents the quality and craftsmanship the company brings to their animation, consistently. That's something Disney has lost in the mid to late 90's. Looking at the letters, minus the "X", the footing for the serifs are strong. The font looks like it is in bold, as Pixar has taken bold risks with their storytelling formats. Not to mention when one says "Pixar", most people will nod in awe or have a positive reflect. The font is very clean and crisp, just as they push their animation to be smooth and clean. They also made the logo playful with having Luxo, Jr. (the jumping lamp) coming into the scene, jumping on the "I" until it's squished. The playfulness and wonder of the lamp is the spirit that Pixar carries in each film project they set out to do.

The Movies:

What amazes me about the logos for Pixar's movies, is that they mostly represent or give an indication of what the film is about. Or, it at least ties in with the movie. I guess that's what I look when it comes to logos, is how does the illustration or the type reflect the project or the client. Does it represent it as a whole? Or what part does it want to represent? Pretty much, Pixar not only delivers in animation, but it also delivers in design:

Toy Story's logo is the only one (along with Toy Story 2) that uses the primary color scheme for the entire logo. From my color theory lesson, primary colors are meant to grab your attention quickly, like fast food restaurants (Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's). As kids, when we saw a toy that was pleasing, we would get excited. It would grab our attention the moment we see it. Having it being the first fully computer animated movie in history, it needed to be something to grab audience's attention (otherwise Pixar would have gone bust - watch the Pixar Story, you'll know what I mean). I thought the logo was also playful with the different sizes in the word "Toy", and having the shape behind "Story".

For A Bug's Life, the design team continued to use bold letters for the type, while adding a twist. Shapes of different bugs were used as counters, as well as the apostrophe in the title. Instead of all caps, the letters were all lowercase, keeping in relations with the subject matter of the film. Having the type being a warm color was inviting to take part of a small world, that we would never think of on our own.

With Monster's Inc. as Pixar's fourth film (Toy Story 2 being its' third), you can see that the company has strong taste in sans serif type. As well as using a bold typeface for the title. The blue is different from A Bug's Life's tone, having a cool calm head for both main characters in a fiery situation. Not that they were calm at all. The eye in the middle of the "M" makes it interactive with the viewer, as well as giving a chance to be animated if need be. I believe also that it relates to the usage of doors in the film, where the monsters have to peak through the closet, ready to scare the children as part of their work day.

What is really interesting for Finding Nemo, is how the word "Nemo" is big. I know I have talked about it before on this blog, I'm just revisiting. Having "Nemo" big looks like someone is shouting. Especially with the font in all caps and using bold. Pretty much the wave moving under the title does give me an indication that the setting will be water. Also having the counter in the "O" as a fish, makes the logo complete and represents the focus of this wonderful film.

For The Incredibles, the design direction went for emphasis on the action by bringing in warm colors (red, orange, yellow). The logo design for the "I" (under the title) shows movement, as superheros must act swift to any and all distress calls. To me, this emblem design shows more movement and animation in a static pose compared to the other Pixar movie titles. The curve in the title really goes with the crescendo and decrescendo in saying it's name. Where it starts strong, lowers in sound a bit, and then finishes strong at the end. Working that enunciation.

I will continue to analyze the other movie logos in Part Two.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your analysis on these logos. You brought up some interesting points.
    One thing you made me realize in the Pixar logo is the possible meaning behind the lamp jumping on the I...maybe it's saying there is no I in Pixar as in there is no I in TEAM.
    You mentioned the warm colors in the Incredibles logo and suddenly I thought what uses colors like that? EXPLOSIONS