Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the scoop

click photo to enlarge
A while ago I devised and delivered a quiz for an organisation to which I belong. It comprised 100 questions, twenty of which were pictures of company logos that the participants were asked to identify. When the quiz was completed, scores had been counted and winners identified, it became clear to me that something I thought would be part of the visual vocabulary of the audience clearly wasn't, with quite a few teams getting less than half marks on the logos.

Logotypes have always interested me. I see them as modern day heraldry. A good logo is visually appealing, clever even, as well as memorable and open to being updated over the years. The Shell emblem is a good example of this, as is Woolmark's. Many neatly encapsulate what the organisation is all about. The best bring to mind the company they represent without the need for the company's name to be written. But, after that quiz I realise that logos are something I notice, think about and appreciate, but many others don't. There's nothing wrong with that of course: I'm sure that I'm blissfully ignorant of much that others notice and value.

I've always had an interest in graphic design, and find it fun to spot new ideas that spread across the field. In the 1990s and the "Noughties" one of the really obvious ones was the script underline/overline as seen in, for example, Europcar, Disney Entertainment, Pizza Hut, Henley (rowing), the UK government Home Office. Another trend, and one that I find somewhat annoying, is the use of company names written in lower case in an attempt to look friendly and modern. An example is the energy company e-on. A sentence that begins with that company's name looks very awkward, and it's hardly better when it appears in the middle. The same can be said of the name of the open-air amphitheatre on London's South Bank that features in today's photograph - "the scoop". In fact, as a title for this blog entry it looks plain wrong, and I just couldn't bring myself to write it that way on the image's title. What possible good reason could the owners have for choosing lowercase rather than capitals or title case? As a subject, however, the location offers a lot to the photographer. I'm not someone whose photographs feature people very much, so I thought I'd compensate for that in a single shot! The shadows that supply a kind of "natural vignette" also appealed to me in this one.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 6.8mm (32mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On