Friday, 12 October 2012

logograph or measuring box and hollyhocks

I don’t pretend to know anything about the subject, the distinct traditions of the Japanese ideas of heraldry and vexology are quite something to survey. Here is a collection of family crests, akin to coats-of-arms, which fall into geometric categories, like variations on hawks’ feathers, oaks, measuring boxes, plums, peonies, cranes, etc. Mouse over the image for a description. One can see that a few of these arms have found their way into the blazoning of the Western corporate world, used as logos by a certain banking enterprise, political party brands and monograms, a hardware manufacturer, and a few other as yet undiscovered ones. I like to think that the necessarily large and diverse marketing department that spearheaded these advertizing campaigns had some insight into their inspirations and there’s some allegory and symbolism behind the decisions. I’d like to think so anyway, although I often run up against a curiosity barrier when the matter of things gets too dense.
One ought to at least try to learn the provenance of one’s emblems. It really gets me, nonetheless, how unabashedly the new logo of our office copier samples from the flag of Kyrgyzstan. Admittedly, their old design was not very inspired and the one before that seemed to suggest fading and copy-degradation, but the banner of the former Soviet Republic seems to have little to do with xerography.