Sadly I am old enough to remember walking down the street and seeing that all the Volkswagens had had their VW badges removed because the Beastie Boys wore car logo medallions. I don’t actually recall anybody wearing their swiped emblems so I guess it was easier to be brave under cover of alcoholic darkness than to show off in sober daylight. Still, as well as informing me that I had to fight for my right to party it was also an early lesson for me in the power of the logo.
The tabloids like to run scare stories and one that comes up every so often is the one about how more six year olds recognise the golden arches than the union flag (let alone know which way up is normal and which way ‘in distress’). Walk down any clone town high street and if you’re thirsty you’ll be looking for the fleck of green that shows a distant Starbucks – well you will if you don’t actually like coffee (although their new instant stuff is pretty decent). Every inch of our shared space seems to be branded in some way these days. Hell, you can’t even hire a bike in London without becoming a billboard for a bright blue bank. And all concert venues now seem to be called the O2 which I would suggest is almost ironic given the lengths that copyright holders then go to to prevent mobile-shot footage appearing on YouTube.
I’m not really going anywhere with this except to say the obvious that brands are comforting, reassuring and worrying. And in the case of “Stuart Baggs the Brand” full of shit.
This snow covered logo is obviously Audi. It’s Audi’s fault that a generation of schoolboys began their German lessons going ein, zwei, drei, vursprung, durch, technik, vier, funf, sechs. I don’t recall anybody ever swiping one of these badges which probably says something significant although it may just be they used better glue.
You can see this shot here.