Last week, I met a Sac State student at Naked Coffee along Light Rail. He was working on photos he took and was trying to enhance using Lightroom. I has told him that I had been working in post-editing and title design. I pointed him to my YouTube channel and had shown him my retreads (my version of old soap credits) and my original stuff (“Between Worlds”) and he was in awe of the work. He showed me a logo he had designed and wondered if he would get problems because he altered the lettering he used. I had told him there might not be a problem but be prepared if one comes up.
Which brings me to this subject: when you look way too much into a logo or trademark.
Years ago, Procter & Gamble caught hell from conservative Christians because their logo – the one with the crescent moon and seven stars – was derided to be satanic. You bought their products, you are worshipping Satan which was the consensus. They thought they made P&G cave in by removing the “offensive” symbol, so they just went by the company’s initials. Years later, the crescent came back but the shape of it on a sphere. It went on to their Proctor & Gamble Productions logo.
About that same time, they were screaming the Led Zepplin Swan Song logo was Satanic, when in fact, it was their take on the painting “Fall of Day” or “Evening”, an 1869 painting by William Rimmer updated by a British design firm Hipgnosis.
Then just two years ago, Starbucks unveiled a Christmas holiday cup with just their green logo on a red background. And the same crowd said that they were “attacking Christmas”. Over a simple red cup. Unlike P&G, Starbucks didn’t cave in.
Now a new attack is happening over the logo for Monster Energy Drinks.
Their logo, a ‘M’ made with a claw, is simply that: it represents a monster tried to get into the can.
But to some, it is the number 6 in the Hebrew alphabet, thus leading many to say that Monster drinks worship Satan because the logo spells out the number “666″.
As I have said about those who screamed that Starbucks was killing Christmas -they really do need to get lives because they are looking way to much into this on many fronts.
The first is the alphabet system-you can look at our alphabet system and find that it is primitive. Our uppercase ‘I’, lowercase ‘L’ written plain and not cursive could pass as a ‘6′. In relation, ‘alif’ (the first letter in the Arabic alphabet) is a single stroke and it is stand-alone. And many other languages that do not use the Latin alphabet as their own have singular strokes.
The second are font designers-those people who design different fonts for use in designs in print, web, and film/video. If you wrote ‘Ill’ (as in Illinois) or the Roman numeral III using any sans-serif font i.e. Arial, Franklin Gothic, it looks like you wrote ‘666′.
This goes further when the designers veer into creative mode. Like Motown’s iconic “M” logo is Futura Black (a stencilized version of Futura), or the iconic Warner “W” designed by Saul Bass. Whomever designed the New album cover by Paul McCartney. All of those are single-stroked designs but none are satantic. Fonts like Museo either have ‘I’ and lowercase ‘L’ or both that could pass for a 6.
Finally, artists themselves. Comic artist Ernie Bushmiller, famous Nancy always signed his name where the “m” in his last name was always three vertical strokes. I tried that myself for “Kumar” and found that it says time, but I went back to the regular way I do it. Other artists might pick this up and run with it.
By equating vertical single-stroke letters to the number 6 in Hebrew, they are trying to dumb down people when it comes to this logo. Like when some of them use the Greek letter Delta and call it Alpha-same trangular shape, but one is an actual “A”.
You can’t instill fear because of something is different between cultures and you don’t understand it. And euqating with a “Johnny-Come-Lately” excuse is pathetic.