Evolution of the Star Wars logo
May 31, 2013 8:17 AM   Subscribe

...Though the poster contained no painted imagery, it did introduce a new logo to the campaign, one that had been designed originally for the cover of a Fox brochure sent to theater owners….Suzy Rice, who had just been hired as an art director, remembers the job well. She recalls that the design directive given by Lucas was that the logo should look “very fascist.” (via)
posted by octothorpe (38 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tar Wars?
posted by George Lucas at 8:22 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really want that iron-on transfer book.
posted by chiquitita at 8:27 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


That triangular decal is fantastic. Dear Lucasfilm Disney, see that t-shirt Mark Hamill's wearing in the 1976 Comic Con photo? I'll take one.
posted by phong3d at 8:30 AM on May 31, 2013


The MAD Magazine parody page at the bottom of the article is a real bummer.
posted by COBRA! at 8:31 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I owned this at one point. In the late 70s.
posted by Mister_A at 8:32 AM on May 31, 2013


Curses, I was going to make a Tenth Letter of the Alphabet FPP today! In addition to the Star Wars stuff, he has some great galleries, typography showcases, and process pieces.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:33 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I assume the ILM artist who changed the pointy W to a standardized one is the same Joe Johnson who ADed all the Indiana Jones movies and Rocketeer/Captain America director?
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on May 31, 2013


The MAD Magazine parody page at the bottom of the article is a real bummer.

I know, I would have called it Star Bores or Star Snores. Way to miss the mark, Usual Gang of Idiots.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:36 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


"The story of a girl, a boy and a universe!"
posted by cacofonie at 8:39 AM on May 31, 2013


I owned this at one point. In the late 70s.

Last year my mom gave me one of those she found in her attic. I think it was my brother's. It's in pretty good shape but a quick look on eBay shows me it's not really worth all that much. I'm not really sure what to do with it.

The best part about it after all these years is that it's from a time when not everyone knew what Star Wars was all about. Yes, there was a time like that. 1978, actually. The back cover says things like "See: The villain Darth Vader! See: The Wookie named Chewbacca!"

It's pretty amazing to think how new it all was back then.
posted by bondcliff at 8:39 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know how when you say a word over and over, it stops making any sense? I feel like that with this logo. So many iterations, and now they all look weird to me. Is that really how the s looks in WARS? It's blowing my mind.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:44 AM on May 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


The scary thing for me about all that paraphernalia is how much of it I recognized as things I owned.
posted by immlass at 8:46 AM on May 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


So I went to high school with Tim Hildebrandt's son, and the Hildebrandts were basically the coolest parents of any of my high school classmates, so we spent all our time hanging at his house. Who wouldn't have? Tim had, on his living room wall, the movie poster he and his brother did for the NYC premiere of the movie. It's mentioned in the article above, and it really is an iconic early Luke image.

They had less than two days to work on the poster before it was due (and were chosen because the AD knew they were fast and good). They got some images to work from (Darth Vader, an x-wing), but not cast photos. When they asked what Luke and Leia looked like, the art director described them briefly and told them it didn't matter, because the movie was going to be a huge flop.

Tim's poster is signed by most of the cast, with the most memorable signature being "To Tim, Thanks for all the muscles, Mark Hamill"

To this day, that poster is one of his son Charles' prize possessions. And rightly so.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:56 AM on May 31, 2013 [12 favorites]


My god. It's full of Star Warses.
posted by yoink at 8:57 AM on May 31, 2013


The MAD Magazine parody page at the bottom of the article is a real bummer.

That "fag robot" line was really jarring, not so much for the casual homophobia (it was the 1970s, after all), but mainly because MAD didn't typically use coarse language to get its jokes across. I would have expected something more along the lines of "fruity" or "pansy", but the joke as it stands is more like something you'd see in Crazy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:03 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


All of that promotional material makes me wonder even more how the hell I had not heard or seen a damned thing about the movie, until I went with a friend to the first matinee on opening day. There were, maybe, 20 other people in the theater.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:03 AM on May 31, 2013


If you're interested in all these sorts of ephemera, you can pick up the Star Wars Vault pretty easily, which includes script reproductions, stickers, temporary tattoos, iron on transfers, and all sorts of cool junk.
posted by themadthinker at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2013


I hope they never end!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:34 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


"From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker", and none of that Episode IV retro-oh-its-a-trilogy bullshit. It's truly 1977 on this page and I'm loving it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:40 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


This poster makes me so very happy.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:44 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fitting that a movie in which parsec is used as a unit of time is marketed with the copy: "...light years ahead of its time..."
posted by Bromius at 9:46 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mister_A: did that 1978 Star Wars calendar have the airdate of the Holiday Special marked on it?
posted by Lord Dimwit Flathead The Excessive at 9:56 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I saved (on my hard drive) that photo of the iron-on transfer book to show my husband later and while looking for it just a few minutes ago, I realized about 85% of my avatar photos for random internet spaces are related to Star Wars.

I really like that about myself and I don't really know why.
posted by cooker girl at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2013


cooker girl, if it's of any interest you can find scans of the transfers uploaded here.
posted by bettafish at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2013


Fitting that a movie in which parsec is used as a unit of time is marketed with the copy: "...light years ahead of its time..."

Also long, long ago, galaxies were closer, closer together. I like to think that Cosmology nerds have already figured out limits of when and where in the universe the Star Wars galaxy could have been.
posted by wobh at 10:15 AM on May 31, 2013


“I returned to the office and used what I reckoned to be the most ‘fascist’ typeface I could think of: Helvetica Black.”

My Sith name is going to be Darth Vetica.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:22 AM on May 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


I really like the first "sharp W" logo of star wars, it does look way more menacing than the one they softened it to with a regular W.
posted by mathowie at 10:40 AM on May 31, 2013


The Star Wars sounds so horrible to my ears. Thank God George had sense enough to drop the The.

I have often wondered why companies don't constantly pull out promotional good from decades past and reuse them. Loads of logos from the last 120 years, along with ancient black and white commercials would totally still sell their products and services. And the best part, it's free. They already did the research, paid the people, blah blah blah. More ancient mercendise please. Make me feel like in this topsy-tervy world, at least giant corporations are able to give me a sense of the safety that my childhood once held, and charge me for it.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 10:48 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


My Sith name is going to be Darth Vetica.

Only you could be so Futura Bold Lord Vetica.
posted by panboi at 11:12 AM on May 31, 2013 [13 favorites]


I can't stop seeing "Tar Wars" now!
posted by yonega at 11:35 AM on May 31, 2013


I hope they never end!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:34 AM on May 31


Please tell me that this is a reference to Nick the Lounge Singer. Because I've had his Star Wars theme stuck in my head for weeks for some reason.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:40 AM on May 31, 2013


This is so cool.
posted by LesSavyTrav at 1:40 PM on May 31, 2013


From a distance the pointy-W logo looks like "Star Mars", which is a different and altogether more confusing movie.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:35 PM on May 31, 2013


Here's a variation she missed. (forgivable, as it's from the exceedingly rare Making of Star Wars video)
posted by ShutterBun at 9:21 PM on May 31, 2013


I am watching Star Wars on SPIKE TV right now and reading this and searching for Star Wars posters on eBay and basically if I just had a margarita in my hand right now this would be a really freaking perfect Friday night.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:24 PM on May 31, 2013


Most of my Friday nights are within approximately one margarita (give or take) of being "perfect."
posted by ShutterBun at 3:02 AM on June 1, 2013


Please tell me that this is a reference to Nick the Lounge Singer. Because I've had his Star Wars theme stuck in my head for weeks for some reason.

Indeed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:38 AM on June 1, 2013


Star Wars Pulp Covers
posted by homunculus at 6:39 PM on June 3, 2013


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