Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bet You Didn't Know... What's in a Logo?

Welcome back, readers, and my apologies for the inevitably long delay. While the blog focused on the many thoughts and hypotheses on the Wonders of Life pavilion's possible revival strategies that could prove useful, this however carved a new path academically for me. Being involved in graphic design study, you may remember some of my previous posts in Operation Imagineer involving a little brainstorming in this area, and demonstrates the importance of how it all fits in developing a better Wonders of Life in the near future. On the subject of which, let us fancy a think about this cute little graphic that is the pavilion insignia...

It looks rather simple enough to the eye, but ask anyone who has been to EPCOT in its early prime in the 80s would have noticed: the insignias used in the Future World pavilions are a little more geometrically different compared to what the Wonders of Life had for a logo. Of course, like all the other insignias before, the Wonders of Life insignia has a story, and some collective theories.

The best way to explain the story behind the Future World insignias would be to explain their purpose first, and explore the backstory later. In the context of mapping the attractions, giving each Future World attraction an insignia not only serves as the “introductory wax seal” of the pavilion, but also a very simple marker of the pavilion's theme and subject matter. You may be familiar with the geometrically simple Universe of Energy insignia with its ringed circles emphasising the radiating nature of energy, as well as the simple curved sail-like elements in the Living Seas insignia, as maritime as the sea it focused on itself. With respect to the early Epcot insignias, they could be traced to a sole designer as explained by an article from Progress City USA, in which he cites that the insignias were designed to be the following...
...consistent throughout the park, giving the entire enterprise a sleek, clean, and futuristic feel. While each pavilion would have its own visual style, and its own specific logos, it would still fit into the overall color design and visual vocabulary of the entire park.

Future World was all designed with consistency and unity in mind, and the insignias were just apart of that. The insignias of the first five initial Future World pavilion insignias were the brainchild of Norm Inouye, who was also involved in a lot of signage work in the rest of Epcot as a whole. In this case, he was responsible for the elaborate signage design for the Imagination pavilion, among other pavilions.

And now we fast forward a little as time progressed for Epcot, especially with the addition of new pavilions, and especially to the Wonders of Life pavilion, the latest in Future World at the time in 1989, and the last to receive an actual insignia. Of course, you may suspect that the logo does not necessarily fit in very well with the rest of the logos, and even worse, just like a sore thumb. Some say that it lacks the simplicity that the earlier Future World pavilion logos strongly had. In fact, some wonder that the pavilion would've benefited significantly from the simpler emblem of a DNA strand than a human figure. But you may wonder, why a human figure?

There is a great mystery behind the choice of a human figure over anything else simpler to symbolise the concept of life and health in its diverse aspects. Some reckon it was to do with the Virtruvian Man of Da Vinci fame, in its homage to the human figure and its mobility.
But there is a true story that one day on the social networking front, that I came across that one person wondering about the insignia's significance. I make apologies for revealing the identity, but what I do know is that he hosts a great podcast and deserves some recognition and the odd hello. Here is his question below:

As I too am in the same boat, wondering about the insignia, I too pitched it to other users who may have some idea about the insignia's significance. Imagine the discussions that took place, hypothesising about the insignia subject matter...

As well as the more sublime...

...and unintentionally unifying.

But of course, one user of interest who has done plenty of research to finally reveal the origin and its true significance of the insignia finally came forward and explained. It finally came together.

In this case, the story finally checks out. The insignia has managed to sum up the pavilion's focus on life in its simplest terms – incorporating the human figure within the structure of the carbon ring. Well, not everyone knows much about the carbon ring structure, but with respect to the scientific homage, carbon is one of the molecular elements that make up our bodies. In fact, the designer behind the insignia, Julie Rogge, contributed to Walt Disney Imagineering at its HQ in Glendale, CA, within the years 1988 and 1989 as a show designer, and hence contributed to the design of the insignia.

Signed and sealed, the Wonders of Life insignia is unique in its own way, and especially with regards to how other people interpreted the insignia. On another note, it's a rather interesting story on one of the pavilion's aspects in identity, and especially found in the most unexpected areas.

On a different topic, I just noticed that this article is close to coincide with the Easter season, synonymous with many things – from the spiritual visitations of the Gospel, of man and his Savior, through to the more informal and juvenile pasttime of chocolate egg hunts. I gladly close this article wishing you all the best and good health during the Easter season, and yes, don't forget to brush your teeth, and know your limits. (LOL)

Until next time, readers!

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