A proposed logotype/trademark
Cummins Engine Company, Inc.
From time immemorial the stately escutcheon has served a ceremonial and ritualistic function. It may be seen on such familiar items as money, marriage certificates and military uniforms. The British use the royal coat of arms to dignify a box of biscuits or to authenticate an official document.
The trademark, which is the escutcheon of industry, should, however, serve more than an ornamental purpose. It should also be utilitarian, a functional device, useful in a great variety of practical visual problems.
In advertising, for example, the trademark/logotype should not come as an afterthought, or a mere decorative cartouche. It should, rather, help identify a corporation, lend authority to a statement, and help sell a product or service. Ideally, a mark should serve not only as a means of non-persuasive communication but also as a possible means of persuasion: pictorial, verbal, or both.
Good design as well as good business judgement dictates that in the redesign or updating of any trademark due consideration be given to the retention of any features which will contribute constructively to the development of a new design.
The features which characterize the current Cummins trademark/logotype are:
the plus sign
the colored vertical bar
the black horizontal bar containing the word Cummins.
Analysis of the current design indicates:
The plus idea has positive advantages, provided the religious and/or medical overtones can be eliminated.
The vertical color bar should, if possible, be more meaningful and the color more distinctive.
The lettering within the black bar appears cumbersome and “hemmed in”, making continuous reading from logotype to additional text jumpy.
Sometimes the type fills in, making it necessary for the name to be deleted. In reduced sizes legibility is sacrificed.
The following two pages show the structural transition from old to new trademark as well as an enlarged and reduced version.
The mark is now much simpler. The horizontal element is reduced to the name alone, without a background. The initial of the corporation has become the vertical element, with not only more meaning, but more visual interest.
The “C” has been designed so that it seems to grow out of the word “Cummins” and does not serve merely as a background.
The corporate name is set in a simple, straightforward, sans serif typeface (Helvetica) which has a universal and timeless quality. Upper and lower case letters are used which, incidentally, are easier to read than all capitals. The charm and individuality of the letter combinations is due less to their novelty than to the rhythmical repetition of half circles.
The disarming simplicity of the mark reflects precision, clarity, and confidence. That it functions with great ease can be seen in the following:
The necessity of jumping from the reverse panel of “Cummins” to the remainder of the message has been overcome. The transition from one to the other is smooth and natural. Should such applications be necessary or desirable, the name “Cummins” could now be used without the initial “C”, still retaining partial identity, e.g.
The flexibility of the new Cummins mark is such that it can be reproduced in the following ways:
Because of its simplicity of design it can easily be:
A note about the new color: it has been chosen because it is less commonplace than the yellow ochre. Because it is closer to the gray scale, it will be more compatible with other colors.
On the following pages are shown: 1 standard letterheads 2 executive letterheads 3 calling cards 4 envelopes 5 mailing label 6 binder backbone 7 presentation folder 8 advertisement 9 calendar
Standardization of envelopes to this proposed design will eliminate unnecessary expense and simplify inventory problems. Address panel is preprinted and first, second, or third class mail will be differentiated by specially imprinted labels.
Paul Rand, Inc. Weston, Connecticut January 1965
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