Logo and identity designer Emanuele Abrate recently conducted a very curious experiment. He decided to recreate some of the most famous logos on earth–from Adidas to Red Bull–by replacing each brand name with the typeface used in each logo. Put down your Freight Sans Black frappuccino and ponder the results above.
I asked Abrate–who is also a teacher and managing partner at Italian blog and academy Grafigata–how the idea came to be. It turns out, it emerged from a very common question among design fans, including myself: What’s that typeface? “Every time I see a logo,” Enmanuel told me, “I wonder how it was conceived, how it was designed, what kind of typeface was used and why.” He decided to turn his analysis into a graphic project that illustrates how important typography is to these iconic logos.
When I look at some of his mock-ups, I don’t even notice the brand name is missing. Bebas Neue is still obviously Netflix. Klavika is obviously Facebook. My brain is so trained by the context of the logo mark, the color, and the typeface itself, that the “Futura” above the Nike Swoosh logo doesn’t even register as out of place.