The Microsoft Windows logo has changed a lot since it was first introduced in 1985. But what would it look like if it had been invented even earlier—say, in the 1400s? A Gothic arch window with four panes of stained glass, perhaps?
The reimagined Windows logo is part of a series of medieval-style logos by the Russian illustrator Ilya Stallone, who started publishing them on his Instagram account in January. To date, Stallone has reimagined 25 famous logos to make them look like they were created in the Middle Ages. From Audi’s four rings, which have been turned into wooden wheels, to Starbucks’s iconic siren and Puma’s leaping cougar, each medieval logo provides a witty interpretation of some of today’s most famous brands.
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The idea first arose when Stallone visited two medieval castles in Belarus. “The atmosphere of this era impressed me, and after the trip, I decided to create a series of medieval branding,” he says.
Each logo is illustrated to look imperfect—dare I say archaic—and set against a sepia background. Naturally, the royal theme pervades: Burger King’s logo sees two kings squeezed like patties between two hamburger buns, themselves topped with a crown. Meanwhile, Tinder’s flame logo features a royal couple in a loving embrace.
Some logos are all the more comical because they translate a modern-day concept to the medieval era: Instead of Spotify’s trifecta of airwaves, Stallone’s version features a medieval trumpet and two flutes floating in a green circle. And instead of the camera outline on Instagram’s logo, his version is a painting of a man wearing a ruff collar, resting on an easel. Some logos even come with a word mark in Old English-style Gothic font.
Starting this week, all existing logos are available as NFTS. As for new logos? Stallone says he won’t stop until he has tackled every brand on the planet: “When all the logos are ready, we can easily return to the Middle Ages.”