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Evolution of the Scientific American Logo

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Scientific American’s logotype has undergone subtle shifts, large leaps and occasional bouts of nostalgia. The image series below outlines the history of the publication’s identity, starting with its debut in August 1845 as weekly devoted primarily to inventions.

For more on the history of the magazine, check out this graphic to see how cover topics changed over time, and browse the archives.

 

 

About the Author: Jen Christiansen is the art director of information graphics at Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @ChristiansenJen.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.






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  1. 1. bripat@indigo.ie 11:58 am 03/6/2014

    Looks like 1911 saw quite a big change in style. Not really much change since then. Proves evolution is a slow process.

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  2. 2. vagnry 3:08 pm 03/6/2014

    As the french say “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.” = “The more it changes, the more it is the same.”

    I have only read Sciam since 1965, the only visible difference from the 1948 version to this day is that the “uprights” were put on a diet, later they swelled, now the diet is back!

    If Shakespeare was alive today, he might say “what’s in a logotype….”

    Compared to the FAT volumes (pagewise) of nearly 50 years ago, today’s look like anorectic supermodels!

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  3. 3. Jerzy v. 3.0. 3:53 am 03/7/2014

    Not an evolution, intelligent design ;)

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  4. 4. metamorphmuses 8:32 pm 03/7/2014

    I definitely prefer the sans-serif of 2001 and 1943 over the other, serifed versions.

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  5. 5. metamorphmuses 8:40 pm 03/7/2014

    I also don’t mind the use in 1927 and 1941 of Roman square capitals. I just don’t care for the Didone style serifs with their hairline serifs and thick vertical lines.

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