Audi Green Police Super Bowl ad, Cheap Trick and – credit where credit due – their design influence on our old studio logo..

cheap-trick-green-police-logoTruth to tell, I’ve been wiped out by a particularly virulent cold and didn’t watch the Super Bowl on the weekend. Actually, while we’re playing “truth or dare” I should probably admit that I’m not a big football fan, and wouldn’t have watched the game, even if I didn’t spend most of Sunday hacking up a lung, figuratively speaking anyway. I did, however, take in the famous Super Bowl ads (as is tradition) and even though we’re a couple of days late to the post-game party, thought it would be interesting to take a look at my personal fave, the Audi Green Police spot (if you’re one of the few people who missed it, the video is above). As this is supposedly a logo design blog, we’ll quickly crowbar the Green Police logo into the piece (left) before moving on. While we’re at it, might as well toss in a Super Bowl logo too (below right).

Never mind the politics. Dig the music..

Some people weren’t too crazy about the ad, with conservative blogger Michelle Malkin going as far to write a critical blog post, entitled About that Green Police Super Bowl ad. In the piece Malkin tells us that “superbowl-logoSome of you think Audi’s Green Police ad that ran during the Super Bowl last night was brilliant satire. Others were creeped out. Count me in the creeped-out camp” and goes to great lengths to argue that the Green Police are more real than they seem. Other blogs, mostly from the right side of the political aisle chimed in, decrying the “slide” into something they’re calling “ecofascism“. Wasn’t just conservatives though. Even the left-leaning LA Times got into the act, opining that the spot was “Gorewellian“. Yeah, that’s right. As in Al Gore. Sigh.

Personally, I dug the ad, not only for its brilliantly satirical edge, but because of the great music by Cheap Trick, the Rockford, Illinois rock band who’ve been kicking around since 1974. Originally, I thought the soundtrack was the rock band’s smash 1978 hit Dream Police (the title track from their third album). But no, after a second listen, it’s obvious that this is a re-recording, and the song does, in fact, refer to the Green Police. Despite the slight lyrical alteration, the song still smokes, more than thirty years after it was first recorded. If you dig the track, you can always download it for free from Audi’s Green Police Facebook Facebookpage (you’ll need to log in and become a fan).

Our logo & a design homage.

So what’s all this twaddle got to do with logo design you ask? Glad you did. Here’s how. As a high school student, Cheap Trick were one of my fave bands. cheap-trick-Tshirt-artHell, when I went to see them in the mid-70’s at the now shuttered Maple Leaf Gardens, they were my first ‘stadium’ concert. It was at that gig that I purchased my first Cheap Trick T-shirt (the first of many) and I always loved the stressed typography style of the band’s logo. In fact, I loved the artwork so much, that when it came to designing The Logo Factory‘s first official logo almost 20 years later, and wanting to avoid the streamline computer-driven fonts of the day, I took a page from the band, incorporating Loveletter into the design. If you check out our logo at right, and the Cheap Trick logo above, the influence is apparent. To be honest, I’d almost forgotten about the Cheap Trick ‘homage’ until the Audi commercial jogged my memory. I still find it interesting the-logo-factory-design-homagehow things in our everyday lives manifest themselves into our work, even if it’s only a font selection. Alas, our old logo’s pretty well gone now and those of you who’re regular readers will remember that we ditched that font and redesigned our logo last fall.

Cheap Trick. Accept no substitutes..

As for Cheap Trick, the lads are still touring, were in Toronto last week and according to this review put on one helluva show.

“I don’t care what Lester Bangs said: Cheap Trick was, is, and will always be the best rock and roll band of all time.”

Dammintall. Gotta pay more attention to those Ticketmaster alerts I signed up for, but routinely ignore.