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Came across this, let’s say… interesting video clip over on YouTube about Satan & God in logo design. Be sure to read the blurb on the actual youtube page. Either way, I thought it would be an interesting discussion. Click here to comment.


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16 Comments For This Post

  1. Jaz Says:

    I can’t imagine why you would link to this? Do you disagree with that guy or do you agree with him? Icons like stars, pyramids and eyes have been used to represent many things throughout time, the implication that it’s a conspiracy every time one of those symbols is used is a bit absurd. Some probably are conspiracies or have hidden meanings, but I can find a conspiracy in a wad of chewing gum if I look hard enough. What are your thoughts?

  2. ergibson Says:

    That is bizarre! Thankfully, as a graphic designer, I often consider a star just a star and a triangle just a triangle.

  3. Jacob Cass Says:

    Hi Jaz,
    Thanks for the concern. I linked to it here to hear other opinions from those who actually have an interest in logo design (hence being linked to on this blog). Obviously by the 1400+ other comments left on the actual YouTube page it has caused quite a controversy so I wanted to hear feedback from others. And to answer your question, I can’t say I agree or disagree.

    But I do remember reading about that eye symbol in one of Dan Brown’s novels.

  4. Devlin Says:

    I totally agree with Jaz and ergibson, these are used as standard symbols because they are easily understood by everyone.

    Look at stars used on flags, Australia, the USA, China, Nepal all use stars on their flags. Is this a conspiracy or just that all humans see stars every night? I think more than half of all flags use stars. Stars are an easy way to represent continuity. Stars seem to last forever (though they really don’t). In the human life span stars seem eternal and never change. Which is EXACTLY the same message that nations and companies want to project.

    Similarly triangles and pyramids fill that same niche, in the real world pyramidal shapes don’t crumble and fall. It is no coincidence that of Herodotus’ 7 ancient wonders only the pyramids survive into the 21st century.

    Because these symbols are used has nothing to do with Satan or God, but has more to do with what the client is trying to communicate. Just as Jaz says.

    Dan Brown? Please, read Bart Erhman’s critique of the Da Vinci Code if you actually take anything Brown says seriously beyond pure escapism. There IS a reason Brown is categorized as fiction. But if you are looking for fiction that deals with this exact topic, one might say Brown ripped it off from… Check out the Illuminatus Trilogy by the late and great Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

    Thanks Jacob for bringing this for us to chew on!

  5. Lisa Says:

    I have to agree with Jaz and Ergison… If you look for evil in everything, then you’ll probably find it. I see no point to this video honestly, besides that it is saying satan is in everything. Not one of your better posts…

  6. Jacob Cass Says:

    Thanks for your input Devlin, and quite ironic about the stars how you mentioned they don’t last for ever… I suppose that that is true for countries and the world in general – we won’t be here forever.

    And yes, I can agree that these symbols most probably have nothing to do with Satan or God, but have to do more with what the client is trying to communicate however I am also a sceptic in regards to the Illuminatus so for this reason I still sit on the fence. Just a personal trait I suppose.

    Thanks for the tip off regarding the authors, is this a book you have read?

    Lisa,
    This is merely a video post for the front page of the site. The video posts on this site will only include a short description underneath them so I suppose it’s a “hey look at this” type of feature. You can see what I mean by viewing the other four videos already posted on the site. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Jaz Says:

    I think it’s important to know the connotations of imagery we (as logo designers) use. Some of the history of symbology would be beneficial to know, sure. Then you can decide if it matters to your design or not, or how it may relate to the client or target market. The trouble with focusing too much on it is that for every person that says a 5 pointed star is a Satanic symbol, there is another who thinks of it as nautical, or Wiccan, or emo, or patriotic, or Christian, or charity, or heavy metal, or astronomy. So yeah, know the connotations, but don’t make them the focus of your logo design or you’ll go a bit mental.

    I think the guy who made the video just seems to be pulling icons out that already fit in with his preconceived ideas, to try to prove some point. Maybe Dan Brown was doing the same thing, but at least Dan Brown created something that was entertaining :)

  8. Devlin Says:

    I agree with jaz again about this. I am sure the logo designers didn’t have satanic or godly ideals in their heads. They went with images which are easy for everyone to understand. For example in the video the creators showed a bank with an owl as its logo. I am going to assume that we have two choices. Either:

    1. When the bank was choosing a logo they picked the owl design because in the west, Owls represent wisdom and prudence, which banks are supposed to have, recent history notwithstanding. Or…

    2. The bank owners are in a secret cabal with the illuminati and party down every year at the Bohemian Grove. And to show this secret cabal they put it front and center in the public by putting an owl on their logo.

    At least to my skeptical eye the answer seems pretty clear. Jaz is completely right in that the film makers had an agenda and googled “owl logo” or something and collected the images to fit the story. Dan Brown made a great book, but when he tries to pass off parts of his fictional story as non-fiction that is much more problematic (like when he says in the introduction to his book that it is based on true sources). That’s why I recommend Biblical Scholar Bart Ehrman’s “Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code.”

    Working off of important ideas from Jacob and Jaz I think this video brings up a larger issue for designers or anyone who works in a creative field. Namely what happens to your work once it is put into the public sphere? Once we sell a logo, brochure, film, song or anything else we have to realize that that culture will reinterpret it regardless of what we or our client’s intended. The owl in the bank logo is a perfect example of this.

    I think Neil Gaiman said that once he publishes a story, it isn’t truly his anymore; people add meaning to it that he didn’t intent or hadn’t thought of, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. But for creative’s we must be mindful that our creations will live outside our original intents in the public sphere. I suppose what we are all trying to do for ourselves and our clients is to make something that will stick out in the public sphere and not become lost in the background radiation of pop culture.

    Knowing this I think that Jaz is right in pointing out that as designers we HAVE to be students of history and realize that images, colors and shapes have connotations and meanings and that if we don’t study them we can make very costly mistakes. For example, could you imagine if someone was ignorant of history and tried using a swastika in a logo? That’s a bit extreme but we should try to understand the different meanings of symbols.

    I think Lisa is missing the point; it was a great post because Jacob brought something interesting to our attention. The video was certainly fuel for thought. I am glad I saw it and was able to hash out some ideas about its meanings. It is nice to see a post that invites conversation, and I think that was the point.

    Quick note: the Illumanatus Trilogy I mentioned before is very tongue in cheek look at “secret societies.” It was written in the mid 1970’s and is very funny, in a weird way. It was very influenced by the 60’s psychedelic counterculture and is full of sex, drugs, evil cabals, HP Lovecraftian monsters, Zombie Nazi Soldiers, hard boiled private eyes and stream of consciousness writing. It’s a bit kooky but pretty cool.

  9. skysofly Says:

    Hey bro,

    I find it very interesting that you would post this. I, like you, and very skeptical about things such as this. I have a Freemason in my church and he’s quite the interesting character. In fact, I live in Cali which is where Bohemian Grove is. I watched a documentary of a guy who pretended to be a part of the “club.” He brought a camera and recorded the entire thing. To me I find it all odd why the stars are upside down, even the fact that the pentagon is always shown upside down. Yes this may seem conspiracy but it’s all to interesting how many things tie together.

    Great find though concerning the logos! very interesting stuff. Let me ask, are you a Christian or of the belief in a God?

  10. Jacob Cass Says:

    Jaz, Devlin,

    Yes, after all logo design is about communicating a message… and knowing the history behind icons and symbols is quite beneficial indeed, even more so in this day and age where the world is so small – the swastika is a great example.

    Much alike you said Devlin, society does reinterpret the message in different ways and it will always be seen in a different way depending on ones culture, history, beliefs and so on.

    And yeah, the guy who made it, more than likely did just grab images to prove ’some point’ but I still found it entertaining (I did sit through the whole video) and found it worthy of discussion.

    On that note, it is important to mention that I wasn’t agreeing or making any statements by posting this, I was posting it to bring it to your attention, and for a good discussion of which it has paid off and I thank all who have commented for that.

    Devlin, The Illumanatus Triology sounds highly entertaining!

    Skysoffly,

    Please read my replies to Jaz and Devlin above and to answer your question, I am not Christian, nor do I follow any strict religion, however, I do believe that there is a ‘god’ of some sort out there, however this is leading down the wrong track so we can leave that there :)

  11. Skysofly Says:

    Awh I see, I will check out your other comments.

  12. Vincent Le Pes Says:

    Thanks for the interesting, albeit creepy, post. Who knows what to believe regarding the symbolism, there are points to be made for both sides, and naturally many of them are true and many of them fantasy. I don’t think anyone who watches a video like that should jump around thinking the whole world is in a conspiracy together, it’s absurd how some of those logos are linked. I must say, though, that I am a fan of Robert Anton Wilson, and you should check him out – not so much for his conspiracy theories but for his inspiring ‘maybe logic’. The idea is that we become more sane and rational if we stop attaching our beliefs to definite ideas. It makes much more sense to stay flexible, and never get fixed into one set of beliefs. The idea is that instead of thinking ‘this is ____’, try to think ‘this may be ____’. It makes a lot of sense to me to always leave open the option that you are wrong. I think it’s one of the most important foundations for learning – if you believe you truly know anything, you are always on the quest to learn more.

  13. Vincent Le Pes Says:

    oops :) – ‘if you *never* believe…’

  14. Logomotive Says:

    That is so badly done. yes some, very few I can see a subliminal message but come on. Who did this video is the question? Bunch of hog wash.

  15. Del Sliz Says:

    Ciao, non riesco a capire come inserire le tue blog lavoro nel mio lettore RSS. Mi potete aiutare, per favore

  16. Karen Sherman Says:

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