late nineteenth century logo design

So I'm looking for logo work circa 1870-1900 which has a narrow letter and a wide letter stacked on top of each other. (see small image below)

I'm interested in specifically this style as well as general type work from this era, if you guys know of anything off the top of your head that is related, I'd really like to see it! or a link to a previous thread, specific style names, etc..


eliason's picture

Searching "monograms" might lead to some good stuff. I haven't seen it directly but I have a feeling this book would be exactly what you need. There's a spread from the book reproduced at this blog.

riccard0's picture

I would call it wide and narrow.
In Italy, prior of the relatively recent creation of a few big groups, it was a style pretty common for bank logos (presumably because of the logo of the state bank):

Two examples:

There are some modern interpretations too:

Don McCahill's picture

The most famous of these could be the logo for the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.

eliason's picture

most famous of these

South of the border there's also this. :-)

scottsullivan's picture

eliason- 1) I'm gonna get that book (found it on amazon) 2) The Yankees mark didn't even cross my mind!

riccard0- Edited to wide and narrow, thank you! Those are some great links (though the two links under 'Two examples' are blocked or something) - it's really unfortunate that the Italian banks are being grouped together and losing their old identities :(

Don McCahill- Ballin

Summary so far:

The mark above with the 'wide and narrow' combination is better described as a monogram than a logo-
Some great examples:

contemporary spin:

so familiar I didn't even think of them:

So what else is cool from this time period that has a similar feel?

Don McCahill's picture

If it helps you, the Canadien's logo was from around 1920, a bit later than the time period you were aiming at.

riccard0's picture

the two links under 'Two examples' are blocked or something

Here they are:

scottsullivan's picture

Don McCahill- Yeah I've been suspecting that my timeframe was a little off-

riccard0- Thanks! those are GREAT

So- maybe ignore the title of the post and just go aesthetically, is this Art Nouveau?

Nick Shinn's picture


scottsullivan's picture

Nick Shinn- nice

gillo's picture

Here's a fun little book with a bunch of fanciful things like that.

gillo's picture

And more!

found searching "monograms" at the internet archive.

Other such gems to be found include "A new book of cyphers, more compleat & regular than any ever publish'd. Wherein the whole alphabet (twice over) consisting of 600 cyphers, is variously chang'd, interwoven & revers'd .. (1750)" which certainly sounds promising but might be a bit earlier than what you're looking for.

The title page is lovely, anyway!

eliason's picture

Nick, you are blessed with eminently weavable initials! (You should make a baseball cap!)

scottsullivan's picture

gillo- WOAH JACKPOT!! that first book is amazing, (the top link on your second post isn't working for me) but everything there- amazing (and completely downloadable as a .pdf!)


it's no NS

gillo's picture

I know! I love the internet archive for old obscure resources! It's especially nice if you happen to live in a rural area without reasonable access to any sort of nice library (I don't anymore, but used to).

The "read online" versions tend to be zoomable to much higher resolutions than the .pdf versions, by the way, but they're annoying to read unless you have pretty decent and consistent bandwidth.

I don't remember what that broken link was supposed to go to, but I'm sure it's amongst those listed in the second link anyway.

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