What the Papers Say
Book of the Month. An invaluable and unique archive. A visual tribute. The perfect read. An absolutely glorious book. These are a few examples of what the papers say about Logomotive.
How it all started
Fifty years ago the London designer Ian Logan began a secret love affair in the USA. After seeing a Rock Island freight train on his first trip, he became a logo spotter, going back year after year to photograph locomotives, boxcars, cabooses, stations, freight yards – going anywhere he could bag a good logo.
When he showed us his archive of 35 mm slides and printed ephemera, we fell in love with the subject, too. We spent two and a half years making his collection into a book called Logomotive: Railroad Graphics and the American Dream. When two to three sets is usually enough, our art director Bernard Higton produced 22 sets of page proofs and 30 different cover designs to get the book looking just right. And to tell the story of America’s rise to industrial supremacy, we commissioned one of the best railway historians working today, Jonathan Glancey. Having driven locomotives himself and, like Ian Logan, been smitten by the scale and vigour of American industrial prowess at its peak, he knew how to bring the story to life. The result is a real page-turner, 272 pages all in colour which transport you back to the greatest days of American railroading.
Who loves Logomotive?
Logomotive is no ordinary railway book. Instead of operations, it focusses on the design of the railways, their branding and their advertising. This new perspective has attracted the attention of reviewers from all walks of life.
Kevin P. Keefe, director of the Center for Railroad Photography and Art and former editor-in-chief of Trains magazine, describes Logomotive as ‘a beautifully produced compendium’, explaining that ‘one of the strengths of the book are the myriad visual contexts of the logos: on timetables and travel posters, along the flanks of diesels and freight cars and early streamliners, embedded into the walls and lintels of great stations, imprinted on matchbooks and ashtrays’.
The historian Tim Dunn is passionate about all things architecture and engineering and is the presenter of The Architecture the Railways Built, in addition to being a Member of the Advisory Panel of the Railway Heritage Trust. He steamed ahead on Twitter to share his excitement on receiving the book: ‘It’s just arrived for me to pore over. So, a quick thread as there is much to love in its 272 pages. Logan (a designer for Mary Quant and Jeff Banks) travelled the USA in the 1960s & 1970s, and for pleasure photographed the logos on trains and stylish stations — and bought old railroad ephemera in antique shops. The book is gloriously FULL of them. Glancey adds his spin on the collection with context (and delights, as ever, in being a massive railway enthusiast). Even Norman Foster mentions his own trainspotting days. Anyway! I think you might like it.’
Chuck Aldrich, who has had a career in advertising and public relations, wrote, ‘I am at a loss to tell you how much I have enjoyed your book. Not only is it a stunning example of extraordinary design and production, but it is a page-by-page master class on stunning logo design, branding, and marketing. Congratulations to all who contributed to this monumental work.’
You must see it to believe it
Rich Roberts, Book Review Editor for Railroad History, says ‘You need to hold the book to appreciate the illustrations. I have been leafing through, mesmerized, for the last hour and enjoying reading about my favorite railroads’ approach to graphic identity’.
Mike, a rail enthusiast documenting fallen flags, mergers and retired equipment for his Instagram group Classic.Trains, has taken a photograph to show the size of Logomotive. He writes, ‘Wow. You guys have knocked it out of the park. This is absolutely amazing.’
Read the reviews
To see these and other press comments, please to go to Logomotive and click on Reviews. Or follow the links below.
Wall Street Journal — ‘Design in Motion’
Chartered Society of Designers — ‘A Visual Feast’
The Bay Magazine — ‘Enduring testament to the way advertising once used to be’
Creative Review — ‘Rich with detail’
E&T Magazine — ‘It is fantastic – my personal fave book of the year’
Icon Magazine — ‘A visual tribute to the graphic design of railroads’
Eastern Eye — ‘A lavishly illustrated book’
Valerie Holmes — ‘This book is a first’
Whatever — ‘Big Idea with a large visual component’
Corsham Spotlight Spring 2021 — ‘The perfect read for lovers of trains, railway architecture and advertising’
The American Magazine —’How the UK and US inspired each others railroad graphics and designs’
Relive the romance
In Logomotive you get 150 years of history distilled down to a single malt that you can sip and savour at your leisure. The book is designed with energy and flair, and generously laid out ‘with a first-class horizontal treatment that includes sharp color printing, heavy paper, and a durable imprinted cover’ says Kevin P. Keefe.
To get a copy of Logomotive: Railroad Graphics and the American Dream in the UK, click here. In the US and Canada, order from here.