Windfall Logo Design & Branding

on October 22nd, 2010

Identity & branding for a deal origination firm based in Sydney.

The Story

The Windfall logo is fundamentally influenced by two instances of classical art: the Roman Pantheon and the Greek pottery red-figure technique of Onesimos, the Brygos Painter and the Oedipus Painter.

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Red-Figure Pottery

Between the beginning of the sixth and the end of the fourth centuries B.C., black- and red-figure techniques were used in Athens to decorate fine pottery while simpler, undecorated wares fulfilled everyday household purposes.

The geometric ornaments used in decorating kylix (red figure cup) borders, reminiscent of the early pottery motifs used to illustrated the wealth of their owners, have been the inspiration behind the Windfall logo. The resulting symbol is a subtle memento of affluence and influence, as well as a nod to the mathematical precision and Pythagorean beauty of Greek art.

At the very core of the Windfall philosophy one will indeed find a passion for measurable precision, respect for traditional values and a sophisticate simplicity of execution .

The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon is considered to be one of the greatest architectural structures of ancient times. The second dome ever to be built, it measures 43 meters in diameter and it does not use central pillars for support. It is entirelly a masterpiece of design and science, making use of a massive foundation, light construction materials, a coffered structure, hidden spaces to lighten the stress on the foundations and brick arches to direct the weight of the dome to the walls rather than the centre of the construction.

Although the temple is dedicated to all Greek gods the scale and size of the temple emphasised the power and glory of the Roman empire. Originally built in 27 BC by emperor Agrippa, the Pantheon was destroyed in a fire in 80 AD. Rebuilt in 125 AD by Roman emperor Hadrian, the Pantheon is one of the oldest standing structures in Rome today.

During the Renaissance, the Pantheon was used as a tomb for many members of the arts. Such artists as Annibale Carracci and Raphael were buried in the Pantheon.

For Windfall, the Pantheon structure inspired the coffer-like segments of the outer edge.

Typography

The Windfall logotype is based on the writing on Trajan’s Column (Italian: Colonna Traiana), a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan’s Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum.

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The inscription at the base of the column in finest lettering reads:

SENATVS·POPVLVSQVE·ROMANVS
IMP·CAESARI·DIVI·NERVAE·F·NERVAE
TRAIANO·AVG·GERM·DACICO·PONTIF
MAXIMO·TRIB·POT·XVII·IMP·VI·COS·VI·P·P
AD·DECLARANDVM·QVANTAE·ALTITVDINIS
MONS·ET·LOCVS·TANTIBVS·SIT·EGESTVS

Translated, the inscription reads:
“The Senate and people of Rome dedicate this to the emperor Caesar, son of the divine Nerva, Nerva Traianus Augustus Germanicus Dacicus, pontifex maximus, in his 17th year in the office of tribune, having been acclaimed 6 times as imperator, 6 times consul, pater patriae, to demonstrate of what great height the hill [was] and place [that] was removed for such great works.”

This inscription on the base of Trajan’s Column is often regarded as one of the best models of the Imperial Roman alphabet. Contrary to the belif of some, the lettering on the base of Trajan’s Column was neither the debut of the Roman Alphabet, nor the first time that it had used serifs. It is, however, probably the most famous example of both.

While Roman handwriting was very different from Roman monumental lettering (whether hand painted, engraved, cut out of metal, or cut into stone), the letters on Trajan’s Column represent one of the best examples left to us from antiquity. Trajan’s Column, and samples like it, would go on to influence the development of the Roman alphabet, and later typeface design, for the next 2,000 years.

What was so special about the Roman’s inscriptional lettering? The Romans—who did not invent the idea of the alphabet—were the first to put serifs on their letters. It is speculated that the serif’s origin was a result of applying a brush to the stone before it was carved.

With such a history, the Windfall typography aims to conveys tradition, class and leadership.

The Brand

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One Response to “Windfall Logo Design & Branding”

  1. [...] Just to make the point, you can read the story behind my Voluptas Agency logo and the Windfall brand. [...]