Say “Hi” to the New Gray Flannel Suit Logo!

I’ve been at this blogging thing for awhile. I started my first blog in August 2005, and officially opened The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit in February 2007. And in all that time, I’ve struggled to come up with a consistent visual identity. What I’ve settled on for the past few years is appropriating vintage advertising art that I felt matched what I wanted my online persona to be.

Lately, though, I’ve been feeling the need to stop aping stuff that other companies had used, and come up with something original for myself. A tiny part of that was guilt I suppose, but mostly I wanted a real logo and brand that I could use across all my internet ventures. So I spent some time getting up to speed in Adobe Illustrator, and here you go:

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit GFS logo

Pretty nifty, yes?

Really astute fans of old advertising might think this a little familiar. The inspiration for this design actually comes from two different vintage logos. The color scheme in the GFS wordmark is based off the old Alpo dog food logo from the ’60s and ’70s, believe it or not. I like their classic logo — it’s simple, clean, but bold. Here’s what it looks like from a 1963 ad:

Alpo dog food ad, 1963

I first tried to use the same ellipse shape as the Alpo logo, but I ran up against the limitations of modern technology in that the sides kept getting cut off when I tried to use it as a profile icon in sites like Facebook and Tumblr. Since I wanted to use it as such, and because I only had three letters, I went with a circle.

Then there’s the circle outline. The original inspiration for that was the bright blue border on the old Esso logo that was rolled out in the 1930s. I just tweaked the shade of blue used.

Esso logo

And there you have it! Alpo + Esso = GFS.