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Victor “His Master’s Voice” logo (Japan)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 3rd, 2017. Artwork published in .
    Label for a 7″ by Misae Enomoto ( 榎本美佐江) / Ichiro Funabashi (船橋一郎), Victor ‎MVK-1056. Issued in 1975, this was one of the first records to use the newly introduced logo.
    Source: https://www.discogs.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Label for a 7″ by Misae Enomoto ( 榎本美佐江) / Ichiro Funabashi (船橋一郎), Victor ‎MVK-1056. Issued in 1975, this was one of the first records to use the newly introduced logo.

    In 1975, Victor Japan introduced a new logo with letterforms derived from the Motter Tektura typeface which was released shortly before. The aperture of V was opened up a bit; c, t and r were widened and got diagonal top terminals. Motter Design lists the logo as a design by its precursor, Vorarlberger Grafik, i.e. the studio co-founded by the typeface’s designer, Othmar Motter.

    From Discogs:

    Victor was a prolific classical, opera, pop, jazz, blues and country label launched circa 1901 in the USA by Victor Talking Machine Co. In 1929, the company was bought by RCA. In 1946, the Victor label was replaced by the new RCA Victor label in most of the world. In Japan, however, the Victor label continued to exist; currently it is owned by Tokyo company Victor Entertainment, Inc.

    The Victor Company of Japan, Ltd is usually referred to as JVC. Wikipedia: “JVC is generally known within Japan by the Victor brand, preceded by the His Master’s Voice (HMV) logo featuring the dog Nipper.”

    Label for a 7″ by Misae Enomoto ( 榎本美佐江) / Ichiro Funabashi (船橋一郎), Victor ‎MVK-1056. Issued in 1975, this was one of the first records to use the newly introduced logo.
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Top: “Victor” in Motter Tektura. Bottom: The Victor logo with adjustements.

    Label for a 7″ by Misae Enomoto ( 榎本美佐江) / Ichiro Funabashi (船橋一郎), Victor ‎MVK-1056. Issued in 1975, this was one of the first records to use the newly introduced logo.
    Source: http://www.hifido.co.jp License: All Rights Reserved.

    Inner sleeve from フリフリ’65 by Southern All Stars (1989)

    Label for a 7″ by Misae Enomoto ( 榎本美佐江) / Ichiro Funabashi (船橋一郎), Victor ‎MVK-1056. Issued in 1975, this was one of the first records to use the newly introduced logo.
    Source: http://korabcb.free.fr License: All Rights Reserved.

    Inner sleeve of a soundtrack record for Kimagure Orange Road, “Panic in Okinawa” (1985)

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    2 Comments on “Victor “His Master’s Voice” logo (Japan)”

    1. Dec 3rd, 2017  11:09 pm

      Letterhead of Vorarlberger Grafik (VG), Freie Arbeitsgemeinschaft für creative Aufgaben in Hard, Austria, shown in Modern Publicity 1973. Image courtesy of the International Advertising & Design DataBase.

      The listed staff members are Othmar Motter, Johann (Hans) Kaiser, Rudolf Hagen, Renate Hagen, Bruno Pachauer, and Erich M. Wiener. The studio was founded in 1952 by Motter, Kaiser, and Sylvester Lička, all three graduates from the Höhere Graphische Bundeslehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna. [ORF] Lička left in 1955 to become advertising manager at the textile company F. M. Hämmerle. [austrianposters.at]

    2. Nov 4th, 2019  9:30 am

      Elias Riedmann’s Motter biography (Triest Verlag, 2019) has a reproduction of a letter set by the Victor Company of Japan to Othmar Motter, dated 3rd December, 1975 (p61). The company representative mentions that “the type of Cap & low is most suitable” for their intention – apparently Motter had presented a number of variants.

      However, they ask for permission to introduce some modifications: “We are worried that your figure of ‘V’ may be misread as the capital ‘D’ […] Therefore we would like to put a little space on the top of the letter ‘V’.” Furthermore, in order to make the logotype more exclusive, they “would like to give a little taper on the letter ‘c’, ‘t’ and ‘r’”. This sounds like Motter had suggested a setting using out-of-the-box Tektura.

      The letter mentions a payment of 500 USD. It’s not clear if this covered Motter’s remuneration in full. Elsewhere in the book, Motter is quoted that logo design was more profitable than type design: “For a logo, I could charge as much as I got for an entire alphabet over the course of 2–3 years.” (original: »Für ein Logo konnte ich soviel verlangen, wie ich für ein ganzes Alphabet im Laufe von 2–3 Jahren hereinbekommen habe.«)

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