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Tonio’s logo

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Mar 22nd, 2020. Artwork published in
circa 1975
Tonio’s logo 1
Source: American Trademark Designs, Dover Publications, 1976. License: All Rights Reserved.

Besides his film titles and posters, Saul Bass was a prolific designer of logos, and while his reputation is for timeless marks for prominent companies, he also created marks for smaller, short-lived businesses like this one found in Barbara Baer Capitman’s American Trademark Designs, published by Dover in 1976. The caption in the book:

Tonio’s, a restaurant, a division of Lawry’s. Designed by Saul Bass & Associates, Inc.

Tonio’s was an Italian spot in Los Angeles that apparently didn’t last long. It was located at 395 North Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena, which is now a barbecue restaurant.

It’s likely this mark was drawn by hand, not working directly with Helvetica, but it is clearly inspired by the typeface’s italic. The apostrophe is a simplified prime-ish stroke rather than a curved typographic glyph.

Tonio’s logo 2
Source: Photo: Stephen Coles. License: All Rights Reserved.


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