Famous Logos in Wingdings
Wingdings is an unusual font. Unlike Helvetica, Papyrus or even Jokerman, it’s not a font that uses letters. Instead it’s what’s called a dingbat font. Dingbat fonts date back hundreds of years, to ornamental woodblocks used to decorate lead type. There are thousands of these ornamental fonts on the market, but of all the dingbat fonts out there, Wingdings is the most popular. It’s popular for the same reason that Comic Sans is popular. It’s come standard with every version of Microsoft Windows since version 3.1.
Knowing my love of typography and logos, my friend Lacy suggested that I try making logos in Wingdings. The results are interesting, almost alien:
The first logo on the list is that of 7-Eleven. Since the “7” comes out as a keyboard, the logo looks like something you’d see in a 1990s Internet cafe. The next two, Amazon and Century 21, look almost identical. Without being able to read the words or distinguish the fonts, they’re hard to tell apart. Ocean Spray, Samsung and Skype are also pretty similar, just blue blobs with odd glyphs. The other logos are more distinguishable, but there’s something sort of negative about them. T-Mobile has a bomb, Levi’s has a frowny face and Land Rover has a skull and crossbones. There are actually a lot of negative symbols in this font, which is probably what led to the urban legend that says this is an Anti-Semetic font.
Of the ten logos I rendered in Wingdings, my favorite by far is that of Motel 6. The “6” came out as an hourglass, while the lowercase letters in “motel” came out as a series of simple shapes. (No bombs or skulls in this logo.) I could almost see this being a real logo. (Almost.) An hourglass would even work for a hotel chain, since a hotel/motel is somewhere you go to relax and rest up, at least for a pre-set amount of time.
There are several other dingbat fonts on the market, including Webdings, Zapf Dingbats and hundreds of specialized font sets. What decorative font is your favorite? Let me know in the comment section.