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Green Globe Logo (2010)

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Holmeslice, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Holmeslice

    Holmeslice VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Somewhere rolling around the the darker recesses of my brain is memory of a story I read years ago about the design and implementation of the Norton Green Globe logo; that no one liked it when it came out, but it was done by a HUGE and successful marketing company.

    I ask because I just met a guy who works for a HUGE marketing company, and I believe it was the one who did the logo.

    Can anyone point me to a place where this story exists? Or am I trippin'? (wouldn't be the first time).

    -Kenny C.
    NYC
     
  2. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Yes, it's true.

    Wolff Olins is the name of the company.
     
  3. Holmeslice

    Holmeslice VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Well, thank you!
    You have answered one of my biggest questions, but can you (or anyone) point me to the story?

    I met a guy last week who is a director for Wolff Olins and we had a long chat about this. He was barely born in the 70s, but as he was telling me about his company and how they did the Apple Records logo, among other things, I knew it was the same company.

    I'd like to point him to some sort of printed story about the whole brouhaha.

    Thanks,

    -Kenny C.
    NYC
     
  4. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/b ... 705926.ece

    "THE year is 1967, the Sixties are swinging, the mini is mini and a young ad exec in London has a cool idea for selling the new Norton Commando motorcycle.
    Michael Wolff, of Wolff Olins, wants to use a solid green circle as the signature on what was to become one of the world’s coolest motorbikes. No name, no logo, just green.

    The blob would go on the speedometer and tachometer, on badges, key fobs, T-shirts. Green balloons would float above football stadiums, a green vinyl single would promote the Norton.

    “It was a symbol of almost arrogant simplicity. It represented nothing. It was just a thing in itself. Michael Wolff believes that people are as moved by apparently meaningless objects as by logical argument, and that this influence has barely been exploited,” explained a Wolff Olins publication of the period.

    Notice the past tense. Norton hated it. And while a modified green blob can still be seen on the clocks of old Nortons, the rest of the campaign was scrapped."

    ________________________________________________________

    There's also a page on the subject included in Mick Duckworth's book "Norton Commando"

    Wolff Olins were responsible for the 'green blob' which was later refined into the green globe symbol still used today by Andover Norton but I'm not sure Wolff Olins had anything to do with that or not.
     
    Jerry Doe likes this.
  5. Holmeslice

    Holmeslice VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Brilliant. Thank you. My friend will get a kick out of this. Wolff Olins is quite a company. They do marketing and logos for some pretty big stuff - like entire countries! They just did a logo for Portugal, and for NYC, among thousands of others we see and identify with every day.

    Yes, I suppose it is Mick Duckworth's Norton book I read it in, as that's a book close to my heart for obvious reasons.

    And personally, I like the Green Globe.

    Thanks Les.

    -Kenny C.
    NYC
     
    Jerry Doe likes this.
  6. nortonspeed

    nortonspeed Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2020 at 5:53 AM
  7. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Then they changed it to blue and sold it to A.T.&T.
     
    Jerry Doe likes this.
  8. DogT

    DogT VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    LOL, and then they called it the "Death Star".

    Dave
    69S
     
  9. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    In any case, it still looked better than those stupid squiggly blue and white NVT arrows. :p
     
  10. MarshalNorton

    MarshalNorton

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    I like the green globes on my tach and speedo faces.
    Lends sort of a mystery to the casual Norton enthusiast who ganders over at the fuel station.
    As if the 70's yellow wasn't enough of an attention grabber. :p
    Saturday, I drove through a whole town of bikers.
    Everything there from the 50's to present.
    I get a two thumbs up by a couple modern Triumph riders as I did a drive by.
    It was good to be me on my yellow Norton :wink:
    Marshal
     
  11. BillT

    BillT

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    I think the greatest designer of the 20th century was Raymond Loewy. He had his hand in everything - from kitchen gadgets to cars and trains. He also designed some of the best-known logos in the world such as:

    Coca-Cola
    Exxon
    BP
    Shell Oil
    International Harvester
    United Airlines
    TWA
    NASA
    US Postal Service
    Nabisco
    Canada Dry
    and about a hundred others - many still virtually unchanged from his original design.

    He even designed the Hillman Minx of the '50s-60s(OK, nobody's perfect!), which helps explain some styling similarities between the Minx and the Studebakers of the same period.
     
  12. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    At the Motorcycle Show in London where the Commando was introduced (late fall 1967), the bikes on the stand had the silver metallic tank and seat fairing, the orange seat and the green glob badges on the tank.

    One commentator queried whether the whole thing had been financed by the Republic of Ireland (whose flag was green, orange and white). Another commentator overheard a potential customer asking where the switch was for those turn signals on the petrol tank, and why were they green?

    As I understood it, the cost of that PR disaster was about equal to the previous two year's profits! I don't think N-V was ever profitable again.
     
  13. MarshalNorton

    MarshalNorton

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Now that's some inside scoop.
    Thanks Frank
    Marshal
     
  14. rx7171

    rx7171 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    I think it was pretty smart to take a bike with an engine and trans design already 20 years old, combine them with a rubberized mount and market the package as the next great cool new idea.
    With the sexy ads it was the bike I lusted after (I hoped the girls came with the bike) and I'm willing to admit the marketing worked for me.
    However the girls were more effective than the green globe would have ever been.

    Bob
     
  15. Dommie Nator

    Dommie Nator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Thread resurrection I know, but I've only just read the book and came across when the blob transformed into the globe (better imho).
    Apologies if any copyright breaches have been incurred so delete if necessary. 15822829651713159102597665480504.jpg
     
    kommando likes this.
  16. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Even in Winter I get to see the Globe every day.

    [​IMG]
     
    p400, maylar, Bernhard and 1 other person like this.
  17. Dommie Nator

    Dommie Nator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Nice!
     
  18. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020 at 5:02 AM
  19. Bernhard

    Bernhard

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    I want one! Do they come as self winding?:)
     
  20. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    I got it from here

    https://yourwatchdesign.co.uk/design-your-own-watch

    Its just a cheap Chinese watch movement but they do personalisation of the watch face, they should still have my artwork on file. If not I can provide a copy if I can find it. Its battery powered which lasts a year or 2.

    I have one of the original watches from the 80's made in UK but its broken and worn badly so this was a cheapish way of replacing it.
     

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