I’m fooling around with using ScribeFire to create posts, so this might not work. Hopefully it does, because I really think people should check out this neat feature at Vegas Tripping, a detailed rumination on the evolution of Las Vegas casino logos:
But what is it that makes for a successful logo in Las Vegas? How does
a casino’s logo typographically distill a properties essence into a
single, identifiable mark? What does a continually changing logo tell
us about the validity of given properties theme or identity?
Vegas Casino Logos – Turning A Name Into A Vibe – VegasTripping.com
Chuckmonster’s done a great job of running down how several MGM Mirage logos have changed over the past few years.
A while back I was doing some research on casinos in the 1970s, and I was amazed at how haphazard many of the logos were. Different publications used really different logos and typefaces for the same casino, and there didn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason for it. I’m almost positive there was no professional design firm at work; instead, it was just whatever the ad designers had lying around that filled the space.
One thing’s clear: casino names are getting less directly evocative these days. There’s not the same immediate semantic difference between, say, Echelon and Cosmopolitan than there was between the Stardust and the Tropicana.
Now that I think about, I might be cherry-picking there. For a while, Strip casino names tended to reference the desert (Sahara, Sands, Dunes, Aladdin, Desert Inn). And names like Riviera and Last Frontier were hardly unique, particularly when Las Vegas itself was promoting itself as “the last frontier.” Even Stardust and Tropicana are kind of vague, though you get the point that one of them will have sparkly things on the ceiling and the other will have lots of water and vegetation. Don’t ask me how the Tiffany glass windows got into the mix over at the Trop, or the ski chalet lowrises. Clearly, someone was going off message.
Maybe we should give Jay Sarno credit for bringing specific names and property identities to the Strip. As Chuck pointed out, the Circus Circus logo hasn’t changed since he opened the place, and the Caesars Palace typeface has remained the same. There was a big logo change, though. Originally, the logo was a fat Caesar lying on a couch being fed grapes by two girls, but in the 1980s they dumped that for the angry-looking centurion. What better way to say, “the corporate era is here?”
In any event, that’s a great feature that everyone should read.
And there’s also a great review of Hooters up, with an embedded video that answers the question, “what do the air conditioners at Hooters sound like?”