Bill Warriner—filmmaker and photographer who spent a lot of years in Polaroid’s marketing department—e-mailed the other day to remark on the company’s original logo. This is the one that’s an abstraction of a pair of crossed polarizing filters, here seen on the corporate letterhead:
It’s the symbol that Paul Giambarba and then Bill Field moved away from, in favor of the News Gothic logo that started appearing around 1958. “Soap bubbles” is how Giambarba described the old one, and when rendered on a pale background, that is how it sometimes looked.
Anyway, Bill Warriner told me something I did not know: Within the company, the logo was nicknamed “the Crosseyed Owl.” And, he added, when it came time to build a small café in Polaroid’s offices at Technology Square, Bill Field and his colleagues decided to have a little fun. The café was itself named the Crosseyed Owl, and its walls were papered with images of those very birds (some crosseyed, some not).
Well, as soon as he said it, I was finally able to understand this photo, which I had in my files:
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