Don't miss the latest stories
How The ‘Friends’ Logo Design Became The One With All The Love
By Mikelle Leow, 13 Oct 2019
Image via Friends
If you don’t recognize the logo above, chances are you haven’t been on the internet or have never owned a television set. The Friends branding is so iconic, you can replace its name with any phrase and people will still be able to connect the dots.
Speaking of dots, if you’ve wondered what each letter in the title stands for, here’s the answer: nothing.
The logomark isn’t an acronym—executive producer Kevin S. Bright previously confirmed with Comedy Central UK that the dots were “just a design element” placed there to make the title “stick out.”
In fact, the Friends logo, designed by a woman named Deborah Naysee, was a rushed job and “the first and only pass at a logo,” Bright explained. Nevertheless, the crew fell in love with it “right away.”
Today, t-shirts and mugs branded with the Friends typeface are still selling like hotcakes, so much so that even independent designers want in on a slice. Luckily, it’s actually pretty easy to make your own fan merchandise; the wordmark was replicated and turned into a free typeface by Switzerland-based designer Gabriel Weiss, so anybody can create their own Friends-inspired work. Perhaps these fan homages were central in the title’s evolution into a pop culture icon.
Seeing as how Friends-themed products are a dime a dozen these days, Warner Brothers hasn’t seemed to have placed a heavy hand on the unlicensed use of the Friends typeface. According to Vox, it’s likely because fonts cannot be copyrighted in the US. So long as the Friends name doesn’t accompany the typeface, fanmade merch could classify as satirical or derivative works, thus falling under fair use.
There could also be a psychological reason as to why the Friends logo is still so popular. Handwriting analyst Elaine Charal told Vox that the handwritten sans serif suggests a “more direct and less conservative” personality, with the “doughy” aspects indicating “more sensual aspects of the show.”
Additionally, the logo remains a contemporary look today. Apart from 2019 marking the 25th anniversary of the long-running series, the “geometric, mechanical sans serif” aesthetic is still growing in popularity in the tech world, said Stephen Coles, curator at San Francisco’s Letterform Archive, so it still fits among brandings of Spotify, Netflix and the like.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Friends (@friends) on
[via Vox, images via various sources]
More related news
Also check out these recent news