Messing with Our Logo: A Glimpse of the Past, A Look at the Present

The DeBergerac Logos: The left is for modern work, the right for historical projects.


 The guys at DeBergerac Productions undoubtedly take their work very seriously, but they also take their fun very seriously too! What started out as a joke has turned into sort-of a “vanity project” for the company. With work in digital restoration, most notably the salvaging of the 1927 film Fly Low Jack and the Game, the company is constantly taking a look back into history. So it was apropos for them to do something that signified their connection to the past.

Being heavily involved in works of cinema’s yesteryear, Mike and Brian were in conversation about the old Hollywood film studio logos of the early-twentieth century. They joked that it would be “cool” if they were to apply some of the aesthetics of the old logos to the DeBergerac company logo. A joke turned into a spark of an idea. The original logo designer, Yasmin Jung, was contacted to help replicate the logo as if it were created in the mid-1920’s, the focal point of time of their restoration work. Mike and Yasmin have retained a personal friendship for years, with that friendship extending to each other’s children. While getting the kids together for sleepovers or taking them for an outing at Seabreeze, the two would casually discuss ideas for the logo as the kids played.

What they came up with was something similar enough to be recognizable as “DeBergerac,” but with subtle differences and details. At first glance, it is obviously still the silhouette of Cyrano DeBergerac, sword lifted in the air, standing tall on a reel of film. While the figure on the original is mostly blacked out, details were added to Cyrano’s outfit, such as ruffles in the sleeves and buttons on the vest. The cape was elongated and contained its own ruffles in the fabric. The feather on the hat was exaggerated much more than the original and the collar was accentuated upon as well.

The most notable difference comes from the reel of film. The original logo trails off into several diamond-shaped “stars,” seemingly emanating from the strip of film itself. This depiction is an alliteration for digitizing film. The historically influenced reproduction’s “stars” are much more prominent, clearly stylized in traditional form compared to the modern interpretation of the original logo.

To send the message home, the font of the company name “DeBergerac Productions” was changed to represent the time shift. The original logo features an easily replicated lettering, one that can be used for duplication or reprinting. The typeface was changed to something more traditional, indicative of the time this logo exemplifies.

DeBergerac decided to take an approach that would see their current logo become a simplified version if it were to have actually gone through an evolutionary process. The difference in font and detail was modeled after the changes undergone by Hollywood’s oldest film studio, Paramount Pictures. Their design would see different shapes and words eventually be dropped, giving the look a minimalist approach. Other studios, such as Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, and 20th Century Fox, have increased the complexity of their logos with the advents of color, animation, and CGI in film. However, DeBergerac decided that NOT getting back to basics was the best way to go.

As a society, we seem to naturally become more disconnected from the past by proxy, but it seems fewer people actively engage learning about how times were before. Even in the world of film, as technology constantly eclipses the old systems of doing things, those old ways become increasingly perceived as archaic and outdated. The industry is lucky to have companies like DeBergerac Productions that provide the gateway to the remembrances of how things used to be.

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