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Famous Logos Revised: Fortune 500 Sans Fortune

Downward design, or what happens when the corporate glass is half-empty.

We’re going down. Just listen to the media, the politicians, the self-proclaimed experts — we’re bombarded with messages of economic apocalypse. And it seems like it’s not just little guy taking the hit. So what happens to the biggest logs that stoke the fire of capitalism, the world’s most powerful and recognized brands, at a time of indisputable recession?

According a yet-to-be-tracked down designer, by way of a good friend of ours, here’s what happens.

  • Update: The original author of the work has finally stepped forward — the logo parodies below were designed by the team at Business Pundit. For the full collection in all its glory, please see their original article.

The images were emailed to us by a friend who found them on a random Istanbul-based student Yahoo group. But we’re bent on giving proper credit to this piece of genius, so stay tuned for updates.

Meanwhile, we thought we’d add one — perhaps THE sign-of-the-apocalypse one — of our own, and leave you with that:

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Artist Spotlight: Alan Macdonald

The commercialization of heaven, or what 17th century painters know about Diet Coke that we don’t.

Many have criticized the commercial burden of modernity, but few have done it with such quiet, haunting precision as painter Alan Macdonald.

His portraits populate the world of 17th century oil paining with contemporary brands, creating a sense of uncomfortable anachronism that drives us to such existential questions as the purpose of our modern lives and the void we’re all looking to fill with consumerism.

Marathon Man

The paintings often feature lyrics from pop culture’s most iconic songs, immaculately chosen to deepen the impact of the imagery.

Drug Run

Much of his work is an explicit social commentary on vice culture, exposing drugs and alcohol as the true Mephistopheles of modernity.

The Vices of Venus

The Ghost of Saturday Night

And while some of his work has a sense of humorous sarcasm about it, perhaps the most unsettling thing about is the reverse Woody Allenesque comic distress that oozes from it — we may be making a mockery of it all, but deep down we know we’re still headed straight to the very peril we are laughing at.

The Bird Brain

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In other news…

We interrupt this program to bring you an utterly off-topic, yet utterly amusing message:

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History, Animated, Quick and Uneuphemistic

The moon hoax, why Nixon lost the debate, and what dinosaurs have to do with Gerald Ford and a chicken.

Despite our general dismissal of history as a boiling pot of mistakes that humanity never learned from, we have to admit it offers a great and telling tale or two. And the History Channel is out to prove it.

The Great and Telling Tales of History is a brilliant series of 1-minute films in which history’s walking encyclopedia, historian Timothy Dickinson, tells us, in a grandfatherly voice and an endearing British accent, little-known and fascinating facts about the history of politics, pop culture and the world at large.

Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit

But what makes the films truly marvelous is that we’re taken through the unexpected twists and turns of history by artist Benjamin Goldman‘s wonderful animation — dark and delightful at the same time, every bit as full of unexpected twists and turns as the stories themselves.

The Brain

The talks aren’t just mere recaps of history, either. They’re full of Tim Dickinson’s own, often unapologetic and unorthodox, theories about the world — like the rather snarky short on drugs, in which he shares this uneuphemistically true sentiment about human nature:

The point is, we are fundamentally dissatisfied with our standard biological condition, and we’ll find one way or another of altering it.

Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit

Some of our favorites: Jimmy Carter vs. the Killer RabbitThe Brain, The Strange Case of Mary Toft, and Charles Darwin.

Charles Darwin

>> via Coudal

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