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The Story of “O”

Once upon a time, the film industry people asked the design people to create their movie poster but to make it like a logo–you know, for posters, merchandise, and branding. “Just give me the letter O,” the design people answered. “It worked for us on book covers, CD’s, TV, and theatre posters, and even on presidential campaigns. We cannot miss that one.”

In romantic comedies, the O becomes a wedding ring, for instance. A lifeboat in water-themed movies. Dog tags in war movies, planets in science-fiction ones. And Joe Dirt isn’t that different from Rocky, after all. Images from the collection of Mirko Ilic.

See other common design tropes:

Beauty and the Beast

The A-Frame

Additional image galleries here, including four designers who storyboard their favorite scene from Alice in Wonderland.



PRINT (founded 1940) is where creative people gather to inspire and build design dialogue. Perpetually curious about everything design, we report on, curate and celebrate visual culture, the makers of that culture and the expression of graphic design in all its forms and mediums.  


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