Archaic Bell System Pitch Video Offers Topical Branding Advice

All week, the internet has been on fire over Google’s bold decision to transform its logo by axing those pesky and decidedly old-fashioned serifs. Guess what? Telephone companies figured that out decades ago.

This 26-minute time warp is an actual pitch video, created by Saul Bass in 1969 to convince AT&T that Bell System telephone companies needed a new logo. It’s a fascinating reminder that technology companies and their logos have been evolving, sometimes quite dramatically, for generations. And despite the ludicrously dated delivery, some of the design advice in here is actually pretty topical.


Below are a few iconic incarnations of the Bell System logo, spanning nearly a century.

1889 — 1900

1921 — 1939


1969 — 1983


Finally, the divestiture of the Bell System in 1984 resulted in the Death Star:



2005 — Present


[AT&T Archives h/t]

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Images via Wikimedia


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