The Awkward Charm of Ampersands

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Maybe you already noticed it but there’s a growing fascination for the ampersand. Especially among brands (& amperbrands). Fashion labels use it to convey a feeling of craftsmanship. You know, the two dudes who initially shared a dream and, with no money in their pockets, established their small shop creating beautiful dresses out of tablecloth or old parachutes (Dolce&Gabbana). Financial institutions use it to reassure customers about the power of merging forces, & the fact that only money & money make money (Standard&Poor’s – how ironic!). Others simply use it because it’s cool to have a flourish character in the middle of their logo (Cats&Dogs). We might discover, one day, that Johnson&Johnson is a giant brand founded by a single person with a multiple personality disorder. Hergè, the brilliant guy behind Tin Tin and his magic adventures, was quite subtle when he created Dupont&Dupond, who identical twins you could spot from one another by the different shape of their mustaches – and the last letter of their name. In any case, it doesn’t really matter what words are on either side of it. The name is glued together by the hypnotic presence of the ampersand. That’s the trick! A magnetic symbol of unity that distracts you from the void on each side of it. Brandpowder played with an exploration of words and images, just to show how much these names are rooted in our visual and commercial culture. We didn’t use the ampersand on purpose. We wanted the power of names and images to make the magic happen. We explored brands, common names and places. It’s up to you, now, to guess them all (beware of puns!). At the end of the article you’ll see also our ironic interpretation about this pointless point: Call your Company “Nothing & Nothing”, design a nice lettering with a bold, sexy ampersand, & people won’t notice it.

Legal disclaimer: it was not possible to contact all sources. All photographs are property of their authors. They are published on this blog as part of an article on communication, with no commercial value. It an author reclaims his or her copyright, the image will be promptly removed. Brandpowder wishes to thank them all in advance for their participation on this endeavor. Poster of 30 sexiest ampersands: courtesy of Spoon Graphics.
If you want to read some more about the strange power of ampersands, click  here.
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