New East Digital Archive

Follow of the week: Soviet logos

Follow of the week: Soviet logos

9 June 2017

Soviet logos is a project by Lithuanian designer Rokas Sutkaitis, who finds, carefully redraws and explains logos and trademarks hailing from behind the Iron curtain.

The Instagram, which now has 10.7K followers, is a minimal collection of logos for various Soviet brands from all over the USSR, from confectionary to refrigerator exhibitions. It includes a logo that appears to be a predecessor to Internet Explorer, with others that could be mistaken for Pokémon. Most of the logos are forgotten or obscure, even to those who lived in the Soviet Union, while others, like the famous Intourist travel company logo, are still quite widely recognised.

Sutkaitis says that at first he looked for logos in all kinds of places — from online forums for collectors of Soviet dolls to old exhibition catalogues and Soviet appliances and packaging. Since his Instagram gained popularity, Sutkaitis has also started receiving submissions.

He says logos, particularly Soviet, have been a hobby of his for a while now, and when he realised there was no online resources for other fans he decided to start an Instagram account to document some of the best pieces of design history. Moreover, he wanted to make sure the logos were redrawn for clarity and explained for the Western audience too.

He also notes the absurdity behind creating logos in a centralised Soviet economy: “A trademark is an attribute of a capitalistic society so the whole concept of using logos in socialist country sounds a bit utopian. Logos are used to distinguish brands in a fierce world of competition, but why would you need to do something like that in USSR?”