Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Logo Stories

Just look around your kitchen and you'll find the faces to the world's most famous logos.
Now, here are their stories...

Morton Salt: The Morton Umbrella Girl

Morton Salt began as a small Midwestern sales agency in 1848. In 1889, Joy Morton bought a major interest in the company and in 1910, he changed its name to Morton Salt Company.

The Morton Umbrella Girl got her start in 1914. The logo concept was that Morton Salt was nothing like regular salt of the day.
It poured without clumps, even in damp weather.
The company added magnesium carbonate as an absorbing agent to ensure that its table salt poured freely, later it was changed to calcium silicate.

At first, the advertising agency suggested "Even in rainy weather, it flows freely" as the company's motto. Morton thought that was too long, so the motto was changed to "When it Rains it Pours."

Betty Crocker

In the early 1920s, the Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis (a milling company that later merged with other companies to form General Mills) received a lot of mail from customers asking baking questions.

In 1921, the company thought that it would be better to sign the responses personally, so they combined the last name of its director, William Crocker, with the first name "Betty" (chosen because "it sounded cheery, wholesome, and folksy.")  The Betty Crocker signature was signed by a company secretary who won some kind of a contest.

The whole Betty Crocker persona was carefully planned by a group of college educated women. 

On the radio, Betty was the celebrity chef who could speak to her followers. Cooking and Gold Medal Flour were central to the script. 
"If you load a man’s stomach with boiled cabbage and greasy fried potatoes,” Betty once told listeners, “can you wonder that he wants to start a fight, or go out and commit a crime?” But she also reminded women that their role as homemakers was important, and that their aspirations could be “as great as woman could have in any occupation.” 

In 1924, Betty Crocker debuted on the radio (on the nation's first cooking show). In 1936, Betty Crocker finally got a face: artist Neysa McMein brought together all women in the General Mills' Home Service Department and created a composite face. Over the next eight decades, Betty had several makeovers, facelifts and reconstructions.
We like the 1955 Betty best.

Gerber Baby

In 1928, Frank Daniel Gerber and his son Daniel Frank Gerber, yes, that's their name(s), of Fremont Canning Company wanted to promote their new baby food. The company had been a small packager of peas, beans, and fruits in rural Michigan. Daniel Frank Gerber managed to convinced his father Daniel Frank Gerber, to manufacture and sell strained baby food.

The Gerbers wanted a baby face to be the face of their their new baby food, and they held a contest. Amongst the many drawings and paintings submitted (including some elaborate oil paintings of baby portraits) was an unfinished charcoal sketch by Dorothy Hope Smith of Boston. Dorothy drew a five month old baby with tousled hair and bright blue eyes, using her neighbor's baby as a model. She offered to finish the sketch if she won, but the judges decided to use it as it was.

The Gerber Baby turned out to be so popular that over a decade later, the company changed its name to Gerber Products Company.

So, who was the original Gerber Baby? Her name is Ann Turner Cook, (photo above) a mystery author and former high school English literature teacher.