I'm overwhelmed by Alf Lenni's observations regarding the derivative uses of the color stripes I did for Polaroid back in the 1960s and I suggest you click on this link and scroll down for his perceptive comments.
Alf gives his address as Malmo/Copenhagen/Sweden, which is a long way from Cambridge -- or Cupertino, Vienna and Berlin, where these mutations eventually appeared.
The original color stripes were to differentiate between the new Type 108 Colorpack Film and the gray color stripes that identified Type 107 black and white film. On the far left is Colorpack Film Type 88 and its counterpart Type 87 black and white film in the smaller square format.
The color stripes then became the product identity of this specific family of Polaroid products of hardware and film. Other designs identified other specific families of products such as SX-70, Polavision, et al.
Then in 1980, Polaroid management decided to forego further attempts at product identity, most likely to keep the work in house as an economy measure, and rely on an overall one size-fits-all corporate ID approach. I believe this to be the work of a committee. Though I was being retained as design consultant, I wasn't invited to participate in the discussions.
Meanwhile, out west in Cupertino, California, a fledgling computer company calling itself Apple came up with this corporate mark.
© Alf Lenni
Alf Lenni created this graphic showing how the Polaroid color stripes were morphed into the Apple logo. I'm grateful to him for pointing this out as it had never occurred to me that they would use the same percentages of process colors as Polaroid. Apple has since resorted to using silver, white and black.
And then, this, which showed up in the last week of 2010.
And just today, from a Huffington Post story about Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Photo © Huffington Post.
So I guess my question is this: what would these guys have done if I hadn't come up with the color stripes for Polaroid? (BTW, the other Polaroid company is also using the same color stripes.)
Where's the creativity?