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Ghostbusters logo designer dies aged 70

November 24th, 2015

As a child of the 1980s, there are few logos of that era more recognizable to me than that of the Ghostbusters franchise. Sadly, the logo’s creator, Michael C. Gross, has died at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer.

Gross, a graphic designer and movie producer, in fact admitted that the Ghostbusters logo – the iconic image of the white ghost inside a red ‘no’ symbol – wasn’t his original idea, but he is remembered as the man who developed the concept and made it famous.

The design was awarded first place in a recent survey of designs by alumni of the prestigious art college the Pratt Institute, beating recognisable works such as the Scrabble board, the IBM logo and even the Chrysler building.

The Ghostbusters logo was developed in the early stages of the first movie’s development. Gross, who was also a producer on the movie, wanted to release a ‘teaser’ to the public, but copyright for the name ‘Ghostbusters’ had not yet been secured. The logo was therefore designed to hint at the movie’s content without revealing the name.

Despite its now legendary status, the Ghostbusters logo was almost pulled after Harvey Famous Cartoons, creator of Casper the Ghost, filed a $50 million lawsuit against Columbia Pictures. They claimed the ghost featured on the logo bore too similar a resemblance to their ghostly character ‘Fatso’, but the suit was dropped in 1986.

Do you remember the original Ghostbusters movie? What would the logo have looked like if Harvey Famous had continued with and won the lawsuit?!

About the Author:

Although her primary niche is in scientific writing and editing, freelance writer Lisa Martin is also a creative type with an eye for design. She regularly works alongside graphic designers and as such has a keen interest in the development of logos and branding.

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There is nothing to say, I love this logo. It is unmistakeable, unique character. I feel sad for loosing talented people like that. My heart goes to his family and friends.

by PavelNovember 27, 2015