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CHARACTER TRADEMARKS by John Mendenhall (Chronicle Books: $14.95).

December 09, 1990|Charles Solomon

This delightful anthology of characters used as logos by American businesses includes both the famous (Speedy Alka-Seltzer, Poppin' Fresh, The Jolly Green Giant) and the infamous, (the bizarre Chicken Boy who watches over downtown L.A.). The styles of the various characters suggest the changes in advertising graphics--and taste--that occurred over the decades: The original Aunt Jemima was an ugly black stereotype, who bears only scant resemblance to the pretty, lighter-skinned woman on modern packages. A treasure trove for illustrators and graphic designers.

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