The aim of all advertising is first to create recognition for a brand, and then, ideally, affection and loyalty. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways, but one of the best examples can be found in a symbol that is now 116 years old: the Michelin Man, or Bibendum, as he was formally known.
He is an unusual figure in logo design. A light-hearted, jolly character, the Michelin Man is more of a mascot for the brand, albeit a rather strange one constructed solely from tyres. In this he is very much a product of his time, as design historian and curator Alain Weill suggests: ‘Using specific characters was the trend – the little girl for Menier, the Pierrot for Cointreau, and so on. The great thing with the chubby little man ...