Zwicky logos

Return with me now to the middle of June, when I was impelled into the world of Zwicky logos, including not only ones for prominent Swiss commercial enterprises in grain, sewing thread, and real estate (the grain company is where it all started on 6/14), but also for beer (in Colorado), hair styling (also in Colorado), car repair (in Canton Aargau in Switzerland), and astronomical surveys (in California).

The original impulse came from Kyle Wohlmut, posting on Facebook on 6/14 “at Zwicky Areal”, with this photo taken from his commuter train:

(#1) KW > AZ (about the gnome in the logo): I don’t think that’s a very good likeness…

The logo in question:

(#2) The gnome is indeed not a good likeness of me

There ensued a confusion that turned out to have to do with the word Areal, but eventually it was established that the gnomic logo in #1 and #2 is for the Zwicky grain company (Schweizerische Schälmühle E. Zwicky AG), headquartered in a corner of Canton Thurgau; while the Zwicky sewing-thread company (now merged into the German company A&E Gütermann) and the real-estate company (Zwicky & Co AG, headquartered in the Zürich suburb of Wallisellen) base their logos on the Donald Brun silk-cat poster of the 1950s (which I’ve posted about repeatedly).

But Kyle’s note sent me on a search for Zwicky logos, which took me immediately to the 4 Noses Brewing Company in Broomfield CO, makers of Zwicky P (a Pilsner-style lager) and on to all the rest.

The grain company. First, the gnomeless variant of (#2), which the grain company uses on many of its products:


Sometmes even further reduced to just the script name, as on this package of Zwicky Premium Fruit Muesli:


Then, for your entertainment, the FB exchange between me and Kyle, somewhat expanded:

— AZ > KW:  It’s the logo for the Zwicky grain / muesli company. But the Zwicky Areal [in Wallisellen, a suburb of Zürich] is a big real-estate development built on the old yarn factory area, the land of the old Zwicky silk thread company, a completely different enterprise, with a different logo (using the Zwicky silk cat). Just where is this high-rise building?

— KW: It’s at some Zwicky location between Frauenfeld and Weinfelden [in Canton Thurgau], I don’t know exactly (because I pass it on the train) but I think it is in a town called Hasli. What’s in it? I don’t know! It looks like a processing location (there’s more than one building there) and the building itself looks pretty industrial, rather than like residential or office space… Here’s the whole picture:

(#4) Also from the train, but with more context

Before I go on, a map of northeast Switzerland, focused on Canton Thurgau (Frauenfeld and Weinfelden are marked on the map):

(#5) Germany to the north, Liechtenstein and Austria to the east; note Zürich to the southwest of Thurgau, and Canton Glarus (where the Zwickys come from) directly to the south of it

And a close-up in Thurgau:


Then from the Zwicky Schälmühle site, about its history:

Everything began in Amlikon in a corner of Thurgau that remains as beautiful today as it was then. In 1892, Heinrich Zwicky took over the Amlikon mill that was at that point around 200 years old and operated it with a water turbine and petrol engine.

In 1911 he purchased the former Areal cement factory in Hasli from bankruptcy, in which a customer mill had been operated for 500 years [Areal here might have been a proper name — a family name or village name — or it might have been Latin, French, or German areal ‘local’]. In around 125 years, Schweizerische Schälmühle E. Zwicky AG has developed into the most important special mill of its kind. Our company in Müllheim-Wigoltingen has been family-owned since 1892 and is today in the fourth generation of management. The trademark, the gnome holding an ear of wheat, is a guarantee for high-quality products.

The cluster of buildings at the headquarters:

(#7) ‘128 years experience’

Silk thread and urban development. Frequently posted about on this blog: the Zwickys of Wallisellin, outside Zürich (and beyond), of the Zwicky thread and yarn company (going back to 1840) and now Zwicky Areal, an exploration of urban development on the grounds of the thread factory. The logo of the Zwicky Areal Facility is a stylized version of the Brun silk cat:

(#8) The deluxe version of the Brun poster: a cat may look at a cat

The logo in situ:


The brewery in Colorado. My first hit in a further search for Zwicky logos was that brewery in Colorado, which I posted about in my 6/15/22 posting “Zwicky P” (P for Pilsner, I hasten to remind you). With an elegant script Zwicky logo:


Hair styling in Denver. From the CacheFlowe site of “creative developer & musician, Justin Gitlin”:

My friend L.A. Zwicky [Lauren A. Zwicky. providing “gender free hair services” at 3553 Brighton Blvd. in Denver] put a call out for a new logo. I had the idea to recreate the vintage L.A. Looks logo, and that’s what happened:


For some discussion of Lauren Z, see my 3/24/16 posting “From the Zwicky diaspora: spinning and trimming in Denver”.

Car (and motorcycle) repair in Canton Aargau.

(#12) Daniel Zwicky, Geschäftsinhaber von Zwicky-Car (founded 2017 in Remetschwil, Canton Aargau), providing maintenance and repair of motor vehicles

Daniel Z wanted a logo for his garage, and got one by running a design contest with 99designs:

(#13) One of the contestants

(#14) The winner — as pure design, on a cap, on a t-shirt

Astronomical surveys. Yes, the Zwicky Transient Facility has a logo. From Wikipedia:


The Zwicky Transient Facility … is a wide-field sky astronomical survey using a new camera attached to the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California, United States. Commissioned in 2018, it supersedes the (Intermediate) Palomar Transient Factory (2009–2017) … It is named after the astronomer Fritz Zwicky.

Observing in visible and infra-red wavelengths, the Zwicky Transient Facility is designed to detect transient objects that rapidly change in brightness, for example supernovae, gamma ray bursts, and collision between two neutron stars, and moving objects like comets and asteroids.

Also from Wikipedia:

Fritz Zwicky was born in Varna, Bulgaria, to a Swiss father and Czech mother. His father, Fridolin (b. 1868), was a prominent industrialist in the Bulgarian city

… In 1904, at the age of six, Fritz was sent to his paternal grandparents in the family’s ancestral canton of Glarus, Switzerland, to study commerce. His interests shifted to math and physics. He received an advanced education in mathematics and experimental physics at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic (today known as ETH Zurich) in Zurich.

In 1925, Zwicky emigrated to the United States to work with Robert Millikan at California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

He ended up in Pasadena, where he died in 1974, but his roots were in Mollis.

An AMZ logo? The closest thing I have to an AMZ logo is, I guess, my dad’s nameplate, with our shared name on it in Fraktur-style printing:


When I was 10 or so, I imagine I would have thought this was just perfect (for both of us). But now I’d want something prettier, bolder, more pictorial, funnier, gayer, and/or more whimsical. I’d announce a contest, but what would I offer as a prize? Unlimited access to my blog postings and pages? Oh…

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