AliExpress, which is something like China's counterpart to Amazon, has been accused of hosting design pirates before. It's unclear if this is related, but Spencer Chen (AliExpress parent company Alibaba's VP of Marketing and Business Development) Tweeted this earlier this week:
Those are reportedly images from a 1989 book called Trademarks & Symbols of the World: The Alphabet in Design, and their original creators, dates and clients are printed right beneath them. Let's put them side-by-side with their modern-day, er, "equivalents:"
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So, what do you think? "Parallel thinking" or shameless cribbing? The Medium and Flipboard logos seem pretty innocent to me, but I have a hard time looking at the AirBNB and Beats logos.
That being said, as an industrial designer who's solely worked on three-dimensional products, I've never designed a logo in my life. Graphic designers and art directors among you, is it reasonable to believe that the latter logos were created without ever having seen the black-and-white images?