|history of the playboy rabbit head logo designed by art paul and hugh hefner's merchandise today designed by pippa brooks.......................................|
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|FAQ on the 'playboy' logo|
- november 2000 -
what is the origin of the famous 'playboy' rabbit head?
designed by art paul, the magazine's first art director, the rabbit head
has appeared on the cover of every issue of the magazine since the second.
hugh hefner, the creator of the 'playboy' magazine, once explained,
'I selected a rabbit as the symbol for the magazine
because of the humorous sexual connotation, and because he offered an
image that was frisky and playful. I put him in a tuxedo to add the idea of
sophistication. there was another editorial consideration, too.
since both 'the new yorker' and 'esquire' use men as their symbols,
I felt the rabbit would be distinctive; and the notion of a rabbit dressed up
in formal evening attire struck me as charming, amusing and right.'
added art paul, 'if I had any idea how important that little rabbit was going to be,
I probably would have redrawn him a dozen times to make certain
I was doing him justice, and I suppose none of those versions would have
turned out as well as the original. as it was, I did one drawing and that was it.
I probably spent all of half an hour on it.'
the original drawing of the rabbit
the bunny icon ?
a shrewd marketing strategy had transformed the bunny icon
from a dopey adolescent idea (rabbits, see, they like sex -- lots of it)
to an immediately recognizable symbol of sophistication and style.
the rabbit was so well known that in 1959 a new york reader was able to send
'playboy' a letter with the rabbit head as the only address.
what was the big bunny?
the big bunny was a 119-foot long DC-9 jet that became the
most famous private plane in the world.
painted black with a white rabbit head on its tail, it carried
hef between his chicago and los angeles homes and around
the world. it was equipped with a galley, living room, disco,
movie and video equipment, a wet bar and sleeping quarters
for 16 guests.
the company sold the plane in 1976 after hef settled in los angeles.
hef's private black jet
is it true that hef has an animal species named for him?
yes. as a tribute to hef, the discoverers of a certain endangered
marsh rabbit gave it the scientific classification of
'sylvilagus palustris hefneri'.
all images courtesy playboy
nostalgic about 'playboy' life back in the day...
dress up in disco-style in rhinestone-studded merchandise designed by
pippa brooks from soho's (london- brewer street) naughty shop 'shopgirl'.
to promote 'shop' she was photographed for the US magazine 'jane' wearing
a vintage 'playboy' bunny necklace. when the issue came out, 'playboy'
contacted her, asking if she wants to stock other items.
'I adore this aesthethic: sexy 70s pin-up glamour, so I was amazed when
'playboy' agreed that I could design my own 'playboy' collection, using
the bunny logo for lingerie, jewellery, t-shirts...'
(pippa appears as playmate in the febbruary issue 2001 of 'playboy' magazine.)
/ see the designboom history of playboy
/ see the designboom interview with hugh hefner
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