Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Bunny Logo

Playboy was originally going to be called Stag Party, and its logo was a stag in a smoking jacket, drawn by cartoonist Arv Miller. But five weeks before launching, Stag magazine slapped Hugh Hefner with a trademark infringement suit. Hugh went back to his list of names and choose the second one – Playboy, named after a car company that his friend’s mother had worked for. The rabbit was simply chosen because bunnies like lots of sex. For the second issue, the Art Director Art Paul re-drew the rabbit in half an hour, into one of the world’s most famous logos. The rabbit head has now appeared on the cover of every issue since the second, often hidden as a beauty mark, reflection in a girl’s eye or a knot in a bikini. One of Hugh’s favourite punchlines is that without the last minute name change, as he would never have been able to build a nightclub empire, as waitresses with antlers on their head just doesn't hold the same appeal.
(Did you spot the bunny bubble in the picture?)

FYI: In 1959 a New York reader was able to send Playboy a letter with the rabbit head as the only address.

The incarnations of the Playboy bunny (from l-r): Arv Miller's debonaire rabbit, Art Paul's first sketch, the logo today


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