Cool story of a famous bald guy logo ;-)

Valve bald guy logoRecently, a Redditor wrote Valve Software Company to inquire about the bald guy in the Valve logo pictured here. The Redditor got this really cool response from Ray Ueno:

I worked with Gabe and team to develop the "guy in the logo" back when we first named the company, Valve (circa 1995/6), and needed to develop the visual brand vocabulary to go along with it.
Interesting that you should ask about the bald guy. Back then, the casting agencies we were using to find models only had "supermodel"-type talent. We kept requesting "heavy-set", "normal" models, and they kept sending us "beautiful", "thin", "perfect" headshots to review.
So, we finally asked them to just go out on the street and pull "everyday Joes" who were more "interesting", "common", and for the bald guy, "kinda big, heavy-set, and bald".
They went out to the streets of Seattle's Broadway district, took tons of polaroids of the types of folks we were looking for, and brought the shots back to us. We selected the bald guy from the batches of "off-the-street" polaroids—he was literally pulled out of a coffee shop or book store!
A few days later, we brought him into studio and shot the image you now see at the beginning of our games. We also shot a 2nd image of a different guy with a valve in his eye using the same process (you might remember him as well—attached below). The two comprised the "Open your mind. Open your eyes." concept for our initial brand, respectively.
It's been very long since we did that work, so we don't know who the models were. And the fact that they weren't professional models, would make it very difficult to find them—if not impossible for the bald guy (not facing camera).

My fellow bald people, lift your heads high not just to be seen, but also because you ARE seen! :-)

Views: 750

Comment by Jera on April 23, 2011 at 3:51am
Way cool!
Comment by R0BB on April 23, 2011 at 9:00am
Unique branding !
Am I the only one who has the urge to open that valve to see what comes out ??

- Carry on.
Comment by Bald and Fabulous AKA Terri on April 23, 2011 at 11:46am
awesome....awesome pic and awesome ad and awesome story.
Comment by jason on April 23, 2011 at 6:47pm
my little guy said " that's the guy who made Left for Dead" .. recognized the image right away.
Comment by Pat on April 24, 2011 at 8:33pm
Never seen the ad but that's an interesting story for sure. Thanks for posting it rj.
Comment by Tallgirl on April 26, 2011 at 12:07am
This and Christine Policicchio's idea are the best for next Halloween!
Comment by rj, Co-founder on May 4, 2011 at 1:35am
Thanks for the positive responses, everyone. For reasons I can't quite explain, this story really moved me.


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