Lakeland Flying Tigers

The Flying Tigers logo is both a clever visual metaphor and classic automobile-aircraft style emblem executed in a style harkening back to the glory days of the team's namesake. It pays appropriate tribute to the team's historic military ties, acts as an apt mascot for a competitive athletic team and hints at its affiliation with the MLB's Detroit Tigers. Well balanced aesthetically, apt colors and appropriate baseball-style typography.

Credit: Plan B. Branding

 

Phoenix Suns

Creatively drawing from the city's namesake, the Phoenix Suns logo employs a striking interpretation of the mythological bird and an abbreviation (PHX) which appeals to the hip United States basketball subculture. Not only are the illustration, symmetry and color palette visually pleasing, among its staid, traditional basketball peers it is a truly unique mark.

 

Hofstra Pride

New York based Hofstra University's athletics logo is a wonderful, stylized depiction of its mascot, a lion pride. Because it essentially uses a single solid color (and a yellow highlight) the logo lends itself to versatile application, particularly in the area of merchandising.

 

Amazon.com

Amazon's iconic logo expresses friendly simplicity with its famous yellow smile cleverly doubling as an arrow pointing from A to Z (as in, Amazon sells everything from A to Z), while the warm yellow color offsets the strength and confidence of its black text. Showing careful attention to detail, the '.com' is de-emphasized with a thinner version of the font and even the edge of the 'a' lines up with the start of the smile on the left while the contour of the 'z' is shaped by the smile's corner on the right.

 

Expedia.com

Expedia's original founding logo evoked the romanticism of the golden age of air travel when the journey was as important as the destination. The name itself, derived from the term, 'expedition', is a clever expression of the same style, anchored in Helvetica's typography which portrays the idea of an industry mainstay.

 

Toldeo Mud Hens

The Mud Hens logo employs classic baseball typography and colors to evoke the romantic feel of the sport's American heritage characterized by the memories of yesteryear's happy summers and simpler times. The polished, family friendly illustration is set inside a visually pleasing symmetry and cleverly framed by an egg shape.

Credit: Studio Simon

 

FC Dallas

A beautiful, simple graphical rendition of its Texas roots, the badge logo of Major League Soccer's FC Dallas draws from imagery popularly associated with the largest state in the Union, from its use of the state's flag colors to its lone star and Texas Longhorn mascot brandishing a Texas shaped patch on its head.

 

La Salle University Explorers

Mistakenly having thought to be named after French explorer Sieur de La Salle by a sportswriter, La Salle University which was actually named after Catholic saint, St. John-Baptiste de la Salle, ended up adopting the anomalous mascot following a student vote.

 

Penrith Panthers

Although the text of the logo is weak, the NRL's Penrith Panthers logo is carried by a very strong, expressive illustration of the team's ferocious mascot, set in a unique color palette. Especially appropriate for the nature of the sport and the league in which it competes, any fan, particularly those at the younger end of the spectrum, would enthusiastically wear merchandise this mark adorns.

 

Bradenton Marauders

Structurally symmetrical and thematically expressive, the logo of Minor League Baseball's Bradenton Marauders is beautifully illustrated, integrating its pirate mascot into a broader elegant style associated with the romanticized 17th and 18th century Golden Age of "marauding" pirates. Every element, from its typography to its decorative swirls, combine to produce a cohesive expression of the team's novel identity.

Credit: Studio Simon

 

New York Red Bulls

In a curious marriage of corporate marketing and sports franchise ownership, Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, the adopted offspring of Red Bull Corp., reflects the identity of its corporate parent. The company's name naturally and appropriately doubles as the team's mascot while the mark clearly inherits its DNA from the parent brand. As an experiment in ultimate brand promotion, this is rivaled by very few.

 

Petopia.com

An early dot-com era online retailer, Petopia.com's logo was a clever word mark whose initial letter doubled as a parakeet to represent its pet supply focus while infusing personality and complimenting its fun, casual typeface to mirror the pet ownership experience.

 

Artaissance

Just as a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, the mildly cryptic nature of Artaissance's name is offset by the visual clues offered by its icon, which is a capital 'A' stylized as an easel set against a backdrop mimicking the texture of an artist's canvas. Using a bold red, the authentic, handcrafted feel of the logo effectively matches and represents the nature of its business.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks, Alternate

The trade-off between using a monogram and a graphic is often a choice between being descriptive (usually geographically, see the New York Yankees monogram) and expressing personality (see Baltimore Oreoles). What the Arizona Diamondbacks logo achieves is both with its D-shaped snake (diamondback), whose creativity and expression breathes personality and life into the team's identity, something for which the league's logos are not typically known.

 

Drake University Bulldogs

Drake University's athletic logo stars a skillfully crafted illustration of their bulldog mascot whose trotting posture and determined facial expression aptly portrays the competitive nature of team sports. Using simple strokes which lends the logo to versatile merchandising applications, its elements are positioned in such a way that it creates a balanced asymmetry which is as visually pleasing as its soft color set.

 

University of Washington Huskies

The stylized husky logo of the University of Washington is a simple, expressive and beautifully illustrated mark which lends itself almost flawlessly to every necessary application, from digital to print to merchandise. Memorable and unique, the logo is a proud visual representative for the university's athletic teams.

 

Golden Lions (Transvaal)

Formerly known as the Transvaal Lions and the Gauteng Lions, The Golden Lions is a South African provincial rugby union team whose storied history stretches back into the late 19th century. It's mark gives the organization a proud face and acts as a strong visual metaphor not unlike tribal war totems.

 

Gateway

Gateway's early success in selling computers directly to consumers was attributed in some degree to its creative marketing efforts, most famously tapping into its rural American ties by shipping its computers out in cow-spotted boxes. Officially adopting the cow-spotted box as its logo in 1998 the company's mark presented the company as friendly and approachable in a technology field which was commonly seen as complicated and intimidating. Although the hand drawn nature of the icon and the soft serif typography have since been refined to look more serious, the logo's metaphorical juxtaposition was a fresh, clever, effective concept which earned the company a powerful voice.

 

Binghamton Senators

Inheriting the DNA of its NHL affiliate team, the Ottawa Senators, the logo of the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators is arguably the perfect minor league logo, reflecting its older cousin's likeness and genetics while sporting its own fun, youthful personality. Its ties to the storied Ottawa hockey franchise afford the team credibility and gravtias, while its caricatured mascot, reminiscent of Asterix characters, plays to the strength of minor league sports which tend to emphasize fun and entertainment over pure competition. Beautifully and expressively illustrated, this mark sets a very high watermark and casts a long shadow over its competition.

 

The Dream Factory

The mission of Canadian charity, The Dream Factory, is to fulfill the once-in-a-lifetime dreams of terminally ill children, a mission which is wonderfully captured in its logo which itself captures the imagination by capturing the spirit of a child's dreams with a soaring airship which acts as a visual metaphor to evoke the adjectives associated with children's dreams: freedom, excitement, adventure.

Credit: Cocoon Branding

 

New South Wales Waratahs

Tightly integrating a rugby ball into the state's floral emblem, Australia's New South Wales Waratah's logo is restrained in concept but fresh in execution, treading well the line between tradition and innovation. Not only this, but the stylized waratah is a creative and appropriate metaphoric emblem for the state's rugby team, executed in a skillful manner worthy of the team it represents.

 

Schaumburg Boomers

The logo of the Schaumburg Boomers is a great example of the type of creative freedom afforded to minor league baseball teams. From the quirky, localized mascot (a 'boomer' being a male prairie chicken) to its strikingly executed illustration incorporating iconic baseball elements and typography, this is the kind of unique mark which excites fans and supporters.

 

St Peters College Peacocks

Represented by a wonderful metaphorical juxtaposition of a beautiful aggressive peacock, the mascot of St. Peter's College was chosen for a number reasons, among being the fact that the land on which the campus exists was once owned by a man named Michael Pauw, whose last name means "peacock" in Dutch.

 

Loyola University Greyhounds

The Loyola University Greyhounds' skillfully composed mascot counter-balanced with slanting text is a good example of two asymmetrical parts combining to produce a symmetrical whole which is both visually interesting and visually pleasing. The depiction of its greyhound, whose artistic quality is self evident, is an appropriately dynamic symbol for the institution's athletic team.

 

Eastern Wayne Wee Warriors

The majestic logo of the Eastern Wayne Wee Warriors is a wonderfully expressive illustration whose quality outsizes the 8U football team it represents.

 

Ebay

Although Ebay's name (an abbreviated form of Echo Bay) is cryptic, sustained publicity has turned what is typically a liability into a valuable asset. Its four letter, two syllable name, along with variable character dimensions, bright primary colors and simple typeface combine to create a fun, friendly, approachable logo echoing the feel it aims for in its user experience.

 

Pepperdine University Waves, 1998-2003

Pepperdine University's athletic team was formerly represented by the greek mythological god, Triton, as a personification of its waves mascot, a creative choice, but also a slightly ironic one considering the university's Christian roots.

 

Kent State University Golden Flashes

Originally known as the Silver Foxes, influenced by the Kent State University president's raising of the breed on his farm, the name was later changed to the Golden Flashes after a college-wide team naming contest following the controversial firing of the president in 1926. The mark plays on the idea of a diving golden eagle (which can reach speeds of up to 150 miles/hour), to create a wholly original and expressive identity - an important ingredient in generating fan enthusiasm and team support.

 

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

As a testament to the area's rich steel history, Minor League Baseball's Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are named after raw steel, known colloquially as "pig iron". Quite apart from its practical strengths - simple lines, basic color palette and balanced proportions - the logo is a wonderful visual interpretation of the team's identity which has been resoundingly endorsed as evidenced by the team's strong merchandise sales.

Credit: Plan B. Branding

 

Miami Heat

Representing its abstract mascot with a flaming fire[basketball]ball is a creative solution for the NBA's Miami Heat. Although the tail end of the flame could use some refinement and the hoop is a slight distraction, overall this mark is both visually pleasing and functionally practical for its wide range of application requirements.

 

Hoovers

A formidable mainstay of the business research industry, Hoovers' brand possesses great name recognition and equity and in choosing to represent itself with a word mark, the company plays to this strength. The logo's horizontal borders and three quarter perspective 'V' injects enough personality to allow it to be distinctive, avoiding the pitfall of many word marks which border on the point of generic disposability (the text could be changed and the mark indiscriminately reassigned to another company with little notice).

 

Three Rivers Press

The old style logo of book publisher, Three Rivers Press, depicts a small boat gently chugging its way upstream in a visual appeal to the times of yesteryear popularly associated with the prevalence of virtues like honor, respect and integrity. In appealing to this imagery and its associations, the mark, in effect, expresses those very qualities upon which the success of literary merchants is founded.

 

Ryerson Rams

Because visual identities don't exist simply as self aggrandizing monuments to an artist's artistic talent, logo design, particularly athletic logo design should be concerned not simply with looking good on paper or screen, but working well in different sizes and on different mediums. The logo of Canada based Ryerson Rams is such a mark which is expressively and skillfully crafted with a single color and simple lines in such a way that it looks great and works practically on everything from ink on paper to embroidery on fabric.

 

Jeep

In employing the distinctive, iconic grill of its flagship vehicle in combination with its strong, single syllable name, Jeep uses two of its most valuable identity assets to great effect in creating a logo which is both practical because of its simplicity and evocative because of its color and imagery.

 

Sydney Roosters

Australia's Sydney Roosters Football Club turns what is an awkward animal and quirky mascot into a strong, proud figurehead whose adoption was rumored to have been inspired by the French national team's mascot, "le coq".

 

Wonka

The logo of confectionary company, Wonka is a beautifully, carefully and elegantly constructed mark evoking the child-like wonder of its legendary cinematic namesake in order to tantalize not just the taste buds, but the imagination.

 

DTE Energy

DTE Energy (formerly Detroit Edison) enlivens the company's identity by borrowing from ancient greek mythology as a symbol of its focus, to turn what is otherwise a disposable brand with a generic, meaningless name, into a memorable one with meaningful personality.

 

Joliet Slammers

Minor League Baseball carries a tradition of novel team identities and the Joliet Slammers are no exception owing to their logo's visual interpretation of a clever word play on the term "slammers", both a slang reference to a prison and a noun for someone who hits bases loaded home runs.

Depicting a baseball diamond in a prison yard surrounded by barbed wire topped walls overlooked by a guard tower, the logo is vividly illustrated in a symmetrical fashion, interweaving the team's name neatly like a jigsaw puzzle. Compounding the rhetorical double entendre, the team's mascot is a black crow nicknamed, J. Bird from the colloquial term referring to prisoners as jailbirds.

Although the area is well known for its proximity to a couple of large penitentiaries, the risk of its convict association being considered a little unsavory seems to be fairly well neutralized by the logo's cartoonish rendering.

[Also see, alternate versions.]

Credit: Studio Simon

 

New Hampshire Primaries

Playing off the state's hosting of the famous presidential primary election every four years which signals the start of the next election cycle, the New Hampshire Primaries cleverly adopted both an elephant and donkey as mascots representing the Republican and Democratic parties respectively.

Credit: Studio Simon

 

Pinkberry

Pinkberry's logo adopts a simple, minimal style popularly associated with the trendy and upmarket, in a move which clearly portrays its frozen product not as mere yogurt, but a luxury dessert experience.

The company's arrival turned the frozen yogurt world on its head by offering a limited set of unique flavor selections at premium prices, immediately casting its delicacies, not as something sweet for the masses, but something luxurious for the discerning.

Adopting the fictional "pinkberry" fruit as a symbol of its unusual fruit flavors, it became a trailblazer and standard bearer in the premium desserts market, aided by a mark which is a rich visual metaphor for its identity.

Credit: Ferro Concrete

 

AbeBooks.com

Online book exchange, AbeBooks.com (formerly Advanced Book Exchange) which acts as a "liaison between booksellers and book seekers" is represented by a unique, creative icon that doubles as both a book with a ribboned bookmark and a bird in flight as a visual metaphor representing its mission to connect buyers with sellers.

 

Benny Gold

Reflecting visually with whimsy his design company's founding philosophy about chasing dreams, flying solo and living free, first expressed on a "Stay Gold" sticker posted around the city of San Francisco, the logo of Benny Gold acts also to showcase and exemplifies his design talents and sensibilities.

 

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association logo is a classic, using a burning torch against the backdrop of a heart as symbol of its ongoing fight against heart disease which claims more lives in the United States than other disease.

 

Starshine Academy

The Starshine Academy is represented by a vividly creative visual metaphor depicting its mission to sow seeds of hope by sowing the "world's best [community] schools where they've never been grown before" in an effort to transform the lives of children throughout the world.

 

Hartford Whalers

The logo of the Hartford Whalers is an abstract monogram whose 'W' combines with its whale tale to create an 'H' in the negative space to create one of the classics of the sporting world.