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.
Drawn in a style typical of the 1950s, Humble Pie drawns on the equity and romanticism of a simpler era with a fun, friendly mark which aims to graphically mimic the feel and atmosphere of its Arizona based gourmet pizza establishments.
Sometimes a great sports logo is simply a great character illustration, and the former logo of the American Hockey League's Charlotte Checkers is just that. Drawn with solid lines and simply colors, it's not only expressive, fun and appropriate, but also versatile.
There's something very pleasant about the way that the logo of Harry's Pacific Grill expresses its seafood cuisine speciality with rippling ocean waves flowing into the crossbar of its leading letter. Descriptive and compact, in shying away from employing the standard fish imagery, the company casts a wider net and creates a more sophisticated image.
Drawing from the happy memories of simpler times and simpler places when fresh lemonade was sold on the corner, Country Time Lemonade's logo is rich in evocative imagery whose associations are both pleasant to the mind and pleasant to the taste.
The logo of the English Standard Version of the bible is a seal inset with an elegant monogram which evokes officialdom, veracity and trust along with a little pizzazz in a move designed to showcase the strengths of the translation while drawing on the equity of the ancient book.
Located in Upland, California, Johnson's Hot Dogs presents a warm, friendly impression with its caricatured literal hot dog mascot. Harnessing the power of visual identity to create positive first impressions, the family owned "hot doggery"'s logo punches above its weight with a mark that outshines those of typical locally owned, very small businesses. Shunning the well beaten path of Microsoft Word produced word marks, the logo's strength lies in its distinct imagery and colors which not only sets it apart from competitors, but gives its own business personality.
There's something very pleasant and homely about the logo of Cindy Crawford Style - a partnership between model, Cindy Crawford and U.S. retailer, J.C.Penney - which combines a simple but elegant CC monogram with soft pastels in an appeal to homemakers and housewives.
Sophisticated and creative, the logo of premium fashion label, Holmes and Yang - the brainchild of actress, Kate Holmes and stylist, Jeanne Yang - uses implied lines to spectacular effect as a way to set its brand apart from the minimalist san serif wordmarks so commonly adopted in the fashion world.
Formerly known as Southern Wedding Photography, the Flying Pig Photography name was borne out of both the blandness of the former name and a desire to more accurately convey the company's experience and philosophy. The flying pig was selected as the mascot both as a visual way to express fun and fantastical whimsy but also as a metaphor for "something extraordinary". With an elegantly illustrated flying pig set against a sky of navy blue and framed by a puffy cloud for dimension and perspective and anchored with whimsical typography to match, the end result is quite lovely.
Although the contrasting red and blue give the mark a one dimensional feel, the punctuating icon above the Howard Johnson typography adds charm to a logo which doubles a roadside sign and presents its accommodation as unabashedly simple, clean and inexpensive.
Lively and engaging, the logo of Ontario, California based shopping center, the Ontario Mills, uses soft pastels, vintage stylized floral imagery along with Bristol FH typography to promises shoppers a vibrant, welcoming shopping experience.
An occurrence more frequently associated with small school or little league teams, the Indoor Football League's, Wichita Wild, tears a page straight out of the local amateur league playbook by adopting the logo of a professional sports team from across the pond playing in Australia's National Rugby League, the Wests Tigers. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the Wests Tigers would no doubt appreciate the compliment, but barring a written agreement and a compelling reason, this amounts to identify theft.
UPDATE: We received an anonymous email claiming that the "tiger part of the logo is a generic logo available online with no copyights associated with it. It is not the property of either team, and was found searching through logos". We have not been able to verify this because no links were provided.
While the logo of Alibris (pronounced ?uh-LEE-briss?) is very plain in style its strength lies in the distinct color palette to which it effectively ties its brand. The mark employs overlapping rectangles whose reserved hues of brown, orange and blue evoke antiquity and literature associations in keeping with its role as an "online marketplace for independent sellers of new and used books, music, and movies, as well as rare and collectible titles".
Named for a fish common to the area which is fun to catch and whose name is fun to say, the mark of minor league baseball's Pensacola Blue Wahoos adheres to Brandiose's design philosophy that if "it [can] fit in another city ... it?s time to go back to the drawing board". Employing typography which mimics that of the iconic Pensacola Beach sign and colors which uniquely represent the feel of the city, the logo is a vibrant and fun visual metaphor for the area and the club's minor league baseball experience.
Combative logos are the order of business for most American sports teams and rightfully so because of sport's parallels to military battles. The Continental Indoor Football League's Saginaw Sting is no exception, employing a aggressive, soaring wasp as a visual metaphor to represent what is an abstract team name. If the role of a sports team's identity is to promote competitive loyalty and solidarity, this mark succeeds admirably with a color palette reminiscent of traditional army hues.
Private, for-profit college, United States University, attempts to project gravity, sobriety and academic credibility with a university seal mimicking those of its older, more respected cousins (and possibly those of the federal government). Undermining this to a degree is the almost comical magnitude of its out-sized name playing on the idea that if being named after a state is good, then being named after a country is fifty-fold better. Setting this aside, it's a beautifully and elegantly rendered mark which tends to succeed within the limitations of its field.
Paso Robles based Clayhouse Wines plays to its strength with a logo whose cursive signature reflects the hand-crafted nature of its wines and the four generation legacy of the family owned winery. It's balanced visually with a sophisticated rendering of 'WINES' neatly tucked underneath to create what is a simple, but effective mark.
Divino Winery, Colombia
Colombian based winery, Divino is represented by a compact, expressive logo which is quite ingenuis. Playing on its name, a faux "portmanteau" combing two Spanish words, "vino" meaning wine and "divino" meaning "divine", is an angelic wing sprouting from the word mark's leading letter which is often used to represent divinity. Complimenting this is the hand-crafted, rustic feel which plays on the idea that good wine improves with age.
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.
Named after the earliest form of paper crafted from the papyrus plant and specializing in greeting cards, stationery and printing services, the logo of Papyrus reflects the creativity, elegance and eloquence of its products and philosophy in a manner which is unique and memorable. Although the significance of its hummingbird icon is cryptic (symbolizing the legend which "say[s] that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration"), its beautiful rendering and unique color is a visual asset which reinforces the emotive mission of the company.
Employing royalty implied imagery as an expression of its design themes, Royal Decree Apparel is a fledgling apparel startup whose quality identity serves to lend it credibility as it searches for its voice in a highly competitive and heavily romanticized industry.
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.
The majestic logo of the Eastern Wayne Wee Warriors is a wonderfully expressive illustration whose quality outsizes the 8U football team it represents.
Designed in close association with Nike, whose founder, Phil Knight, is an alumnus, the single letter monogram of the Oregon Ducks is a beautiful specimen, sleek and strong with a typeface to match, representing typographically the qualities of a top flight athletic team.
Following a handshake deal between Walt Disney and the university's athletic director, Leo Harris in the 1940s, the University of Oregon adopted the iconic Donald Duck as its official mascot, tying its image indelibly to the House of Mickey in a novel move which has withstood the test of time.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Cellphone plan comparison shopping website, Whistle Out, is represented by a happy, friendly word mark punctuated by musical notes emblematic of its purpose to give a friendly, helpful "shout out" to cellphone shoppers.
Symmetrical and compact, the monogram of the University of Missouri is quite simply very pleasing to the eye with the arms of the M mirroring the arms of the U in a fashion not unlike Lego pieces. While the mark looks great on merchandise, the one downside of this lockup is that in naturally reading from top to bottom, the tendency would be to assume that it's referring to something like Missouri University.
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.
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.
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.
Named for its founder, Mike Martin, a former linebacker for the NFL's Chicago Bears, the logo of Mike's Pies is simple, friendly and distinct, and although not particularly inspiring, it is effective in drawing on the strength of its celebrity association by name and its standard bearing Key Lime Pie by graphic. While its emphasis on the lime is appropriate considering its history and award winning status, it may be a hindrance to its efforts to be known for its other pie and cheesecake offerings.
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.
Evoking the excitement and wonder of youth, Walden Media uses a symbol of childhood - skimming pebbles across the surface of a lake - as an expression of its mission to produce family entertainment, while cleverly hiding it's initial in the motion trails.
Although logos should typically be as versatile as possible by shying away from a dependence on multiple colors, gradients and intricate details, those which exist solely in the digital realm tend to be afforded greater leniency. The mark of blog, YesterdaysClues.com is a case in point, whose photo realism and vintage style vividly compliments its content which showcases and examines photos, postcards, books, magazines and advertising from the late 19th and early 20th centuries for fascinating clues to unlock the past. [Also see, alternate versions.]
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.
Playing on the legendary perpetual memory of elephants, the logo of Evernote, the web-based note taking and organizing service uses a stylized elephant whose dog-eared ear mimics its paper bookmarking counterpart.
Sophisticated and stylish, the logo representing the fashion label of Donald Trump progeny, Ivanka, reflects the upmarket, fashion conscious audience to whom its products are targeted. The restrained uppercase serif typography anchors the mark and sets the tone and context in which the stylized monogram conveys luxury rather than frivolity which it would risk doing in isolation.
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.
Minor league sports teams possess greater freedom (usually because they're not weighed down by a long history and legacy) to adopt more novel, creative identities which tend to generate greater fan enthusiasm and loyalty. In fact, the more successful teams tend to see this freedom almost as a mandate to move in this direction, distinguishing themselves from the often disposable, dime-a-dozen competition whose unique selling point is largely geographical. Paying homage to the area's fabled Loch Ness Monster equivalent, the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters is such a team, with an identity whose fun, novel, geographically appropriate concept is done justice with a skillful execution.
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 Cooking Channel's Three Thieves show, follows a gang of three "regular guy" wine enthusiasts as they traverse the globe looking both to change the way that the American public thinks about wine and looking for quality wines to bottle and sell for a "steal" under their own label. This unique and fun concept is matched by a complimentary logo which expresses appropriately, if a little cryptically, the identity of the group and its exploits.
Tapping into the vintage stunt flying theme with a double entendre referring both to an aerial stuntman and a chicken wing enthusiast, the logo of California based restaurant and bar, Wingnuts, is clever, unique, balanced and beautifully illustrated. The mark clearly paints the Wingnuts dining experience as casual and fun, and is testament that the company understands the importance of a visual identity in creating an effective impression.
Mimicking the retro style of yesteryear to reflect the classic vintage book cover designs adorning its t-shirts, the logo of Out of Print is a round rubber stamp imprint whose highest use coincided with the golden age of ribbon typewriters. Appropriate not just in style, but also in substance, the name is a play on the words of a book classification or notification, something with which rubber stamp imprints are commonly associated. The irony is that the appropriateness of its mark can also cut the other way as a weakness because although as a name, "Out of Print" is distinct and unique, as a statement it is generic. This potential weakness, though is offset by the context in which its names appears, a good example being its website address, outofprintclothing.com, which clearly describes its mission.