City Of Lawrence, Kansas

In 1863, Lawrence being a strongly pro-abolitionist city in "free-state" Kansas, attracted the ire of pro-slavery raiders from neighboring Missouri headed by William Quantrill whose group conducted a massacre of some 180 men and boys, reducing the city to smoldering ruins. Banding together to re-open its stores and businesses and aided by the arrival of the railroad, Lawrence, Kansas rose from the ashes to become what today is recognized as both one of America's best college towns and best places to retire. Adopting the mythical phoenix as a visual expression of the city's motto, "From Ashes to Immortality", the logo of Lawrence, Kansas is a beautifully crafted mark which is both distinct and historically appropriate.

Credit: Flory Design

 

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.

 

Inventionland

Combining a light bulb and gear wheel, the symbols of ideas and innovation, Inventionland's logo clearly expresses its purpose as an ideas lab with a mark that, although fairly obvious in concept, is sharp in execution.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Cannes Film Festival

Widely considered the most prestigious film festival in the world, the Cannes Film Festival, named after its coastal French host city, uses a stylized olive branch to emphasizes both its association with the Mediterranean coast - an area where olive trees are ubiquitous - and with excellence - from which laurel wreaths are commonly made. Used as a type of quality seal, the hand drawn style of the olive branch juxtaposed with both its oval frame and the capitalized serif word mark presents an image that is artistic but serious.

 

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.

 

Oxford University Press

For a brand with a strong name and significant name recognition, a graphical icon tends weaken the logo by distracting from and competing against it for attention [see Xerox, Wacom]. Oxford University Press plays to its name's strength by emphasizing its scholarly, academic Oxford University association with a customized word mark which fuses some of its letters together to infuse interest, uniqueness and personality to a logo which could easily be boring and disposable.

 

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

 

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

 

Bradbury

Proudly adorning the top of Bradbury's single letter monogram is a quintessentially British lion styled in the tradition of those found on coats of arms, symbolizing the sport's heritage and class. Shunning the flashier graphics adopted by its counterparts, the irony is that Bradbury's logo stands out for its restraint, appropriately reflecting the quality and craftsmanship for which the cricket bat manufacturer is renowned.

 

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

 

Hangar 24 Brewery

The logo of Redlands, California based brewery, Hangar 24, which is located in an old War War 2 era building, channels the founder's enthusiasm for vintage aircraft with a nod to the romanticism associated with the Golden Age of Aviation. The brand hitches a ride on the coat tails of early 20th century nostalgia and in so doing clearly defines itself as an unique, authentic, hand-crafted brew on a shelf awash with synthetic competitors. [Also see, alternate versions.]

Credit: The Brandit

 

Veggie Art

The logo of Veggy Art is an elegant graphical metaphor for its very name and function. In a style mimicking its own artistic sensibilities, the mark is constructed from the company's two carefully sculpted initials designed to mimic its appetizing centerpieces and garnishes which are made entirely from fresh fruit and vegetables. For a company billing its business as fashion from food, its logo certainly reflects this with clarity and style.

 

Hero Insurance Services

The logo of now merged insurance company, Hero Insurance Services, featured an anonymous, generic superhero which positioned the company as a trusted and able ally in a world of figurative villains. Suave, novel and confident, its mascot portrays the company as a tenant on the simple, friendly and fun side of the insurance industry town, which as a whole is often associated with stuffiness and complicated bureaucracy. Although this image carries a possible negative connotation for those comforted by the stability and dependability also associated with older institutions, its positioning through this mark likely attracted the business of a younger audience and earned the company the opportunity to prove itself more than a pretty face; to prove that although the company doesn't take itself too seriously, it does its customers and their needs.

 

Knight Transportation

The logo of Knight Transportation, whose presence on American freeways is ubiquitous, is a well crafted mark which creatively embeds the heads of both a medieval knight and his horse in the negative and positive space of its single letter monogram. Amidst the mass of poor competitors' logos, Knight Transportation's mark lends credibility and professionalism to the company and its operations.

Credit: Summation

 

Home Away (HomeAway.com)

Vacation rentals website, HomeAway.com, uses a birdhouse to good effect as a visual expression of its competitive advantage in the accommodation industry by reflecting its rhetorical allusion to "a home away from home". The novel graphical approach with its subtle association to a chirping bird, emphasizes the personal, homely nature of the home rental experience in contrast to the traditional big box hotel experience, often summed up by comparing a house to a home.

 

Olive Media

The challenge for branding firms like Olive Media is that their own logos are an explicit expression of their own expertise, an advertisement for their own services. In this case, the company's fresh, quirky name appropriately reflects the creative nature of its business while its graphical counterpart, an olive embedded in the negative space of its single letter monogram, is both appropriate and clever enough to prove that the company can be trusted with the brands of others.

 

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.

 

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

 

The Rancon Group

The logo of real estate and financial services company, The Rancon Group, evokes wisdom and confidence by embedding a silhouette of the knightly chess piece, as a symbol of strategy, in the negative space of its capital R. In what is an enigmatic field to many, the visual association is both clever and effective in portraying the company as a trusted advisor and safe haven.

 

National Park Foundation

Hiding a snow capped mountain and gentle stream in the negative space of a ranger's hat, the logo of the National Park Foundation is an imaginative, vividly expressive and utterly appropriate symbol of national parks in the United States.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Tostitos (Tortilla Chips)

Unique and memorable, the logo of Tostitos Tortilla Chips associates itself with parties by reflecting their vibrant, fun atmosphere with its bright colors, jaunty custom typography and its personification of the word mark's middle letters as two people sharing a conversation over chips and a bowl of salsa. Hand drawn in a casual, sincere style, the logo promises not simply a salty snack, but a good time.

 

Ryan Air

The logo of Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair, clearly represents its identity by combining two symbols of its personality - a stylized version of the Trinity Harp, a traditional icon of Ireland, along with the no-frills, uppercase typography of its word mark. As a pioneer in the low cost market and formerly a young upstart, Ryanair's visual identity differentiated it from its older, more staid competitors, but having established itself as a mainstay of the industry, the company faces the challenge of maintaining its brand's equity in an industry dependent upon small customer margins and high customer expectations.

 

The University Of New Mexico

Depicting the Spanish style architecture prevalent in the state, the logo of the University of New Mexico juxtaposes a modern graphic with conservative typography to build a beautiful, descriptive and unique identity expressing its academic credentials and modern sensibilities.

 

Southern Illinois Miners

Creatively fusing the team's mining roots with the baseball theme, Minor League Baseball's Southern Illinois Miners logo is a type of visual portmanteau - a baseball bat-pick axe wielding miner, artistically and expressively illustrated in a fashion which lends it to versatile merchandising applications.

 

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.

 

Villa Grano

The logo of Brazilian bakery, Villa Grano, expresses the freshness and quality of its products with a crisply drawn, stylized visual metaphor incorporating a head of wheat and loaf of bread which is underscored with a refined, uppercase rendering of its name. The word mark's thin strokes mimic those of the icon which allow the elements to compliment, rather that compete with one another.

 

Lake County Captains

The maritime themed, badge-like logo of Minor League Baseball's Lake County Captains is comprised of its team name underlined by ocean waves and set in a ship's wheel in metaphorical tribute to its captains mascot. Employing a traditional baseball typography used by Major League clubs like the Anaheim Angels, the logo blends both baseball and maritime tradition in a classy mark.

Credit: Studio Simon

 

Deccan Chargers

Created by legendary identity designer, Chris Mitchell of Epic Icons, the logo of Indian Premier League cricket team, the Deccan Chargers, in a nod to sporting tradition, mirrors the shielded format of storied football clubs like the English Premier League's Arsenal Gunners, while expressing the energy, freshness and vibrancy of the nation's most popular game with its dynamic bull mascot. Comfortably contained and symmetrically balanced, the mark is a proud, appropriate figurehead for the young cricket club.

 

Candlewood Suites

Punctuated by an elegant flickering candle flame icon set inside a replication of the overlapping double 'O's in its word mark, the Candlewood Suites logo adds a touch of sophistication to a brand whose position is in the mid-to-lower tier of hotel accommodations.

 

Peru Tourism

Peru's tourism logo is a sharp, expressive graphical word mark which draws from the nation's exotic popular culture identity with hand crafted scripting and a capital letter styled after the tradition of ancient tribal artistry. Evoking a rich, visual flavor, the mark beckons travelers with its promise of adventure and excitement.

 

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.

 

Lancaster Jethawks

The mark of minor league baseball's Lancaster Jethawks is an effective visual metaphor constructed by combining elements of the club's unique identity, from its proud hawk and crossed baseball bats to the emblematic wings representing the area's association with the aerospace industry. Versatile enough that icon variations can be extracted from it depending on the necessary application, the crest-like logo is a strong merchandising asset for the organization.

 

Cultures East

Offering architectural tours to South East Asia, Cultures East's logo is a reflection of this focus with a mark that mimics an Asian character symbol while cleverly embedding the image of a figure atop an elephant. The hand-drawn nature of the icon expresses the authentic cultural nature which the operators strive to provide to patrons.

 

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).

 

Eastside Music Studio

The wonderfully unique and creative visual metaphor representing Austin, Texas based, Eastside Music Studio, features a crowing/singing rooster whose tail feathers double as both a capital 'E' and 'M'. Particularly appropriate considering the nature of the school's arts field and unusual in shying away from a staid word mark solution to which arts school are inclined, the logo is an exciting, expressive breath of fresh air.

Credit: Gold Lunchbox

 

Cortica Neurosciences

Alzheimer's research and solution company, Cortica Sciences is represented by a graphical mark whose three connecting neurons form the letter 'C'. The logo's understated typography deliberately takes a back seat to its unique icon which is both an appropriate visual metaphor and memorable company figurehead.

Credit: Dan Gutierrez Design

 

The Lodge At Brainerd Lakes

Beautifully and carefully crafted, the logo representing The Lodge At Brainerd Lakes entices visitors by evoking the romantic style of early 20th century travel posters when times were simpler and travel was more personal.

 

Days Inn

Friendly, optimistic and welcoming, Days Inn's logo sets a warm tone and happy impression with a well crafted yellow / blue sunrise mark whose conspicuous presence atop tall freeway signs acts as a welcome herald to weary travelers.

 

Lebron James 23

The former mark of former Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player, LeBron James, cleverly incorporated his particulars - the initials L,B and J and his jersey number, 23, along with a crown to represent his self-proclaimed nickname, King James. Versatile and compact, this logo adorned the merchandise of his Nike affiliated merchandise until he adopted the number 6 jersey.

 

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai's Twenty20 cricket team, playing in the Indian Premier League is represented by a logo with a distinctly Indian flavor, from its stylized lion to the crown adorning its work mark. Well balanced and distinct, the mark is a proud symbol of one of the league's strongest teams.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Disney Hand

Disney's corporate citizenship arm, Disney Hand, uses Mickey Mouse's iconic white cradling a heart as a symbol of its mission to be a positive and responsible influence in society, giving a friendly face to its corporate personality.

 

The Carneros Inn

Set in a warm orange and represented by an old time scene of a winery and vineyards, The Carneros Inn's logo evokes heart warming nostalgia and comfort, reflective of the resort's experience.

 

DailyLit

DailyLit's mission is to deliver easily digestible literary chunks to readers daily via email to make reading more compatible with the modern lifestyle. It's simple logo is cleverly structured in such a way as to evoke a recognizable literary style with its thin horizontal lines and orientation, serif typeface and book icon while maintaing an air of levity to counter the sometimes intimidating impression of literature.

 

Tim Warner Cable

Although originally designed as a logo to represent its parent company, Time Warner Cable's eye / ear icon's strength is in its long history and uniqueness. As an expression of its identity and values, it portrays the company as a simple, friendly gateway to the world of entertainment and media.

 

Community Food Bank

Arizona based Community Food Bank succinctly expresses its mission with an icon combining common symbols of food (wheat) and eating (fork) with a symbol of compassion, the heart. Using casual brush strokes and a san serif font conveys the approachability and friendliness characteristic of successful charitable organizations.

 

Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank

Shying away from the typical wheat symbol, the Food Bank organization serving Northwest Ohio uses a creative icon to express the nature of its services (food) and nature of its mission (compassion) with an apple enclosing a heart.

 

Caliente

The logo of Mexican gaming and entertainment company, Caliente, expresses vibrancy and motion associated with horse racing which acts as a symbol of its diverse gambling related interests. Cleverly adding a visual element to its italicized script with a horse shaped uppercase 'C' lends it to more flexible applications without the necessity for horizontal and vertical versions.

 

Brussels Airlines

Drawing from the imagery of an airport's runway lights, Brussels Airlines evokes one of the more pleasant (and possibly exciting) experiences associated with air travel, whether its the anticipation of taking off or landing. In shying away from nationalistic imagery commonly associated with national carriers, the logo could be accused of being generic, but the international nature of the city and the strong color scheme adequately refute this.

 

Allen & Unwin

Australian book publisher, Allen & Unwin uses a cockatoo drawn with simple brush strokes as a mascot to convey it's national heritage and staid industry. Reflecting the academic nature of its mission, the company's logo draws upon conservative elements like a name constructed by pronouns, serif, uppercase typeface and gray coloring.

 

Bundaberg Rum

Bundaberg Rum's iconic polar bear adorns its wax seal which along with its use of slanted germanic text lends the logo a sense of class, tradition and modern sophistication which the hard liquor market tries to convey in an effort to encourage a high minded view of consumption. The yellow logo doubles as a bottle sticker which, when set against the deep brown color of its rum creates a striking impression.

 

Christian Books Direct

Interesting and creative, the Christian Books Direct logo arranges four upright books viewed from a 45 degree offset perspective to create a cross, the iconic symbol of the Christian faith, to express its mission. Its soft color palette projects a mellow tone while its use of solid colors affords it versatility.

 

The Islands of the Bahamas

Using variable bead shapes of vibrant colors, evocative of sea shells, to form a stylized outline of its islands is both a creative and elegant solution portraying the Bahamas as a exotic, fun-filled Caribbean destination.

 

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.

 

The Word For Today

Informal and friendly, the visual mark for the radio ministry of The Word For Today very cleverly uses iconic symbols of the Christian faith to construct a Calvary Chapel dove of which this organization is an offshoot. The levity of the visual mark is offset with the gravity of the word mark through its use of a conservative serif font which ultimately strikes a balance between being serious and approachable.