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.

 

Utah Tourism

Mimicking the iconic desert rock formations of its geography, Utah's tourism logo evokes an exotic, adventurous feel which is more explicitly expressed in its"Life Elevated" tag line. The dusty orange hue compliments the brand's message of adventure while the word mark strategy plays to the strength of the name by preventing competing elements from diluting it.

 

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins' custom badge lockup shies away from the popular trend of slick, athletic illustrations in favor of a classical stylized bear mascot with a polished, modern feel and in doing so, successfully showcases its past while embracing the present

 

University Of Missouri

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Ottawa Senators

The NHL's Ottawa Senators logo is an impressively crafted illustration of a resolute ancient Roman senator, constructed using strong stroke lines which lends itself very well to both single color and embroidered applications on merchandise, the sale of which makes up a large portion of franchise revenue. Well balanced and framed by a metallic 'O' for Ottawa, the logo serves as a proud symbol and an appropriate representation of a competitive athletic team.

 

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.

 

Oregon Ducks

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.

 

Oregon Ducks, Donald Duck

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.

Credit: Disney

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

Charlotte Checkers

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.

 

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.

 

Pensacola Blue Wahoos

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.

Credit: Brandiose

 

Nike Golf

Reflecting the sport's long history and revered tradition, Nike Golf's restrained logo forms an emblem by setting its iconic swish above crossed golf clubs inside a simple shield. The san serif uppercase typography with its extra spacing adds a sophistication befitting both its corporate and high class association.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Australia

Showcasing a stylized kangaroo against the backdrop of the iconic outback sun in earthy hues, Australia's tourism logo draws upon the emotive imagery of the outback desert experience. Even at the risk of pigeonholing the Australian brand by using these elements, it effectively elevates them as a symbol not of a specific Australian experience, but as a symbol of the uniqueness of the entire Australian experience.

 

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.

 

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

 

Greece

Greece's tourism logo is a wonderfully expressive mark which stylistically captures the texture and feel of the iconic mediterranean sunrise in a manner reflecting the laid back greek island culture. Matching the blue and white stripes of its flag, the rolling waves and orange sun create a dynamism that vividly portrays the destination's promise to its visitors.

 

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.

 

Cricket Australia

The mark representing the governing body of cricket in Australia is elegant and succulently evocative in representing the feel and tone of the country's iconic summertime love affair with the game.

 

Wichita Wild

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.

 

The Honest Company

Co-founded by Hollywood actress, Jessica Alba, The Honest Company was started in an effort to create "safe, natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly baby diapers and biodegradable wipes, organic bath/skin care and green cleaning products". Alba is quoted as saying, "there are a lot of toxic chemicals in baby products, and these toxic chemicals are linked to not just allergies and asthma, but also autism and ADHD and lots of childhood cancers, and I was horrified that products that were made for babies and children would have these toxic chemicals". With this in mind, the logo of The Honest Company attempts to portray a fresh, natural image and largely succeeds with clean stamp-like mark inset with a clever butterfly mascot whose wings double as leaves.

 

Holmes And Yang

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.

 

Papyrus

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.

 

Howard Johnson Inn

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.

 

Ontario Mills

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.

 

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

 

Harry's Pacific Grill

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.

 

YesterdaysClues.com

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.]

Credit: Elevation 7

 

Humble Pie

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Flying Pig Photography

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.

Credit: Brand Clay

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Out of Print

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.

 

Sheraton Hotels And Resorts

Symmetrical and conservative, the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts logo accurately reflects and expresses the storied nature of the brand and its heritage as an icon of five-star quality accommodation. Set in an elegantly simple wreath - a symbol of excellence - Sheraton's 'S' icon is a seal which lends itself to necessary versatile application, from stationery and toiletries to billboards and building signage.

 

Country Time Lemonade

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.

 

Mikes Pies

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.

 

Johnson's Hot Dogs

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.

 

Walden Media

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.

 

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.

 

Xerox

When a brand like Xerox, which has such strong name recognition, adds an icon to its word mark, it only serves to compete for attention, confuses the focus and dilutes the brand's strength.