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

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

Wingnuts

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.

 

Three Thieves

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.