Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Logo Review

It’s hard to believe that 2010 is almost over! This time of year, it’s always healthy to do some reflection and evaluation. What worked? What bombed? What should we enter in the awards, and what sort of logo should we vow to never do again? Logo design is probably the hardest thing we designers do. But it is very satisfying to create a mark that defines a brand and launches an enterprise into public view. Here is a parade of logos we created over the last year and a half with some commentary about each one:

These 2 logos were actually done a few years ago, but we’ve never included them on our blog. Lucky Strike Lanes of Princeton, Kentucky is a small independent bowling alley. The owner hired us to create a nostalgic look that would give the place a classic American feel. We obliged them by creating logos for the bowling alley and the restaurant. In order to get into the right frame of mind, we had to go bowling and eat bowling alley food. Just part of the job!

A Nashville-based hard core heavy metal band needed a logo for free. Since Joel Anderson’s teenage son was in the band at the time, Joel did the logo in trade for free concert tickets, a t-shirt, and some heavy-duty earplugs.

This logo was created for, a website aimed at musicians and worship leaders who are looking for new songs that can be sung by church congregations. Note the icons representing a congregation of people with sound waves rising above the crowd.

This logo for the Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Company won several ADDY Awards, including Best of Show. It was also featured in Print Magazine and featured on the Die Line. Needless to say, it has been one of our more successful logos!

 This is an example of an unsuccessful logo. It was for a talented photographer who does very artful wedding photography. While we feel like we created a logo that captured the name, vibe and target audience, we never really found ourselves reading off the same page with the client. Sadly, none of the logos we submitted pleased him, and we ended up settling for a kill-fee and parting ways. No hard feelings... sometimes things just don’t click.

This logo is for a product line that is still in development. So we cannot say much about it, other than it has to do with old denim. We think it’s cool, and we hope to see it in use soon!

One of the craziest logos of the year was done for a pal in L.A. named Alex Mebane who is an actor, song writer, video producer. He created a hip-hop rapper persona called $pyrul and wanted us to whip him up a logo for his iTunes and YouTube promotions. We had a budget of $1 and had to do the logo in 3 hours. Since the whole idea is a parody on rap music, we were encouraged to be as cheezy as necessary to achieve the desired look. (We broke all of our own rules about NOT using every Photoshop effect available... this logo actually features drop shadow, inner bevel and lens flare!)

Hog Heaven has been around since the 1980s, but they never really had an official logo. So when owners Katy and Andy Garner called to say they would be on Food Network, we got to work creating a logo that they could use for all their promotional needs. We tried to make the logo match the establishment—a weathered rib shack that has never been fancy or flashy. Just real good.

 The Davidson County Clerk’s office has never really had a logo, either. Since the county clerk is elected, the name changes every so often. We made the logo adaptable, so the clerk’s name could be swapped out in the future. We also created icons to represent the various services the County Clerk’s office provides (like birth certificates, business licenses, automobile registration, titles, etc..) These icons will be used in creating directional signs and rack brochures.

A new church in Hendersonville, TN needed a logo and some branding to let folks know their doors were open. Logos for churches and community organizations are always tricky. The colors, fonts, and overall vibe needs to match the mission, purpose, membership, and target audience. In this case, Redeemer is a young energetic congregation with reformed orthodox evangelical theology.

The Wine Shoppe in Green Hills is known for their expertise in fine and rare wines. The new owners wanted to do a total brand overhaul. Their logo needed to look established with an old-world European look and feel. We researched fonts, wine labels, European pub signs, and poster art to arrive at the logo they chose. Above are some of the other logos we experimented with in the process.

We will do this again at the end of next year. Until then, Happy New Year, and a prosperous creative 2011 to you!


  1. Great post. I love a good logo roundup. It's so fun to read about the thinking behind each solution. I appreciate you including the "killed" logo as well—it's nice to know I'm not the only one this has happened to!

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