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The Logos of Logo Designers

If you are looking for logo design inspiration, why not look to the experts? I’ve created a collection of logos created by professional logo designers for their own personal company branding. I had to shovel through quite a few bad logos to find these samples. Are they all a complete success? I’m not so sure. What do you think?

mandaspacer

This was a challenging post to put together. I googled logo and identity designers, and clicked through pages of websites to gather these logos. I thought it would be really interesting to see the logos of logo designers. I thought, who better to learn from? Who better to inspire us? Logo designers should have the very BEST logos, right? Well, not exactly. Like anything else, there are some extremely talented logo designers out there, and there are some who are not so talented.

mandaspacer

Here are a few things I learned by looking at so many logo designer logos:

1. A creative company name does not have any connection to the quality of the company logo. I would get excited to click on the links of companies with fun or creative names, assuming their logo would be equally compelling. Not usually.

2. The quality of the company logo does seem to accurately reflect the quality of the logos each company provides for their clients. If the company had a clean, creative logo, their work was equally good. If the company had a clip-art logo filled with gradients, their portfolio was filled with the same muddled work.

3. Some logo designers should accept the fact that they are not web designers and hire a professional. I saw some very nice logo work, presented quite poorly online. I have a feeling these designers decided to experiment with web design. Perhaps not the best decision.

4. A surprising number of logo designers don’t have logos. Um. What?

5. Many many (many) logo designers are missing the boat completely. For a nice, quick explanation of logo design 101, check out these fantastic posts: Good Logos Are Flexible: Tips to make sure yours is, from The Design Cubicle and 10 Common Mistakes in Logo Design from Smashing Magazine.

6. Some of my least favorite fonts are still alive and well, and being used in professional logo design.

7. There are a lot of not-so-good logo designers out there, and they are somehow managing to get paying clients. If you have a talent for logo design, don’t be discouraged by the sheer number of logo designers out there. QUALITY logo designers seem to be few and far between, and the market doesn’t look to be that overly saturated with talented designers. I’m sure that we can use a couple more good ones :)

mandaspacer

Now that I have that out of my system, just a few more words on the logos in this collection:

1. I did not choose these logos because I thought they were mind-blowing or the best logos I’ve ever seen (although some are simply fantastic). I wanted to give you a real-life sense of what professional logo designers are doing with their own identity – good or bad. I’m hoping that you will decide for yourselves which of these are good, and which of these logo designers need to go back to the drawing board.

2. I did have to leave some good logos out. They just weren’t presented in a way on their website where I could get a good screenshot. Some were tiny, some were animated, and some were on a completely distracting background.

3. I had to draw some lines. I didn’t include any logos that made my stomach turn. Even though it might have been fun to see them for shock value, I just couldn’t bring myself to include those that made me sick. I also left out the completely mundane or boring. If you just typed your company name in Times New Roman, you didn’t make this post. Finally, I skipped any company with a stock photo of a call-center lady willing to answer my questions 24-7 or with a price list in the same range as the drink prices at a concert. I don’t think I need to explain why.

4. I’ve linked each of the logos back to the logo designer’s logo portfolio. I thought it would be interesting for you to see their other work, and also to see how they presented their work on their website.

mandaspacer

Okay, enough of my babbling, here are the logos, each and every one designed by a designer or company specializing in logo design.

logo2logo3

logo1logo16

logo4logo5

logo6logo7

logo26logo9

logo18logo17

logo11logo10

logo12logo15

logo13logo14

logo19logo20

logo8logo22

logo27logo23

logo25logo24

logo21logo28

logo29logo30

So, what do you think? Which of these designers would you hire? I know some of these designs are excellent. Which are your favorites? On the other hand, are you surprised that any of these logos belong to professional logo designers? I’d love to hear what you think!

To really get an idea of how varied the skill range is in professional logo design, google “Logo and Identity Design” and check out some of the companies. If you find anything you would like to add to my list above (#8?) please share it in the comments below. Also, if you are a logo designer yourself, and you would like me to add your logo to this post, please leave your url in the comments below.

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43 Responses

07.13.09

You can also check mine – I’m not only a logo designer, but web+print also. Still, I have my logo, which you can check here: http://logopond.com/gallery/detail/37123
.-= Mariusz´s last blog ..Project goes live: Planning Poker =-.

Manda Reply:

I’m happy to add your logo! I’m just waiting on one more recommendation so I can add them in pairs. Thanks for stopping by!

07.13.09

Nice post Manda. It is always interesting to see a logo designer’s work and compare it to their own logo. Personally, I think a lot of logo designer’s logo doesn’t always do them justice. I think many of these designers have somewhat outgrown their logos because their skills just keep evolving and they are better designers now then they were when they created their logo.
.-= Antonea Nabors´s last blog ..Freelancing 101: Where business meets pleasure =-.

Manda Reply:

Hi Antonea,

I think that you make a very good point. Many of us get so busy that we just don’t find the time to keep our own marketing materials updated. I’m proof of this — I’ve had “Redesign my company website” on my to-do list for years! It’s so old, it’s embarrassing!

07.13.09

I think some people are highly skilled at certain aspects of design, and less skilled at others. You have to be honest to the clients and yourself about what you can do. I personally don’t think logo design is my strongest skill, so I don’t claim to be a “logo designer”. Fortunately, we have other people at my workplace who are great logo designers.

Manda Reply:

Hi Mike,

I completely agree. I don’t think most of us are good at everything. We all have our strengths. I hand off advanced programming jobs to my friends. I’m just not there yet, and I don’t want to pretend that I am.

There are quite a few samples in this post from designers who really are mostly just logo designers (they should be easy to spot — they’re the best ones!), and then there are some from designers offering web, print and logo design. I did come across more logos than I expected, though, that broke every rule of good logo design — many of them from designers focusing on logo design! I left those off of this list, but if you google logo designers, you’ll see what I mean. Maybe the real problem is that those who are good at SEO aren’t so good at logo design :)

[...] New addition 7/13/09 – The Logos of Logo Designers [...]

07.13.09

The reason a lot of logo designers, or any designer for that matter don’t have logos for themselves is because they’re either freelancing under their own name (it’s hard to make a logo for a name… they’re usually just text based) or because it’s just so damn hard to create a logo for yourself – you NEVER ever seem to be happy with it…
.-= Callum Chapman´s last blog ..7 Coffee Stained Napkin Textures =-.

Manda Reply:

Hi Callum, I think that a logo designer should be able to create something professional to represent themselves, even if they are just working with a name. David Airey is a perfect example of this. He has created an identity for himself that is strong, recognizable, and extremely professional — with only his name. I am all for typographic logos, I’m just asking for a thoughtful font choice and a little kerning.

As for your other point, I think you are spot on. I do know many designers who can never seem to settle on a logo design — for the exact reason you mentioned, nothing seems good enough. I lucked out in that I love my logo, but I am forever tweaking this blog (it’s never quite perfect) and I have a huge mental block when it comes to my company website. Every time I design something, I think of something better, and then something BETTER, and then, well, you get the point. My site has been sitting stagnate for years, patiently waiting for me to get past my own perfectionist tendencies and finish a design!

[...] The Logos of Logo Designers [...]

07.13.09

Thanks for the kind words, Manda! Funny you should say them actually, as I’ve been considering a redesign for quite a while now. It’s hard not to get disheartened when people often point out similar logos, but I suppose that’s something many of us must put up with nowadays?
.-= David Airey´s last blog ..Logos by Branch =-.

Manda Reply:

Hi David, thanks for stopping by!

I can appreciate your feelings. You’ve created an identity that is strong, original, and undeniably successful. And, because you’ve marketed yourself so well, it has become an inspiration to some designers, and something to copy for others. I think that if you feel it’s time for a change, then it’s time for a change. But, if you still love your logo and feel that it represents you as a designer, I wouldn’t let those copycats take that away. If you move onto a new logo, some will just continue to use your past idea, and others will move on to copy your new idea. Since I’ve become more active online, I’m seeing this more and more, and it’s extremely upsetting. I’m not sure how to put a stop to it, but I like to imagine that after enough angry clients walk away after finding that these guys have no real creative skills whatsoever, they will be forced out of business and out of the design field altogether.

07.13.09

Hi Manda, you can add my logo if you like. I’m a graphic designer (print & web).
Here’s my URL: http://www.designkoningin.nl/

Manda Reply:

Thank you for your submission Marjolein! I will be adding you logo sometime this week.

07.13.09

It seems that in general designers do better work on Clients logos than their own. Demanding clients tend to push designers in directions that they may not have otherwise explored. Not all of us designers have the structure and discipline to go to those places on our own.

Jeff SanGeorge
Connect Marketing and Design

Manda Reply:

Hi Jeff, I think you make an excellent point — one that I never considered before. It IS oftentimes the clients who push for deeper creative ideas. Nice observation!

Mark Reply:

That is a really good observation. I have found that some of my best work has come from a client taking the ideas into new directions.
It actually goes right along with my tagline “Your Vision. Your Image.” It is ultimately the clients vision that gets the desired image they want.;
.-= Mark´s last blog ..Inexpensive Ways to Market Your Business =-.

07.13.09

Great post Manda!

I think you have some really good picks here. The Brandit is fun and playful; and the 903 logo is well thought out and has a good balance between legibility and negative space.A couple I don’t know how I feel about (which I’m not going to get into).

Self-identity for creatives is the hardest thing to create. Especially if your services range across a broad spectrum.

That’s really cool article! It’s really for sure, that a logo of logodesigner said a lot about him or his company! I know most of them from Your article and rest of them I’ve seen during reeding an article and it’s absolutely like You said! Portfolio of each company is usually similar to their own logo – creative and cool logos have good and creative designers and also complicated and clip art logos have boring companies..
Nice 2 read, I’ll come back for sure :-)

07.13.09

My logo: http://informationhighwayman.com

The text isn’t part of the logo—it’s just situated snugly next to it in this case because, of course, I don’t have a proper website yet (;

07.13.09

GREAT article! Check out my logo and let me know your thoughts. Logo design, branding and print design are my passions. Website under construction, but my landing page works for now:)

07.13.09

Very nice post! I really like the logo for Headstand Media. I had to look at it a couple of times before I realized the H looks like someone doing a headstand!

Hey, thanks for including the 903 logo in your roundup. Very interesting post. As it’s already been mentioned, it is pretty difficult designing for yourself, so it’s always interesting to see how different creatives solve this problem.

But, again, thanks for the inclusion.

[...] Checklists and Questionnaires 40 Free and Essential Web Design and Development Books from Google The Logos of Logo Designers 40 Great Adobe AIR Applications for Designers and Developers 80+ Texture Resources for Designers [...]

07.13.09

[...] This post was Twitted by jan_j [...]

07.13.09

Manda, thanks for the post, a great topic! To be honest, I found the wordage in this post is more interesting and insightful than the logos. I expected more when I just saw the title of the post, but I found myself a bit disappointed – many logos in the post can be considered just ordinary. There must be a lot more excellent ones out there. I will try to find some of them. For the time being, maybe I should just throw in these 2 including my own :>)

MrSunnyZ – http://www.mrsunnyz.com
Cute Little Factory – http://www.cutelittlefactory.com/logo/new-personal-logo/

07.13.09

You made a very strong point and i agree with your statement. Thank you for these information.

07.13.09

Thank you sir for this great website and article. I am thrilled, yes even at 4:30am, to have come across this.

07.13.09

Good post, makes me think – did any design company logos ever get really really famous for being good logos? How did Paul Rand represent himself?

I’ll have to link to my website with my logo as well: fortelle.no/sitenuveau but I probably don’t qualify to be on the list, seeing as I’m just a student and have done very little logo work for actual clients.

[...] This post was Twitted by suhelakapoor [...]

[...] Checklists and Questionnaires 40 Free and Essential Web Design and Development Books from Google The Logos of Logo Designers 40 Great Adobe AIR Applications for Designers and Developers 80+ Texture Resources for Designers [...]

07.13.09

One of the hardest tasks as a designer is capturing your own brand. I must of reworked this a thousand time. LOve it if you could include mine:)
http://logopond.com/gallery/detail/53520

07.13.09

Designing my own logo was quite difficult. The good thing about it is if you really like what you designed you do not have to worry about the client coming back and saying “it isn’t quite what we are looking for”. :)
.-= Mark´s last blog ..Inexpensive Ways to Market Your Business =-.

07.13.09

Hi Manda, Thanks for including us. I hope we’re on the “good” list. Its almost impossible to design for your own company. A catchy name helps!

07.13.09

Designing a logo is a very difficult work. It involves the creativity of a person that must be appealing to clients or to other people. Hey, I like the BRANDIT and BRAND AID logo. Though, all are nice.
.-= Daryl´s last blog ..Green Toys – Environmentally and Children Safe Toys! =-.

07.13.09

This is very interesting. I actually don’t like many of those logos much. Maybe it is like the saying goes: “the cobblers children always go barefoot”.
.-= Susan Kennedy´s last blog ..Paris – a micro guide =-.

Manda Reply:

I can completely relate to that, Susan! My website has been in desperate need of a redesign for about 5 years. There just never seems to be enough time to work on projects for yourself :)

07.13.09

Just got my new site up last night – feel free to add my logo :)
http://www.lushcreativegraphics.com

07.13.09

We are a logo design company, If you like our logo feel free to ad them to your cool list :)

http://bit.ly/thescube-logo

07.13.09

Great round up. Some of very interesting points you have included in your post.
Many thanks.

07.13.09

clean and cool. Love them.

07.13.09

Isn’t it strange how some people can be so creative when given a brief from a client, and yet not be able to come up with a logo that accurately reflects their own business and design style – perhaps a way to overcome this would be for us to write our own brief for ourselves (like those we would get from our clients) and treat ourselves to the same creativity we give to other people :)

07.13.09

Really great points. Love your blog. Thanks.

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