How 6 Startup Logos Came to Be
WOW 1 DAY PaintingBaker’s EdgePenn Treaty FinancialGobbleboxGarfieldLittle Ram Editing
Great logos don't usually happen by accident. Here's how six logos came to be, along with some takeaways about why the designs work. --John Brandon
After 1-800-GOT-JUNK founder Brian Scudamore found success in the junk removal business, he decided to launch a second service company--one that promises to paint the inside of your house in one day. Initially he thought he'd try the same branding tactic as well--including a phone number in the logo and branding for 1-800-GOT-JUNK turned out to be a smart move. But it wasn't such a smart move for 1-888-WOW-1DAY. Customers didn't know what to call the company: 1-888-WOW or just WOW? Scudamore decided to keep things simple. The new logo is bright and clean, and, most importantly, conveys a strong message: You will be impressed.
When creating a logo, it's important to focus on what your company does--your primary service. Baker's Edge had created a finished logo with its name, but the company abandoned it in favor of a design that showed off its one main product: an S-shaped pan for baking. There are thousands of baking companies in the U.S., but Baker's Edge wanted to differentiate. The logo now looks exactly like the product they offer. As a side benefit, the trademark will never expire, even if their patent does.
Why the tree? For Penn Treaty Financial, a financial services company named after a nearby park in Philadelphia, the founders wanted a hint of the famous oak tree landmark. They also wanted to play with the idea that money doesn't grow on trees. The resulting logo came to founder Garden Logan after her son picked up a small tree branch at the park. He kept throwing it to a nearby dog, but the tiny leaves stayed put--an apt illustration for her services.
The logo for this location-based social media app may look simple, but it's designed to both represent the business and subtly hint at a passion for many of its employees. The turkey feather refers to the company name, Gobblebox, and the sound turkeys make when they communicate. (The app lets you communicate with fellow travelers anonymously wherever you go.) But that orange color refers to the nearby Virginia Tech Hokies, a football team the staff follows avidly.
Garfield Group, a marketing company in Philadelphia, wanted to make sure a new logo could work on a Web page, a baseball cap, business cards--just about any medium they might use. That kind of flexible branding requires more of an icon or badge, so that's the design that ultimately won out.
Sometimes logos are unabashedly personal. That's the case behind Little Ram Editing & Consulting's logo. Owner Heather Wehland was at home visiting her parents when twin lambs were born on their farm. The ewe was healthy, but the ram only lived only a week. The experience left an indelible impression and became the inspiration for the picture of a lamb starting to walk, wearing a crown.