25 USA brands that celebrate their state

Location, location, location. A lot of the branding requests we see on 99designs are from small local businesses. These are companies who want to connect to their communities through shared location, and all of the associations that go with that — cultural, economic, political.

As a designer, it’s key to know where these businesses come from… literally. You must learn where they make their product or service and get to know any historical and cultural associations. From there, you can use that information to find a fresh perspective for their brand identity.

In this roundup, we’ve collected designs representing 25 out of the USA’s 50 states. Each of these designers found a way to bring out the culture of the company’s hometown or state, without being clichéd. Looking at each of these designs, you get a sense of place. Like the enigmatic sixth taste of umami, it may be an indescribable feeling— but you feel it there.

Here are five design motifs our community has used to accomplish this.

City landmarks

This is an easy go-to visual theme. What’s more recognizable than the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, or the Taj Mahal? The key is to use that to your benefit while not letting it get lost in the crowd of other companies using it. We love here the use of landmarks for smaller town brands, or the clever integration of shape and word.

States of design: Alabama

State: Alabama
Designer: CampbellGraphix
Contest: Logo for Henry County, Alabama

D.C

State(ish): Washington D.C.
Designer: Arthean
Contest: Logo for District Cookies

Illinois

State: Illinois
Designer: Freshradiation
Contest: Logo for the Chicago Foodtruck Festival 2014

Washington

State: Washington
Designer: Martina ^_^
Contest: Logo for Seattle Hotshots

West Virginia

State: West Virginia
Designer: Agi Amri
Contest: Logo design for Charlestown Farmers Market

Famous landscapes

For each state that doesn’t have a famous city landscape, we’ve got one that has a spectacular association with natural ones. And the nice thing about these is that you don’t always have to mimic a specific mountain, beach, forest — you just have to get the general idea across.

Colorado

State: Colorado
Designer: reloart™
Contest: Logo for Colorado Common Brewery

Hawaii

State: Hawaii
Designer: ragerabbit
Contest: Logo for Awaken Tea Kombucha

Idaho

State: Idaho
Designer: chilibrand®
Contest: Logo for Idaho Water Softener

Rhode Island

State: Michigan
Designer: DSKY
Contest: Logo for Providence Organic Farm & CSA

Utah

State: Utah
Designer: indra kh
Contest: Logo design for Waterpocket Distillery

State industry

Like countries around the world, states each have their own unique set of natural resources for trade. Oregon has a coast, while Oklahoma does not.

If you and your brand know a little bit about the economic history of the state or city they’re based in – even the simple facts that school kids learns about their state – you can use that to your benefit in helping make your client’s story a part of a much bigger picture.

Oregon

State: Oregon
Designer: BB_Design
Contest: Logo for Portland Fish Market

Arkansas

State: Arkansas
Designer: muszaj
Contest: Logo for Arkansas Hog Hunting BBQ Sauce

California

State: California
Designer: Kreatank
Contest: Logo for Send it to Mary

Oklahoma

State: Oklahoma
Designer: Agi Amri
Contest: Logo for Waterfall Creek Pecan Farm

Pennsylvania

State: Pennsylvania
Designer: Freshinnet
Contest: Logo for CheeseSteak Media

Tennessee

State: Tennessee
Designer: Widakk
Contest: Logo for Tennessee Hills Distillery

Historical aesthetic

Tied closely with the previously mentioned industry but as well with culture, landscape, and again historical context, is a kind of localized aesthetic.

For example, the southwest of the country is in pop culture influenced by the native geometric patterns of the native tribes of the area, while the north east coast is often defined by its colonial past, particularly the foundational 13 states.

Georgia

State: Georgia
Designer: muszaj
Contest: Logo for Atlanta Compressor

Missouri

State: Missouri
Designer: Bright_Designs
Contest: Logo design for the Jim & Teresa Maurer Collection

New Mexico

State: New Mexico
Designer: Bright_Designs
Contest: Logo for New Mexico Distillers Guild

Virginia

State: Virginia
Designer: ArsDesigns
Contest: Logo design for The 29 Diner

Flora and fauna

Our final selection is in the inhabitants of an area — particularly, the animal kind. A lot of times this will be inextricably linked with the trade in question, as we see in the top example a famous Alaskan salmon being used to describe a salmon fishery in Alaska isn’t a great leap in concept.

But the type of animal used to represent a state can say so much more than something literal, as their use can communicate anything from a local industry to a conceptual feeling.

Alaska

State: Alaska
Designer: Rom@n
Contest: Logo for Alaska Salmon CSF

New Hampshire

State: New Hampshire
Designer: DSKY
Contest: Logo for Goat Island Oyster Company

Texas

State: Texas
Designer: bentosgatos
Contest: Logo for Texas Branded

Vermont

State: Vermont
Designer: Freshinnet
Contest: Label design for Hermit Thrush Brewery

States of design: Wyoming

State: Wyoming
Designer: ragerabbit
Contest: Logo for Little Bear Home Services, LLC

Show us your great logos for companies around the U.S. in the comments below.

The author

Kaitlyn Ellison
Kaitlyn Ellison

Kaitlyn is part of the Community Team at 99designs.com. She grew up in Boulder, CO and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago. When she's not blogging, she spends her time having adventures and being generally creative. She's all about having new experiences as often as possible!

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