Good logo design in unexpected places

We’ve talked before about using your personality to inform your logo. As a society, we have expectations of certain industries, and we anticipate that the logos used by those brands will be flashy, creative or expressive. But, really, the industry in which you conduct business should have no bearing on the time and imaginative quality you devote to your logo. Regardless of who you are or what you do, the first thing a consumer will notice about your brand is its logo.

Today we’ll be showcasing unique logo designs in industries that aren’t normally recognized for making a splash in the design world. So, how do we get started? Often, the best thing about a logo is how well it depicts the message that the brand intends to convey. Let’s take a look at good logo design in unexpected places.

Bare Tea Company. Bare Tea was borne from two friends who “dreamed of living simply.” They wanted to live lives free of distractions and complications, and they believed that nothing could provide a greater simple pleasure than a bare cup of tea.

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The logo of the Bare Tea Company is simple, clean and has a rounded design. The logo embodies the concept of simplicity, but also establishes unity between the leaves and the underline through the use of one-note color.

Action Pest Control. There’s no secret about this company’s business plan—it’s there to fight pests… everything from bedbugs to termites. Yuck.

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The triangle in the Action Pest Control logo is no accident. First, triangles signify a connotation with power. Second, the triangle and the “A” in action have a natural connection to one another. The little bug inside the triangle emphasizes the “A” shape, and so it creates a memorable impression for the consumer that Action Pest Control is the one with just that—the action that will rid his home of pests.

Anthem Automotive. The Anthem Automotive website is simple and nearly colorless, but that’s part of its impact. That is also on display through the company’s choice of a logo.

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Black, white and just a little red, along with the warm, golden glow of lights shining from the inside of the shop are about all the color you see when you visit the website. This conveys a clean, sharp attentiveness to detail, which is especially important to consumers when it comes to their cars. Because of the company’s theme of masculinity, power and detail, the design of the logo is also along those lines. It’s straightforward and to the point, with the gear design that makes it clear that the company deals in cars, and it conveys the message that this company will get the job done. No frills, but modern and efficient.

Farmhouse Pottery. Potter Zoe Zilian wanted to “create a place with a modern farm aesthetic that represented farm-to-table values.”

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The design of the Farmhouse Pottery logo is elegant and has a formal feel. The twists of wheat definitely convey a natural quality that represents a business that is close to the Earth, yet the typeface speaks to a more modern business approach; Zoe has cultivated a network of farmers and craftsmen so that her work displays a rich agricultural and craft heritage.

Cycle Sierra Nevada. This cycling training camp is not for the faint of heart. These trips are geared towards experienced cyclists looking for adventure.

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The Cycle Sierra Nevada site is largely black and white, and the logo is an old-school design—that’s what they asked for, and that’s what designer Tmas gave them. They go for a look that is masculine, mature and classic. This words-only logo works for the unadorned site that opens the door to adventure.

Salmon Creek Construction. Owners Mike and Jamey Critchlow are passionate about heavy equipment; they were born into a logging family and have been around the industry their entire lives, and so they wanted a logo that would convey passion mixed with experience.

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The request of the Salmon Creek Construction was for a logo that would be masculine, literal and with a design that would be professional, but would exude the wholesome family values and outdoorsman style that fits the company’s personality. This logo does just that. Look at that fish: It represents logging summers with dad and grandpa, building log cabins and campfires. That’s what this business is built on, and it shows.

Urban OrgaNYze. Couldn’t we all use a professional organizer in our lives? Laura Kinsella thinks so. That’s why she founded her professional organizing company, Urban OrgaNYze. She does everything from decluttering to restoring a family’s space by improving a home’s functionality.

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For her logo, Laura wanted something that could join together opposing forces: The chaos, hustle and bustle of New York City life, along with the concept that everything can be neat and organized. To design a logo that combines both of these concepts was a challenge, but 99designer 1001Designs™ did it. Laura requested “soothing, yet alive!”, and that’s what the designer did. The designer started with the concept of taking city blocks and incorporating them with colors that were calming, but never dull. The circular logos are easy to use in social media, but they clearly tell the viewer exactly what it is that the company does.

Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, Inc. “High Tech with a Soft Touch” is the slogan for this veterinary practice. It provides medical, surgical and dental care for pets in need.

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This Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, Inc. logo is a great example of the marriage of professional quality with (literally) heart. The heart-shaped stethoscope lets the consumer know that these people care about their pets and have their best interests in mind. However, there’s no mistaking that a stethoscope is all about business – the business of health care. This is a clean design with just two colors, and it conveys exactly the mix of feeling and professionalism that is crucial for a veterinary facility.

Doggone Spoiled. This is a sole proprietorship owned by a person who loves dogs. She provides pet sitting, dog walking and other pet services with a lot of love.

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This logo ties the backdrop of a bustling metropolis against the green grass that is where any dog would love to frolic. The idea is that even if you’re an urban, busy, city dweller with a dog, you can use the Doggone Spoiled services to give your dog some of the greener life. The color scheme is a great choice with green and black and the leaping dog icon certainly gives the impression that any dog cared for by Doggone Spoiled will have the time of its life.

Hudson Soap Company. What do you want from your favorite soap? Pure. Uncomplicated. Simple. Clean. Yet, it’s the kind of product that most people will buy based on the label, alone. While some people will research what kinds of soaps are chemical-free, or have specific fragrances or oils they like, the decision is often a quick one made in front of the shelf in the supermarket, pharmacy or specialty shop.

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Hudson Soap is different from most because the consumer won’t just find it in her local pharmacy; because this soap is sold primarily on Etsy or through independent retailers, the shopper can’t hold it in her hand or smell it to make a decision. That’s why the label and logo have to be exactly right to show the shopper what she can expect to receive. This logo is round, plain and simple, and simplicity is what the soap is selling. It’s free of harsh chemicals and is for the consumer who is looking for some clean and pure products in her life. It works!

eco Jacks Antique Lumber & Millworks. This is a niche business, for sure. eco Jacks uses recycled materials from bowling alleys and barn wood to restore residences and businesses with both beauty and functionality.

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The design of “eco” in eco Jacks’ logo is evident in the look of tree rings, both because they’re green and because they appear like the rubbing of a tree. The colors suggest an eco-friendly business model, yet the style of the typeface is professional and clear. The business says that its “target audience includes commercial and residential projects. We work with high-end designers, architects and general contractors.” Therefore, while sustainability, recycled materials and conservation are very important, this logo shows that eco Jacks knows its clientele, too.

Legacy Lane fiber mill. This rural-based business focuses on alpaca fiber, though they offer other fiber milling and processing services. Though the industry suggests a quaint quality, they work with wholesale and retail high-end natural fiber yarns. They’re selling hand-woven scarves, shawls, blankets, rugs and other textiles to designers, corporate clients and the general worldwide marketplace.

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The request: “unique, chic and modern.” That is what freedes75 delivered. This logo is simple and iconic. It’s elegant, suggests a little playfulness and creativity through the script letters, but is definitely no nonsense. It’s a logo that makes the company memorable and suggests a small-town charm, but with a big business sensibility.

Petroleum Energy Integrated Services (PEIS). About as far afield from alpaca fiber as a company can be, PEIS is a startup that provides new technology to the oil and gas industry for drilling and exploration. The owners think that what makes the company unique is that it’s a woman-owned company in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

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No stone was unturned in carefully considering each aspect to the design of this logo. Because this is a young company, the most important thing to assure their success is to build an internationally recognizable brand. Each color was selected with a particular concept in mind, focusing on integration and technology and connecting multiple disciplines within a single company; the “flame” shape bonds three colors together as a single logo, which suggests unity between these concepts. The professional appearance is very important to the founders, as is the look of experience, knowledge and flexibility.

Boston Smoked Fish Co. Who loves smoked fish? The Boston Smoked Fish Co. says its target audience is foodies and others who appreciate locally made, high quality, all natural, super tasty smoked fish. Well, then…. perfection!

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Designer bo_rad thought that a variety of blue shades would keep the logo consistent with the company’s already-established color palette. And, of course, blue is the color of the sea, so for a company that deals in fish, it makes perfect sense. The mascot, a fish smoking a pipe, is kitschy, modern and youthful. It suggests a gimmick – “hipster” fish. No one is likely to forget this logo any time soon.

The Weave Scene. Women of all ethnicities, ages 16-35, are the key demographic for this full-service hair salon that specializes in sew-in extensions and hair weaves.

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Of course, the “W” has hair woven through it, which includes soft movement and the essence of luscious locks. The owners were going for feminine, modern and playful. You go to the spa to feel pampered, right? Relax, let a professional do your hair, and enjoy the luxury. Everything from the color to the simple typeface and the logo itself has elegance to it. This is a spot where any woman can walk in, enjoy a treatment and leave feeling beautiful.

Design in Unexpected Places…

These companies run the gamut—loggers, pest control, tea, fish, hair stylists, technology—and there’s no question that fine design is imperative, regardless of the industry you’re in. One thing we’ve learned is that there is no “stock” design for a particular industry or demographic. Each of these companies has studied its audience, and it shows. In each instance, the company and designer worked together to create a logo design as unique as the brand.

We’d like to know – where do you see unique designs? What’s interesting about them? We’re always on the lookout for what’s ultra new, modern and edgy, because we often tie those design characteristics to traditional businesses.

Share in the comments below what design attributes you think are effective, fun and creative in your industry.

The author

99designs Team
99designs Team

The 99designs team is a rag-tag group of color-loving, creativity-celebrating, typography-appreciating, idea enthusiasts. Most of us like beer.

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