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14 Lovely Examples Of Old-Timey Branding For Small Businesses

Gestalten’s Los Logos 6 catalogs the best emblematic logos for companies looking to borrow some heritage.

  • <p><em>Los Logos 6</em> compiles some of the best emblems designed in recent years, including this one, by Helsinki-based creative agency <a href="http://www.kokoromoi.com/" target="_blank">Kokoro & Moi</a> for Sundsbergin Ranta, a beach area in the Finnish countryside.</p>
  • <p>Louise Fili, a New York–based designer specializing in logo design, writes on her <a href="http://www.louisefili.com/" target="_blank">website</a>: "A cultural park in Alabama, Blount features a Shakespearean theater landscaped with fences made from rustic twisted branches, which served as an inspiration for this logotype."</p>
  • <p>The Italian designer <a href="http://avantbras.com/" target="_blank">Stefano Bracci</a> crafted this logo for what we can only imagine is hybrid sport of drinking beer and biking.</p>
  • <p>The Canadian agency <a href="http://www.123klan.com/" target="_blank">123Klan</a> creates mascots and logos traditionally:  "They may be vectorized later, but their basis lays in handmade drawing," the designers say.</p>
  • <p>The Brooklyn-based <a href="http://www.thekdu.com/" target="_blank">Keystone Design Union</a> created this retro cartoon for its own logo. It can double as a tattoo.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://cargocollective.com/zachshuta/lwrco" target="_blank">Zach Shuta</a>, who specializes in bold black-and-white logos, designed this T-shirt insignia for indie menswear brand <a href="http://www.shoplovewrightco.com/" target="_blank">The Lovewright Co</a>.</p>
  • <p>For a company specializing in mixing live techno music with a high-society vibe, the Zurich-based studio<a href="http://" target="_blank"></a> created a logo that apes classic Art Deco imagery.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://www.roosjeklap.nl/" target="_blank">Roosje Klap</a>’s (unrealized) coin design in celebration of <a href="http://www.maxhavelaar.com/" target="_blank">Max Kavelaar</a>’s 150th year is jam-packed with graphic symbolism and geometric elements.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://www.creativeinc.ie/" target="_blank">Creative Inc.</a> fashioned an identity for Dublin hair brand Mane inspired by the "flowing tentacles of jellyfish." The products are sold in apothecary-like bottles.</p>
  • <p>Would it be vintage without a rubber stamp?</p>
  • <p>The rubber-stamp insignia is a common thread running through package design, stationery, and signage.</p>
  • <p>The Dutch studio <a href="http://www.edhv.nl/edhv/?cat=5" target="_blank">Edhv</a> conceived this prismatic logo for the <a href="http://moon-life.org/store/" target="_blank">Moon Life</a> concept store, which “creates its own futuristic world in which visitors can explore and test or experience the products and concepts that represent future human life in space.”</p>
  • <p>The Moon Academy has taken place in association with the European Space Agency, bringing students together with scientists working in the field of space technology.</p>
  • <p>Another iteration of the logo, expressly for the parent foundation.</p>
  • <p>For a high-end <a href="http://" target="_blank"></a> in Portland Oregon, <a href="http://www.makelike.com" target="_blank">Makelike </a>applied the common “X” motif to their crest representing the two facets of the restaurant: pizza peels and a cocktail shaker.</p>
  • <p>For the one-day professional bike race in northern France, Jeremy Pruitt devised an emblem that evokes wheel spokes.</p>
  • <p>Here’s another version, resembling a faceted diamond.</p>
  • 01 /17
    | Sundsbergin Ranta by Kokoro & Moi

    Los Logos 6 compiles some of the best emblems designed in recent years, including this one, by Helsinki-based creative agency Kokoro & Moi for Sundsbergin Ranta, a beach area in the Finnish countryside.

  • 02 /17
    | Blount Park by Louise Fili

    Louise Fili, a New York–based designer specializing in logo design, writes on her website: "A cultural park in Alabama, Blount features a Shakespearean theater landscaped with fences made from rustic twisted branches, which served as an inspiration for this logotype."

  • 03 /17
    | Birretta & Bicicletta by Stefano Bracci

    The Italian designer Stefano Bracci crafted this logo for what we can only imagine is hybrid sport of drinking beer and biking.

  • 04 /17
    | Assorted logos by 123Klan

    The Canadian agency 123Klan creates mascots and logos traditionally: "They may be vectorized later, but their basis lays in handmade drawing," the designers say.

  • 05 /17
    | Keystone Design Union

    The Brooklyn-based Keystone Design Union created this retro cartoon for its own logo. It can double as a tattoo.

  • 06 /17
    | The Lovewright Co. by Zach Shuta

    Zach Shuta, who specializes in bold black-and-white logos, designed this T-shirt insignia for indie menswear brand The Lovewright Co.

  • 07 /17
    | Visionnaire by Atelier Dessert

    For a company specializing in mixing live techno music with a high-society vibe, the Zurich-based studio created a logo that apes classic Art Deco imagery.

  • 08 /17
    | Max Havelaar by Roosje Klap

    Roosje Klap’s (unrealized) coin design in celebration of Max Kavelaar’s 150th year is jam-packed with graphic symbolism and geometric elements.

  • 09 /17
    | Mane by Creative Inc.

    Creative Inc. fashioned an identity for Dublin hair brand Mane inspired by the "flowing tentacles of jellyfish." The products are sold in apothecary-like bottles.

  • 10 /17

    Would it be vintage without a rubber stamp?

  • 11 /17

    The rubber-stamp insignia is a common thread running through package design, stationery, and signage.

  • 12 /17
    | Moon Life by Edhv

    The Dutch studio Edhv conceived this prismatic logo for the Moon Life concept store, which “creates its own futuristic world in which visitors can explore and test or experience the products and concepts that represent future human life in space.”

  • 13 /17
    | Moon Life by Edhv

    The Moon Academy has taken place in association with the European Space Agency, bringing students together with scientists working in the field of space technology.

  • 14 /17

    Another iteration of the logo, expressly for the parent foundation.

  • 15 /17
    | Oven and Shaker by Makelike

    For a high-end in Portland Oregon, Makelike applied the common “X” motif to their crest representing the two facets of the restaurant: pizza peels and a cocktail shaker.

  • 16 /17
    | Paris-Roubaix by Jeremy Pruitt/Thinkmule

    For the one-day professional bike race in northern France, Jeremy Pruitt devised an emblem that evokes wheel spokes.

  • 17 /17
    | Paris-Roubaix by Jeremy Pruitt/Thinkmule

    Here’s another version, resembling a faceted diamond.

Take an observant walk through a neighborhood described as "hip" (Brooklyn’s Williamsburg inevitably springs to mind), and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a typographic trend: the resurgence of old-fashioned logos. In fact, the practice—marked by such flourishes as calligraphic fonts and heraldic emblems—has grown so prevalent that it’s ripe for parody. (You may recall an earlier post about David Spengeler and his efforts to reimagine the world’s most iconic companies as hipster brands.)

[Assorted logos by the Canadian agency 123Klan]

That isn’t to say that there aren’t fine examples of old-timey graphics that use throwback elements in novel, tasteful, and contemporary ways. Los Logos 6, a comprehensive catalog of logo genera from Gestalten, contains a slew of them in its Emblem chapter (other categories include Art Brut, Script, and Glitch). So what characterizes an emblematic treatment? A penchant for geometry, for starters: "The circle never dies," the editors write, "nor do rectangles or triangles." (See Roosje Klamp’s signet design for Max Havelaar, slide #8, for a geometric mashup.)

There’s also a yearning, even among upstarts, to be identified as heritage brands. As the editors point out: "Brand logos that—however remotely—borrow designery attributes from emblems, blazons, and family crests, play on heritage, and it seems somewhat secondary whether the brands they represent have one or not." So if you’re looking to impart a "vintage" patina on a brand, all you have to do is slap a signet on some T-shirts—and voilà, instant history. In other words, put a crest on it!

The above slide show includes several examples from the book, available here for $33. Stay tuned for the next typographic installment on glitch logos.