Designing logos is painful, frustrating and occasionally quite rewarding. Here are several I don’t mind showing. Aside from the constantly recurring circle, half-circle and oval themes, I think they show a bit of diversity. And many tend toward a retro look. I guess that’s a kind of specialty.
Mixed in are a few lost souls: logos I loved, but the clients—not so much. Sometimes it was differing taste, sometimes the relationship went south, other times the project just never saw the light of day.
Duluth Pack Logo
I made this logo based on the leather patch Duluth Tent & Awning sewed on all their products back in 1990 when I worked on their second catalog. The moose illustration is mine and I used Adobe Garamond for the font. Why didn’t they already have a print version? I guess “branding” was something only giant corporations thought much about back then, and their main business was in awnings, not packs.
Amazing Grace Bakery & Café logo
Done back in the mid-1990s, still in use.
Canosia Farms Logo
They chose a different logo from the batch I offered but this was my favorite. These nice folks are a small, local farm starting a hard cider business using their orchard’s apples.
Transition Services logo
Amusingly, this business disappeared when the client – who was between jobs when he started this business – transitioned into being an employee again. Which reminds me of this question: “why work 40 hours a week for someone else when you can work 80 hours a week for yourself?”
Original Duluth Trading Logo
This was the first logo used for Duluth Trading catalogs. For one catalog early on, I was too busy and another firm took over. They redid the logo for their version. I thought I needed to stay with the new version for consistency’s sake. What’s used these days is a derivation of that one.
Natural Harvest Food Coop logo
They didn’t choose this logo but it was my favorite.
Springloaded Brewery logo
A micro brewery set up in an old power plant in Sand Springs, OK.
Ronin Asian Bistro logo
It’s hard to make a Roman font work in the Japanese aesthetic. I think this comes close. Alas, the business never opened.
Winter Happens Logo
A pretty minimalist logo. The one red leaf makes it.
Frost River Heritage Black Canvas Logo
A small logo used to designate “Heritage Black Canvas Collection” products for Frost River. There’s an example of one of these products here.
A physical therapist friend invented a contraption for allowing injured folks to run on a treadmill. The idea is to suspend some or a lot of their weight to avoid further damage. Doesn’t a feather say that nicely? Alas, in the end he didn’t use it.
Gemini 50th Anniversary logo
Gemini makes signs and letters for signmakers. I was working on illustrations for their annual catalog and landed this job at the same time.
Superior National Forest Centennial Logo
Rendered for the 100th anniversary of the Superior National Forest. There is a matching logo for the Quetico with a loon.
Williams Brewing logo
I’d already painted several bear covers for William’s Brewing when the owner, Bill Moore, asked me to redo the logo in a style that matched the cover bear illustrations. You can see the old version here, in my “About” section.
Witchtree Training Center logo
The client found a photo of a tree she liked that I turned into this illustration. I found the font and borrowed the border style from the German-American arts & crafts printmaker Gustave Baumann.
Dovetail Café & Marketplace Logo
The final version chosen by the clients is slightly different, but this one is my favorite of the several near-end versions I designed.
Godsey Words logo
Done for my friend Chris Godsey
St. James Pasties logo
Done on a lark for a client who bakes these in her spare time for church fundraisers. The blob is a “pasty”: a stew-like concoction baked in this half-circle of pastry, brought to upper Michigan and Minnesota by miners from Wales. Not to be confused with the modesty-enhancing “apparel” commonly used by exotic dancers.
Frost River logo
Frost River: I talk about how these guys came to be in the “About” section.
Northstar Insulating Systems logo
Logo for a regional HVAC company.
Boundary Waters 40th Anniversary Logo
I periodically do work for US Forest Service’s Superior National Forest, specifically print materials for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I just did a logo for the 40th anniversary of its Wilderness Area designation. The version here is not quite the final one: instead of this “badge” shaped container, they wanted it in the Forest Service’s “shield” shaped container. Understandable, but this one works just a bit better.
Insight Environment logo, actual
Much of my work tends toward retro or an old-timey look. But I think this one is pretty contemporary. A green flame because they’re, well, green.
Ashland Baking Co. & Black Cat Café Logos
The Ashland Baking Co. and the Black Cat Café are partner businesses located in Ashland, Wisconsin. Owned and operated by the same folks, and sharing the same building, they wanted the respective logos to look like they belonged together.
Grass Roots Farm logo
As I said about the business card with this logo, it’s my favorite business card (at least of the ones I’ve designed) and so this is pretty much my favorite logo. I haven’t seen the owner, Sara Ward, in many years but she’s still using the design.
Amazing Grace Music Festival logo
They haven’t held this festival for many years but I always grin when I see this logo. The guitar neck and fingers were blithely stolen from the 1969 Woodstock music festival. But this is Duluth so Woodstock’s dove became the ubiquitous seagull.
First Strike logo
I did several of these on spec for a friend of a client. This one was my favorite.
Farm for Profit logo, actual
Done as part of a website development using Goudy and Helvetica. Friendly and simple.
Note that the rocks are a photograph, not one of my illustrations.
Dutch Consulting logo
A friend started his own city planning consulting business. Nothing says Holland like a tulip and slightly severe (at least austere) typography.
Mexican Insurance logo
This logo was part of a redesign of the client’s website. In the end he got cold feet because changing anything would affect his SEO ranking. Too bad.
Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps logo
This logo was done in a sort of modern “flattened” style. NBHPC is a kind of modern-day CCC organization that puts volunteers to work on old WPA structures (often log cabins), rejuvenating the logs, roofs and stone & concrete foundations (thus the cement trowel) which are usually associated with state parks (thus the tree).
William’s Brewing: Brewer’s Edge Mash & Boil Logo
This was designed to be used small (an inch or less wide), printed in one color only, and occasionally embossed in metal. With no room for detail it ended up a very minimal logo.
Carmen’s Christmas Carmels logo
These are the world’s best carmels. I’m not just saying that.
At first blush I thought this was a bit tacky. The client fixes high-pressure industrial leaks (think steam, ethanol, sulfur dioxide, isobutane, or papermill pulp to mention a few leakable materials). And they do this while the plant is running.
Himmel Tanzen Stables Sign
Not actually a logo, this was designed as signage for a horse-owning couple’s new farm. But it really should be a logo. Himmel Tanzen is German for “heaven dancing”.
Alanwater Bridge Lodge logo
Run by an American expat hostelier and outfitter deep in the Canadian bush. You get there via floatplane or the CN railroad.
JS Print Group logo
The smart money says have Tobbi Stager (J.S. Print Group) handle your printing. He oversees every aspect of the job with a hawk-like eye for detail.
Croix Crystal Proposed Logo
A proposed logo design for Croix Crystal, a bottled water distributor in the Twin Cities area.
Adaptors Radio Show logo
Done for an NPR radio show but didn’t get used. There were several versions of this idea; I still like this one best. The font is Frutiger.
Designed for a business that builds mobile hydraulic cranes for the metal recycling business (think junkyard). Working the concept of recycling into the logo connects the meaningless name to the actual work.
Created for the same guy that started Duluth Trading: Bob Fierek.