2012 HOW Logo Design Award Gallery

HOW’s Logo Design Awards brings forward some of the best and most clever logos. Get inspired by this year’s top winners (presented in no particular order). Congratulations to all of the 2012 winners and thank you to all entrants!

Judge Sunny Bonnell, co-founder and creative director at Motto, chipped away at the logo entries until she found her top picks.

Sunny shared with us what she looks for in an effective logo: “Is it scalable, conceptual, memorable, smart, solid, harmonious, flexible, adaptable? It’s important for me to see how the logo functions and lives in an environment—that’s where a well designed and conceptually strong mark really shines.”

*Editor’s Note: please note that there were 10 winners, but one logo was later disqualified.

See all the winners below and click on each image to get a closer look.


Firm: Latinbrand, Quito, Ecuador; www.latin-brand.com
Creative Team: Silvio Giorgi, Sandro Giorgi
Description: BAQ 2010 is the Biennial of Architecture of Quito.
Judge’s Comments:
This mark makes a brilliant and bold statement. There’s a sense of tension and opposition in the abbreviated letters, which reflects architecture that breaks boundaries. The letterforms work perfectly for a photofill technique— allowing the images to fill the letterform shapes and tell a compelling story. Bravo.

Betty Hatchett Design

Firm: Betty Hatchett Design, Norwood, OH; www.bettyhatchettdesign.com
Creative Team: Elizabeth Hatchett
I wanted to speak to both the beauty and the utility of the designs I create, so I paired a buxom B’ed Betty with the ever useful, capable hatchet.
Judge’s Comments: I was immediately smitten by this entry. The idea of using an image of a hatchet in place of the word is curiously simple and so memorable. It’s feminine, yet feminist; it’s as if you get a sense of who she is and the work she creates through the identity. The handcrafted feel of the line quality and the subtle powdering of white on the surface is quite charming. It’s beautifully rendered.

Cleveland Rocks identity

Firm: Flying Hand Media, Cleveland, OH; www.flyinghandmedia.com
Creative Team: Philip McFee, art director; Natalie Sobonya McAlister, account manager
Description: Cleveland Rocks is a grassroots effort by young Clevelanders to sing the praises of their thriving-but-much maligned home on the Cuyahoga. The social media-driven group needed an adaptable logo that conveyed the punchy attitude, cultural diversity, and rock roots of its namesake in a memorable hashtag-ready format.
Judge’s Comments:
This logo has attitude and it’s edgy, powerful, energetic and youthful. The integration of the pick and CLE ROX is smart and hip. It makes you feel a part of something greater—a grassroots effort you can raise your fists for. The mark, covering transparent overlays of color, is lively and works beautifully across applications.

Pinterest Logoytpe

Firm: Michael Deal, New York City; www.mikemake.com; www.jcpagan.com,
Creative Team:
Juan Carlos Pagan, Michael Deal
Pinterest is a website that acts as a giant dynamic pinboard. They needed a custom logotype that was casual, but also carried signs of craft. It was important to sense the subtle touch of the hand in the forms.
Judge’s Comments: What’s not to love? The evolution of this mark is striking. The original logo that this one evolved from was forgettable. The craftsmanship behind the redesign, paired with Michael and Carlos’ understanding of Pinterest’s audience created something really remarkable. The logotype and badge mark are both flexible and work flawlessly across the intended applications. It’s one of those marks where you feel like a little bit of magic happened along the way.

The Handlebar Cafe

Firm/Creative Team: Doug Hucker, Baltimore, MD; www.doughucker.com
Designed for a young, new bike cafe in downtown Baltimore that serves coffee, beer, and snacks. The goal was to make a fun, energetic mark with loads of personality.
Judge’s Comments:
I thought this was an excellent, unified mark. It’s compact, the type is incorporated nicely, and it scales well. It is youthful, fresh, and energetic— perfect for the bike cafe it represents.

Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens

Firm: AREA203 Digital, Chattanooga, TN; www.area203.com
Creative Team: Elaine Manglicmot, Chris Enter
We redesigned the logo for Paradise Gardens, making it simpler and cleaner and in the same style of Howard Finster’s works of art.
Judge’s Comments: Howard Finster is arguably the 20th Century’s most important American folk artist. This logo struck a chord within me for several reasons: it’s raw, expressionistic, and imperfect in a perfect way. There’s a sensitivity yet humorous tone about the logo that is intriguing.

Choose Love

Firm: One Man’s Studio, Boston, MA; www.onemansstudio.com
Creative Team: Keith Kitz
Description: Developed for a series of self-enrichment events entitled Choose Love, the logotype was created to be instantly recognizable, as well as inspirational. The Choose Love experience combines a variety of creative exploration sessions, guided meditation, and yoga to help participants gain personal insight. The visual campaign included the development of the Choose Love logo, promotional posters, and event branded buttons distributed to participants.
Judge’s Comments: It’s as if the stars aligned for this mark. The solution is a perfect fit for the name. It is recognizable, strong, smart, and versatile. It embodies every fundamental rule of what makes a great logo.

NC Public Power 2010 logo

Firm: ElectriCities Strategic Communications, Raleigh, NC; www.electricities.com
Creative Team: Ed Roberts, communication projects supervisor; Steve Dreyer, senior graphic designer
Description: Logo for NC Public Power Week, an event which celebrates our member communities and the benefits that public power provides.
Judge’s Comments:
There’s a confidence about this enclosure mark that immediately grabbed my attention. The pairing of different typefaces sit well within the shape, which has a slight retro curve. The lighting bolt shapes used throughout give a nod to the theme of power. I also appreciated the one-color application as the red really makes this logo feel electric.

Catherine Traicos & the Starry Night

Firm: Studio Papa, Collingwood, Australia; www.studiopapa.com.au
Creative Team: Marcus Taylor
Catherine Traicos required a new logo to coincide with the release of her upcoming album “Gloriosa.” A logo was designed that would reflect Catherine style of americana country/folk music and embrace her new backing band “The Starry Night.” Hand-lettering and customized type were used in the development of her boutique identity.
Judge’s Comments:
I love logos that stir something within you or have an emotional quality about them. This is a lovely logo and meticulously crafted. Various type and elements come together to tell a rich story. It is Americana, folksy, and country. It’s a wonderful translation of that musical genre and captures the spirit of the band. The hand-lettering and subtle distress make the identity feel weathered and honest.

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