Top 5 Animal Logos
I don’t know about you, but I love a good animal logo. This is likely at least in part because I simply love animals. From a design perspective, I find that, when done well, these logos can very successfully play into a brand's personality and become iconic or even beloved by an audience. There are countless brands with animal logos, which made picking just five a challenge.
Below are five animal logos, both older and newer, that I find particularly impressive and inspiring.
This logo is one most of us are very familiar with and is a beautiful example of the magic of white space. The original design was based off sketches, by the environmentalist and artist Gerald Watterson, of a panda in the London Zoo named Chi-Chi. These sketches were later refined into their first version of the logo by Sir Peter Scott. About the design of the logo Sir Peter Scott said, “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs."
The Penguin logo is another timeless logo that’s immediately recognizable and has stayed relatively the same over many decades. I started to love it even more after seeing how it has evolved over the years. It’s almost as if the little penguin was dancing through time (especially in 1938). The logo was most recently updated by Pentagram, who also designed the Puffin logo for their children and middle-age readers. The simple, smooth lines and shapes lend themselves so well to creating a cohesive look across all of their brands while not losing a sense of fun or character.
Animal shelters so often have some iteration of a cat and dog silhouette in their logo. I love that this logo breaks many of those norms and lends itself so well to an incredibly versatile and recognizable brand. The logo has endless possibilities for change and yet remains so recognizably Battersea. It successfully represents their tagline of “Here for Every Dog and Cat” by showing not just one dog or cat in their logo, but any possible version of a dog or cat. I was immediately inspired the first time I saw this rebrand by Pentagram. The Battersea logo and brand encouraged me to think of a logo from a holistic brand view rather than as a static image.
This adorable little logo and mascot helps highlight some of the personality and fun that can come from having an animal logo. The logo was redesigned by Duolingo's in-house design team in 2019. It’s not just that Duo (the owl) is cute, but also that this logo has created an audience attachment to the brand in ways many of its competitors have not been able to. My initial response when I saw this little green owl was along the lines of “OH I LOOOOVE DUO!” Has anyone ever said that about Rosetta Stone?
Undeniably, Mailchimp is a brand that knows how to have fun. Freddie, their main logo mark, certainly exemplifies that with a toothy grin and cheeky wink. The logo was rebranded by Collins in collaboration with Mailchimp's In-house design team. What I love about this logo is that it manages to use clean lines and uncomplicated forms that can be successfully replicated at small sizes, while still being full of personality. They do a great job of keeping their mascot fun but not cheesy, which MANY companies have attempted and sadly failed at doing.
Alyson von Massow Provisional RGD is a Design and Content Specialist at Cambrian Solutions, a Maroon Group Company and a 2017 grad of the York/Sheridan Design Program.