Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

11 logo designs from The Partners

The Partners agency

Launched in 1983, The Partners is a design agency based in London. With nearly 400 creative and design effectiveness awards to the name, the 40 people who work there are leaders in the field.

Aziz Cami, Chairman and Co-founder, has this to say:

“The Partners was set up with one modest ambition: Simply, to be the most creative agency in the world.”

Here I showcase 11 logo designs created by the company.

Models 1

Models 1 logo design

Model agency, UK.
Art director: Nina Jenkins.
Designers: Rob Howsam, Steve Owen, Tony De Ste Coix, Annabel Clements.
Logo designed in 1999.

Wedgewood

Wedgwood logo design

Fine-china producer, UK.
Art directors: Aziz Cami, Nina Jenkins.
Designers: Steve Owen, Tony De Ste Coix.
Logo designed in 2000.

London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra logo design

Musical company, UK.
Art director: Nick Clark.
Designer: Martin Lawless.
Logo designed in 2001.

De Beers

De Beers logo design

Diamond jewelry joint venture, UK.
Art directors: Gill Thomas, Aziz Cami, Janet Neil.
Designers: Mike Paisley, Rob Holloway.
Logo designed in 2002.

Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths logo design

Jewelry retail chain, UK.
Art directors: Nina Jenkins, Tim Prior, Nick Eagleton.
Designers: Helen Cooley, Sue Farrington, Claire Turner.
Logo designed in 2003.

University College London

UCL logo design

University, UK.
Art director: Jack Renwick.
Designer: Jess Philpott.
Logo designed in 2005.

Chesterton International

Chesterton International logo design

Estate agent, UK.
Art directors: Nina Jenkins, Tim Prior.
Designers: Bob Young, Sophie Hayes.
Logo designed in 2005.

Anglo American

Anglo American logo design

International mining group, UK / South Africa.
Art director: James Beveridge.
Designers: Annabel Clements, Esther Rushton, David Richards, Ian Lankibury.
Logo designed in 1999.

Aurora Orchestra

Aurora Orchestra logo design

Chamber orchestra, UK.
Art directors: Nick Eagleton, Nick Clark.
Designers: Kerry Ostermeyer, Claire Turner.
Logo designed in 2005.

Gravity Flooring

Gravity Flooring logo design

Contract flooring company, UK.
Art director: Nina Jenkins.
Designer: Steve Owen, James Harvey, Leon Bahrani, Kate Shepherd.
Logo designed in 2005.

Jaguar

Jaguar logo design

Performance car manufacturer, UK.
Art director: Greg Quinton.
Designers: Steve Owen, Helen Cooley.
Logo designed in 2002.

For more information, visit The Partners website, or browse more of their work inside the excellent book, Logo, by Michael Evamy.

My favourite / least favourite logo designs

From a subjective standpoint, my two favourites are Models 1, and London Symphony Orchestra. The latter was previously featured here in 10 creative monogram logo designs. My least favourite is Aurora Orchestra, mainly because of the reliance on colour and lack of contrast.

Which logos appeal to you?

Do any of these designs stand out amongst the rest? Do you have differing thoughts to my own? I’d love to read your personal opinion.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

40 appreciated comments

  1. I like the London Symphony logo the best. Probably the least favorite for me is the Gravity logo. Something just seems a bit lacking with that but maybe it’s just me. Thanks for the post, these are inspiring!

    Eric’s last blog post…Top 10 reasons to leave your job (and become self-employed)

  2. My 2 Cents
    Best = Gravity
    Worst = Aurora

  3. Van Hong

    Like: Gravity, Wedgwood, Aurora
    Dislike: UCL

    I feel like Model One isn’t so nice to look at once you’re done enjoying the novelty, though it *is* clever.

    Wouldn’t Aurora translate into grayscale nicely, though? and mitigate the color dependence? Reversing it wouldn’t work though, as the right side seems too light; always a nice option for your client to have. That said, I do like looking at it.

  4. I think the Gravity mark is pretty briliant. I don’t love the Jaguar logo, since it’s more of a gradient-based illustration than a honed black and white mark. DeBeers is also a wonderful discovery, with the B-shaped counter.

  5. Zach LeBar

    i agree with all the comments above. my least favorites are Aurora and Jaguar, and my favorites are model one, and De Beers. I wasn’t a huge fan of the LSO logo, because it took me a little while to notice the LSO in the design, but I understand it now.

  6. Models 1 and De Beers are my favorites. Very unique and creative.

    I’m with everyone else on this, I don’t think the Aurora logo is anything special. As for Gravity, the concept is there but the arrow doesn’t fit in with that typeface. The Partners looks like a good agency, though.

    Thanks for sharing, David.

    Alec Rios’s last blog post…Social Media Site: Design Bump

  7. My favorite is the London Symphony Orchestra logo. What is great about it, is that (to me), it gives off the movement of the conductor’s “wand” (correct word?). It is also very well executed.

    Brian Yerkes’s last blog post…Obama versus McCain : Web Design War

  8. My favourite is Gravity, then I think Models 1 and LSO after that. Although, I’m not sure how I feel about LSO in some ways… are they a modern-ish orchestra, made up of young people? It has a certain informality about it, which I don’t usually associate with ochestras.

    kristarella’s last blog post…James Squire Brewhouse

  9. Brian, I think the conductor uses a baton ;)

  10. I like gravidity, it’s simple and clear

    jurcovici’s last blog post…11 logo designs from The Partners

  11. Gravity is definitely my fave.

  12. @Brian and Kristarella – yes it’s a ‘baton’ :)

    Now I’m wondering how I’m in the minority opinion on the Gravity logo… ? It just seems overly obvious to me – Arrow pointing down, which depicts what gravity does, I get that. Perhaps it is as Alec mentioned that the font of the arrow doesn’t quite match. I’ve looked and re-looked at it, and I’m just not feeling it for some reason!

    Eric’s last blog post…Personal vs Professional opinion

  13. Eric, I don’t know either!

    I like most of the stuff about it… I like the tones, I like the simplicity. The arrow is obvious and yet seems kind of clever for some reason. I don’t see what about the arrow/v doesn’t fit. Sure, the characteristics of the Helvetica v are quite different (flat bottom, and tops rather than pointed bottom and vertically cut off ends – don’t remember all the technical names for this stuff… miters maybe), but the straight sharp lines suit it.

    That’s all I got for why I like it. Oh, plus I like logos that can use elements separately; they could use the arrow without the rest of the word wherever they like.

  14. For an agency that proclaims it strives to be the most creative, it kinda let me down. I’m pretty sure I could have come up with any of those logo designs. And although I think of myself as pretty good, do you know who I am? Ever heard of me?

    I just think most of them could have been taken further creatively. Course I say that without knowing how much leeway they were given by the clients. Still…

    Trish
    Artist

  15. Thanks very much for commenting everyone. Interesting to read your own thoughts.

    Most of you seem to favour the Gravity logo over the others, and I think it (along with LSO) is the one with the strongest idea.

    It’d be great to know what influence the client had over each final outcome, as I know just how much they can affect results.

  16. As far as the Gravity logo goes, I immediately liked it when I saw it. The arrow is reminiscent of a herringbone design you see in high-end wood floors. And the arrow doesn’t just symbolize gravity, it makes you want to look down… down to the floor. I think it works as a flooring company logo.

    LSO is hard to make out at first, but it is pretty awesome just the same. Still think I could have come up with it if anyone mentioned making the acronym look like a hand drawn ribbon. That is pretty much what you would come up with.

    I personally like the Jaguar logo as well because making something appear in relief as well as chromed is not easy. Technically, it was the hardest to create of all the logos.

    The one that takes the prize, however, is Models 1.

    A problem I have with most of the other logos is they don’t necessarily work for their industry. Maybe that is where they were being creative.

    Trish

  17. Oh, last thing I promise.

    With the chesterton logo, I like how they put the screened box behind it adding “est(ablished) London 1805″ in a subtle way to the logo. Definitely something I would do.

    As for least faves it’s Anglo American (yikes, bad color) and Goldsmiths for me.

    Trish

  18. average imo.

    Think the best would be the Gravity logo as its the most cleaverist

    Jermayn’s last blog post…What makes Sex and the City so popular?

  19. I love the LSO logo – I agree with the comment above it looks like the movement’s of a conductor’s baton. And the De Beers logo is lovely. Elegant and clever.

    I’m not keen on the UCL logo – it’s so hard. Just not welcoming, I think.

    freddygirl’s last blog post…case study #2

  20. Trish, looking at your portfolio I must say: you lack all designing skills a designer should have. I know it’s exciting to be able to click smth together in the cracked Photoshop after reading 10 tutorials online, playing with godawful free fonts, and then even sell that crap for like $50 to “clients” who don’t know better, but to say you’d definitely come up with ideas like Gravity or Models 1, or De Beers is at least an insult. As a designer with a lot of branding and advertising experience in a few major agencies I tell you: you’re not nearly as good as you’d like to be, you suck. That may sound kinda mean, but it’s straight to the point. You may want to go study design, or at least read a few good books and look at many, many good logos and compare them to yours. You’ll be surprised how many difference you’ll discover.

    Models 1 (although the type treatment could be better), De Beers, Goldsmith are great. Gravity is not a great idea to me, way too obvious, I’d go for something more subtle, but you never know what the client wanted. LSO is good once you realize what it is, or that it actually means something: you never forget it ever after. Anglo American is plain ugly, really. Jaguar must be an illustration for a special occasion, I’ve never seen that in use, nor should I. Chesterton has a nice idea, but the box isn’t a great solution. UCL could be great, but that tiny distracting icon ruins it by the stupid placement/awkward contrast in size.

    picteam’s last blog post…Emma Bunton is angry

  21. Picteam, it’s possible to be straight to the point without being inappropriately rude. Seen how to disagree?

  22. Sure, but I chose another way, so she’d get it faster. And do I need a tutorial on how to write online?

    picteam’s last blog post…Jennifer Garner wallpapers

  23. Angela

    Yeah, as harsh as PICTEAM was, sometimes the truth hurts.. it’s easy for anyone to look at anything and say “wow, I could have done that”, but there are so many factors in design.. such as the client demands and such.. and something being understated is MUCH better than overstated.. logos should be timeless and not be dated in 10 years (ref: Trish’s portfolio, website ::shiver::, etcetera). Since logos are such an important part of a company’s identity, it’s not something that should be designed based on fads or with future change possibilities in mind.

    As far as the blog goes, I love Wedgwood–it’s classic. Models One is nice but, personally, I would have made the interaction between the M and the 1s a little different.. but it’s great nonetheless, and I love its self-containment. I despise the Anglo American logo.. something about how the font works with the stone.. it’s off..

    Anywho, just my $0.02. :)

  24. sometimes the truth hurts.. it’s easy for anyone to look at anything and say “wow, I could have done that”, but there are so many factors in design

    All true, I completely agree. What I don’t agree with is being flat-out rude to people. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, then don’t say it on the internet. If you think that you would tell a stranger that they “suck” to their face, you’re either disillusioned or an asshole.

    Does the Anglo American logo remind anyone else of a t-bone steak? I think it’s supposed to be contour lines of a mountain, but I keep seeing steak…

  25. Kristarella, I’d have absolutely no problem to tell Trish IRL that her work sucks. That and maybe point out a few books to read. It’s the best thing that can happen to a bad designer, really. Also I don’t think I was rude, I didn’t call her names etc. If you have a problem with the term “suck”, well in my opinion it’s as rude as the term “bad”, we’re not in the 90ies anymore, language evolves, an 8yo boy could come up with words much morse than that.

    David Jones’s last blog post…Jennifer Garner wallpapers

  26. David, you’re right, there are much worse words that can be used… the worst thing I find about email, internet, SMS is that lack of voice and body language. You’re previous comments sounded much more aggressive than this last one, so (to me) sounded like they were attacking, even though they weren’t direct personal attacks. With a more laid back ‘voice’, suck doesn’t sound offensive at all.

    Cheers for your response.

    kristarella’s last blog post…Multiple WordPress Blogs

  27. I don’t mind the rude rebuttal. It only proves he didn’t actually look at or read my website (I’ve never designed a logo in PhotoShop for example; vector all the way baby). I never said all my design is good, I’m just saying I could have come up with most, if not all, of the logos shown here. In actuality I gave a backhanded compliment since I consider myself to be pretty good (not great, no one is ever consistently great). I see logos all the time that make me drool, turn green with envy and realize I still have far to go. These ain’t it in my opinion. This is a venue for expressing opinion specifically. PICTEAM is absolutely allowed his here. Everyone is. (Thank you for not calling me a fat, redneck, bitch.)

    And, forgive me for repeating myself, bottom line, the client truly decides how a logo or design ends up. Not all clients are smart or clever, but since design is supposed to represent the client… well, there you go. Even high-end design agencies have those mediocre clients (hey, money is money).

    The reason PICTEAM doesn’t faze me is I’ve been in this business for almost 30 years. I learned computer aided graphic design when it was called commercial art and the software was just being invented (and there were no tutorials). You learned as you worked, and you learned well or didn’t work. I can still cut a mean CMYK color separation by hand.

    I’ve done my time and I’ve earned my good reputation, recognition and awards. I can say without any regrets and only a little ego that no employer or client has ever had an issue with my work. Now personality is a whole different thing… Experience has tempered that, thankfully. PICTEAM, I presume, would understand that, or will someday.

    Trish

  28. fwiw I think your logos are excellent Trish – I particularly like the mosaic homes.
    -Eric

    Eric’s last blog post…Personal vs Professional opinion

  29. Oh man, TRISH (people have to realize that the names are converted to caps automatically here, so there’s no reason to yell PICTEAM) now I take everything back: not only your work sucks, if you’ve been producing such crappy stuff for such a long time, you are hopeless. CMYK separation wasn’t my favourite task, I’m glad I don’t have to do it anymore, and I’m glad you can get it right, but you have to understand that a crappy logo is still crappy even if it prints out flawlessly. Vector or not, an ugly shape remains ugly, a bad idea still sucks. But folks like you will still think their stuff is great, because they’ve been producing that garbage their entire career, and the clients are happy, what’s not to love? And then they feel like having designing powers because of joke awards handed over to them. (There are only few awards that I trust, and that trust has been decreasing during the last years: D&AD, red dot, TDC, iF, ADC.)
    I mean look at that http://www.contemporary-native.com/files/adNoLimitSounds.jpg and tell me that it was designed. To be honest, you’re one of the talentless people in the industry I had luck to meet (or see their portfolio) and with 18 years in the business I’d seen some hopeless cases. The mere existence of such awful work makes me sad.
    Okay, that was my opinion and I’m sorry if I ruined your day or something, but I hate to see bad design, and people claiming they’re pretty good, while they’re miserable. So to answer the question why nobody has ever heard of you: you’ve never produced anything worth looking at. The big agencies, so hated (while jealous) by wannabe designers, do make excellent stuff between the boring everyday crap.

    And Eric, you’ve gotta be kidding.

  30. David Airey, it was not my intention to start a flame war. I apologize truly.

    The point of this blog is to voice opinions about the logos David Airey showcases. Me nor my work are showcased here. If you want to flame me, feel free to do so privately. I would love to explain the limitations of designing ads for the back of register tapes (the No Limit Sounds ad) at your convenience.

    Trish

  31. It’s very easy to take things out of context when type is all you have to go by (no expressions, tone of voice etc.). I hope none of the remarks were taken personally, because I want to keep the discussion based upon logos. Of course constructive criticism is very welcome, and I’m the first to ask for critique on my own work.

    In the words of Paul Arden:

    Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.

  32. Conceptually, Models 1 and the Gravity logo are the strongest. Visually, LSO and UCL are my least favorite. Another great post, David. Keep up all the good work.

  33. I believe in the Anglo American logo the graphic is supposed to depict a nugget or chunk of rock, not a mountain. It does look like a rare steak, though. I would never have come up with that design *wink*.

    Trish

  34. Angela

    My take on it is like an amethyst or agate stone and what it looks like when it’s cut in half or sliced.. how the outside is rough and is layered until it gets to the precious inside. (Since the company does mining, after all.) And it is a good concept, I just really hate that logo for some reason.. the font combined with the image is just off.. especially for the design firm supposedly aiming to be the most creative..

  35. I think the DeBeers logo was a brilliant find. The D with the B counter that makes a diamond – brilliant.

    And I think the Models 1 and Gravity are good ideas.

    Once I figured out what the LSO looked like, I liked it more.

  36. Gravity was my favorite. It was probably the most basic and yet so creative it works well.

  37. Tom

    The more I look at LSO, the more I like it. Not only does it look like the flourish of a baton as others have said, but it looks like the conductor himself when you study it right. L is baton, S connection to O is the head, with the final stroke as his other arm. Very well done.

  38. Denú

    The small pot in Wedgewood logo looks like an inverted skull.

  39. Adam Lewis

    Hi, loving the Goldsmiths and LSO. Any ideas what font is used for Goldsmiths? Thanks.


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