Logo Design Love

on logos and brand identity design

The old dove/hand logo combination

There are few logo ideas that are as widespread as the dove/hand combination.

Dove hand logo
Sketches by Sunny Zheng.

Dove hand logo
Image via QBN.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Timur Yevtuhov.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Daniel Evans.

Dove hand logo
For Hospice of the Valley. Via Bill Heyman.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Austin & Company.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Robin Kosnas.

Dove hand logo
Designed by ZeeBrands.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Pentagram for The Waterways Trust (more likely a duck).

Dove hand logo
Designed by Randall Museum.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Tom Balchin for Housing Justice.

Dove hand logo
Designed by Predrag Stakić.

It’s a popular statue/monument, too.

Dove hand monument

Dove hand monument

Dove hand monument
Above images via Peace Monuments.

Dove hand statue
Photo by Andra Folks.

No doubt there are hundreds, maybe thousands more.

I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but rather when the idea comes, you’ll need to be extra careful the design isn’t exactly the same as someone else’s.

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

16 appreciated comments

  1. Thanks for the post David. The diversity of the solutions illustrated show that it is possible to create a distinct design from an unoriginal idea.
    I particularily like ‘Freedove’ and ‘Coalition for Kids’.
    A good reference for next time a design brief asks for a logo based on a cliched idea.

    To paraphrase Hegarty on Advertising, John Hegarty: “A brief is either a friend or a foe. . . Is it a box or a platform? Too often we see it as a box”.

  2. David

    I really enjoy The Waterways Trust dove logo. It has a warm and comforting feel to it and it stands out from the other dove/hand designs.

  3. I’ve heard it said that all logos based on the hand fail. I prefer not to use them.

  4. I’ve heard a variation of your advice somewhere else but I can’t remember where. It was pretty much along the lines of: if you’re working on a design and immediately come up with a great concept, you should think about it for a while, it could be that you’re recalling a design that you’ve actually seen somewhere else.

    That being said, I think the first monument with the shadow is pretty cool. I wonder how the dove looks as the shadow moves throughout the day.

  5. Dove Financial is my favorite.

  6. Ed

    Never realized how ubiquitous that design combination is. I wonder why… on another note, @miles do you know why logos with hands tend to fail?

  7. Love the examples, but the Waterways Trust bird is clearly a duck.

  8. euroflip

    In some cases, the brief demands the exact use of some symbols. For instance, St. Francis’ attributes are the bird, and because he also had stigmatas like Jesus, the hands as well. Sometimes you simply cannot go around overused “ideas”. But you can really stand out from the flood of designs with a distinctive one, as Brian stated.

  9. John Spiegel

    These are all quite well thought-out!
    I think all these designers deserve a big “hand”!
    Pun intended!

  10. meredith

    I’m with Natasha…I had the same reaction instantly (wondering how it would appear throughout the day. ) Then I wondered if a logo design could be effective using that shadow puppet concept. (I think not but then…….)

  11. iain

    To be avoided if at all possible. An unimaginative cliché.

  12. Dove Financial is my favourite as it is very unique to the other designs and uses a more minimalist approach so it doesn’t actually look specifically like a hand or a dove. The bronze sculpture is my least favourite as the hands coming from the dove looks quite creepy with part of the forearm in view too.

  13. It’s overused for sure, but dove-hands nearly always look great don’t they? :D You can understand why designers keep doing it.

    Thanks for the compilation of samples, useful to see all in one place, and enough to make most designers avoid this combo like the plague now, no matter how alluring it may be :)

  14. Predrag Stakić pulled it off the best in my opinion.

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