Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Ghostbusters logo

Ghostbusters logo design

My earliest memory of the cinema is being taken to see Ghostbusters with my mum, dad, and older brother, James (my little sister, Sarah, wasn’t yet on the scene). I was five or six at the time. There was a Roger the Rabbit short before the film started, and the ghosts scared me witless — I had nightmares about being chased by Slimer.

I was (and still am) very fortunate in life. I wanted the toy figures, and got them. I had Ecto 1, Ecto 2. Who knows where they are now, but they brought me a lot of fun.

The logo crossed my path while browsing a Flickr set showing logo signage — a great set, by the way, thanks for the tip, Blair.

If you can’t see the video, watch the 1984 movie trailer here.

Let’s not mention the sequels.

Who ya gonna call?

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

25 appreciated comments

  1. Jason

    I got both of the Ghostbuster movies on DVD for Christmas a couple of years ago. The pack included a booklet containing early sketches and storyboards for the movies. It also included some sketches of the design process for the famous Ghostbuster logo. Very cool stuff.

  2. MAN I remember when this movie came out…as a kid I went nuts over it with toys, the theme song constantly playing in my parent’s cassette deck…just great.

    I recently watched the original one again, and laughed at all the adult humor too…I never realized the whole “KeyMaster” and “Gatekeeper” reference as a child.

    Iconic logo, and an iconic movie!

  3. This molded my life as a kid. Ok, not really, but this is just classic.

  4. Ruben

    Wow!! great film. We were a lucky men because we lived the best decade to be a child, the 80′s, with Gremlins, The Goonies, Ghostbusters… et caetera… I’m the man that I am because this kind of films (and sorry for my poor english, I’m a spanish fan of your website).

  5. I’ve always loved Ghostbusters, although I never had any of the figures, I don’t even remember them being on sale! Where on earth did you get them?

    The logo is great, although the one for Ghostbusters Two was far too cheesy.

  6. Iconic Logo.

    Most quoted movie ever? Most quoted movie ever.

  7. I’d love to see those early sketches, Jason. Sounds like a great pack.

    It’s been so long since I watched the movie, Victor, that I’m sure there are some laughs I didn’t quite get. Bill Murray’s one of my favourite actors, and Dan Akroyd’s great in Dragnet and the original Blues Brothers.

    Ah yes, Ruben, The Gremlins is another that interrupted my sleeping as a kid.

    From what I remember, the figures and accessories were sold in quite a lot of toy shops, Ian. Then again, it was more than 20 years ago, so I could be mistaken.

  8. Matt

    The Ghostbuster toys have always had place in my heart, I remember being so excited when i got the Ghost Trap for my Proton Pack that I broke the handle when opening the packaging on Christmas Morning!!

    The Logo is iconic, but has it bothered anyone else that the “No” sign is reflected? I know it still reads, but it’s always bothered me a bit.

  9. Oh the memories! Instantly recognizable. @Matt, i think reflected, the ghost sits better.

  10. Thanks !!!! So cheezy but was really impressive back then :-)) And the logo is still awesome

  11. @Matt I didn’t realize it was backwards until you mentioned it….and now I’m thinking…why didn’t they just flip the ghost to keep it consistent? I wonder why they decided on that…

    @David Watch it again! Bill Murray’s sarcasm is perfect in this film. And I haven’t seen Dragnet, maybe I should go rent it. Remember: when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES

  12. The first time I visited New York, I walked past the old Ghostbusters FireStation building, which was all abandoned at the time. Does anyone else seen it?

    The film’s a classic no-doubt, but the GB logo is an icon in itself…

  13. ~ HAS anyone else seen it, (D’oh!)

  14. Todd Weber

    That is a well-loved movie. I was lucky enough to work professionally as a Ghostbuster (at Universal Studios Florida), and even though the film (at that time) was nearly 20 years old, the enthusiasm from the general public was always high.

    And as for the logo, I’ve always loved it. It’s an easy get, it’s timeless, and it’s simple. And I believe that crew of scientists would hire somebody who would come up with that concept/execution.

  15. obse.

    I’ve always wondered…
    Shouldn’t the ban-sign-stroke cross the ghost in the other direction? I mean, I was always told that this kind of sign was a synthesis of the word NO, being the crossing stroke an N over an O.

    Sorry for my english, I’m from Argentina.

  16. The film came out while I was growing up, I loved it and I remember drawing the logo on all my school books.

  17. Was Ecto 2 the yellow open top beetle? I had that and Ecto 1 (but being a VW fan the beetle was definitely my favourite!). I also had a Slimer toy that came with some ecto-plasm which when you hit a button it came out his mouth! Awesome!

  18. I’ve not, Andrew, but would love to walk around the inside.

    Steve, it was a kind of micro-light. I think there was a trigger at the back that rotated the blades. Not as good as the classic hearse.

  19. Dan

    Classic movie. I have not thought about it in a very long time.

  20. Oh I love it. Had completely forgotten about this logo. Like the best logos it’s simple. It’s also fun for kids. Nice article.

  21. A few thoughts…

    I was driving myself to see this movie when it came out. Thanks for making me feel the pain of age, David.

    Who remembers the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the creators of the Casper franchise? (Suit dropped in 1986)

    And get ready, because most, if not all of the crew are getting back together to make Ghostbusters III.

    “Listen… do you smell something?”

  22. Rod’s right. Looks like Ghostbusters III is on the cards for 2012, with all the old crew in action.

  23. Al

    I LOVE the 80′s. We went for a family outing in 84 to see Ghostbusters at Leigh Canon cinema, queued up the alley and couldn’t get in, no room, I was properly gutted.

    I’ve got 2 Stay Puffed figures at my mums house too which are ace.

    Logo is immense too. Fact.

  24. Best logo, ever!

  25. B Murray

    Great logo, and more than just a movie. I saw a Mr Stay Puft toy hanging in someones window as I walked down the street the other day. This movie has had such an impact, and that was 84. Its now 2013. Wow. Even my 9 year old nephew knows this movie and logo. Im assuming its mainly because the video games and toys have maintained interest throughout the last couple of decades..

    Aykroyd and Ramis just need to write a great script, and no one will care if GB3 is ‘just a remake’ with young actors, re-labelled as a sequel with a few short original cast cameos to please old fans. Will we soon see non stop 80s movies recreated poorly, despite some great sfx, just to please a new generation?.. (see Total Recall) :) ps By todays standards, I believe even Ghostbusters 2 stands out-more ideas in there than many movies of today, but I do agree I wasnt so keen on the logo. Good soundtrack though.


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