Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

The work of Stefan Kanchev

Stefan Kanchev
Stefan Kanchev, born 06 August 1915, in Kalofer, Bulgaria

Trade marks and symbols by Stefan Kanchev — a wonderful design collection from the late Bulgarian graphic artist. Stefan is the author of more than 1000 trade marks and symbols, and in the first world exhibition of trade marks in New York he presented 23 works out of the 250 logos by authors from all over the world.

Here are just a few.

Publishing House of the Communist Party
Publishing House of the Communist Party logo design

Operetta State Theater
Operetta State Theater logo design

Center for Industrial Design
Center for Industrial Design logo design

Electroimpex
Electroimpex logo design

Magazine “Architecture”
Architecture logo design

General Exhibition of Applied Graphics
General Exhibition of Applied Graphics logo design

Stefan died in 2001 at the age of 86 after being recognised alongside other greats such as Saul Bass and Paul Rand.

Stefan Kanchev logos

Many more trade marks on the Stefan Kanchev website.

With thanks to Andrian Dimitrov, Yana Simeonova, Vladimir Georgiev, and Julia Zidarova for their great work documenting the designs.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

21 appreciated comments

  1. Thanks for the post David, I was not aware of how vast Stefan’s work was. The Center for Industrial Design logo reminds me much of the CBS logo. On that note, have you seen the video of the history of the CBS logo? It’s quite interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB63odkphhg

  2. Aaro358

    Great designs. But sad to hear the owner died. Its very difficult to create logos of fine perfection. But he can….

  3. I love love LOVE that Operetta State Theater logo. Not too sure about the CID, but I’m pretty sure he’d have been one of the first to pursue the eye silhouette which has become a bit of a cliche now. Looking through his site, there are some really great logos, but there are also some very pedestrian, over-complicated ones. I really like the Central Puppet Theatre icon, it’s playful but direct.

  4. Ivanova

    Let’s not forget the fact that most of these logos were designed for Bulgarians (using Cyrillic alphabet). And not in 2009 but some 30-50 years ago.

  5. Which is why I think it’s a testimony to Kanchev’s talent that quite a number of them have stood the test of time! You’ve got me interested now though, I’d like to see an article on logos across different languages, cultures and character sets (and time?). Maybe a focus on a certain type of logo (i.e. for a manufacturing business or a financial business) for the purposes of comparison.

  6. With such simplistic-looking designs, it’s clear there’ll be similarities. Particularly given how long Stefan’s work has been in circulation. The CBS eye short was interesting to watch — cheers for the link.

    Ian, if you don’t mind I’d like to pick your brain about life in Adelaide. Giving Australia a shot has been in the back of my mind for a few years, and Adelaide is one of the few cities I can take up skilled residency. You’ve been there for about eight years now, isn’t that right? What do you like about the place?

  7. Hi David, you’re correct, I’ve lived in Adelaide for pretty much bang-on eight years now. It’s a nice little city. I don’t know if you’ve visited Australia before, but you can’t really compare it to the bigger cities like Melbourne or Sydney. The CBD’s probably about half the size of theirs. While we don’t necessarily have as much going on – which some people find boring – we also don’t have to deal with awful rush hour traffic, tollways and a ‘high speed urban lifestyle’. I really like it here.
    The city sprawls a bit in the Northern and Southern suburbs, but it’s bounded on the East at a reasonable distance by the Adelaide Hills, so from the coast to the hills it’s only about 40 minutes by car. It’s a very green city, we’ve got parklands surrounding the CBD on all sides, and there’s a lot of reserves and other little parks dotted all the way through the suburbs. The Botanic Gardens are beautiful here too. There’s also the Fleurieu Peninsula to the South, which has got all sorts of camping and walking opportunities. It’s not difficult to escape for the day is the gist of it I guess!
    In terms of culture, our main event is the Adelaide Fringe, which is an annual event now. The city really comes alive for about a month, and we get all sorts of theatre, exhibitions and street artists out and about. http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/ if you’d like to check it out. If you’ve got any specific questions or you’d like to see some photos of the hills (where I live), feel free to shoot me an email (ianhoughton {at} gmail {dot} com).

  8. Great post, David. Many of the new logo designers today do not know the challenges it takes to create a simple and iconic, yet dynamic logo symbol. Stefan Kanchev’s work is a fine example of these types of symbols. Hope all is well, dude.

  9. Ian, that’s superb, thanks. I once heard how good the Fringe was when working at the Edinburgh Fringe (another excellent month-long festival). I think a trip to Adelaide is on the cards, and probably when the Fringe isn’t on, so I can judge it by what it’s usually like (but then, if I don’t return, I’ll miss the fun!).

    Kevin, all is well, mate. And I hope with you, too.

  10. Hey David, I was from Sydney but my parents live in Adelaide. Much too slow for me, but a very pretty place. It feels like you go back in time about 20 years when you’re in Adelaide.

    If you like your wine though – its the place to be!

    As for the logos – I think the opera one is really nice but it has a big glaring dirty curve in the middle. I guess we take digital logo creation for granted these days!

  11. Such fantastic work; his logo for the pianist, Olga Shevkenova
 is truly sublime.

  12. No problem David, happy to help. Make sure you do visit during the Fringe though at some point, the city has an amazing atmosphere!

  13. Gerard Syms

    Hey, David. Iconic indeed! Haven’t yet gone to the link for his website, but the examples of his work displayed here are eye-catching.

    The Operetta logo stands out here; it’s beautiful and to me, communicates a love for the music and I’m reminded of the open lid of a grand piano by the negative space. Thanks for this. I’ll have to check out the link though.

  14. Hi Nathan, you’d probably also feel like you’ve gone back in time with a trip to Ireland then. We have great resources here, no doubt, but in terms of cityscape, it doesn’t compare to sssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  15. Oh what? I could swear my cat’s getting smarter every day. Little bugger. I meant Sydney.

    Ian, yep, would love to check out the Fringe sometime. And Gerard, no problem at all buddy.

  16. Wow, those are some unique icons. I like especially the “Publishing House of the Communist Party logo” just for it simplicity and the way that the book icon comes together to form a start in the middle.

    Benga creative

  17. Ignoring the political burden of it: I love the “Publishing House of the Communist Party”!

    I’m wondering if I’m the only one who thinks that the books look like arrows pointing to the “communist” star? As if there is a subliminal message of “everything points to the communist party”.

  18. Quite possibly, Tjeerd. It’s a clever symbol. One I like a lot.

  19. yasou franken

    kanchev’s work is fundamental. it has innate clarity, which is what we’re chasing as designers. it cuts-through.

    reminds me of rob janoff’s work on the apple logo, simple, memorable, effective.

  20. Christopher Dina

    I just did a short presentation on Stefan Kanchev to introduce my coworkers to this lesser known yet significant designer and share more about his beautiful work and prolific career as an artist/designer.


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