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The Logo Treatment

In subscribing to Akirascuro‘s inspiration of logotypes, I pondered which logos were distinguished among the anime I’ve encountered. I found a handful of logos personally attractive, enough to further detail in a post. While Akira seems to focus on the typographic attributes of logos, I am drawn to the way logos are accessorized and capture their respective stories.

aoi hana logo

This logo is an immediate favorite. Akira explained the elegance of type in Aoi Hana‘s logo, while I am mainly attracted to the soft palette and accessory. Its specific hue appears darker in contrast with a white background but yields a sensitivity unlike other series with watercolor appeal. The light blue sensation, both gentle and inviting, is felt throughout Aoi Hana‘s 11 episodes. I feel it leaves an impression comparable to that of Fumi’s character and her emotional struggle.

A little blue flower to accessorize the type is a necessary enhancement. With ‘Sweet Blue Flowers’ in title, the accent has a natural fit while lending a touch of youth; blossoming, feelings anew. The minimalism is effective, and I love that.

air logo

As a Kyoto Animation – Key project, Air is likely a divisive anime for many fans. I rarely express my opinion of the series but admit Air to be one of the more agreeable stories in the Key universe because it divulges greater details into the karma and ancient magic driving the story. This logo is attractive for a few reasons.

The streamlined type with embossed shine is minimal and provides gratuitous whitespace between characters. It uniquely features a silhouette holding hands, presumably Misuzu Kamio. I don’t believe many logos feature the romantic gesture, but hand-holding melts me like butter on a warm muffin. Finally is the bird in the distance, which is indiscriminately a crow. The bird can symbolize Yukito’s fate as well as the tragic cycle which binds Misuzu, feathers on the wind. I like that these features capture the story in one succinct image.

cross game logo

While the typography and colors are fairly plain, the strength of Cross Game‘s logo is the clover. Clover is the name and icon of Tsukishima’s cafe, a family introduced in the first episode of Cross Game. The family consists of four daughters and a their widowed father, each daughter signifying one leave of the clover. Wakaba Tsukishima, the second daughter and childhood love interest of Ko, tragically loses her life in the first episode, hence the single faded leaf. This event triggers emotional momentum and tension that persists until the story’s conclusion.

The clover appears throughout as we get to know Ko, the Tsukishimas, and other characters connected to Wakaba. This is the inescapable sentiment about Wakaba and what attracts me to the logo. One glance at the clover and I understand there are as many complexities as irreplaceable memories for the characters.

ga rei zero logo

The Ga-Rei – Zero logo kicks ass, that’s about it. Because the main draw is calligraphy, I have no method of tying it into the story. But it’s the style and aesthetic tightness which I find appealing. A square grey diamond, set on white, marked in black. In some way the calligraphy resembles a postmark. While not a minimal approach, the strict palette lends to a visual simplicity I admire. And the diamond enhances asymmetry in the design.

What’s fascinating about this is how the calligraphy offsets the lower symmetry and maintains balance from left to right. Tracing the strokes in 喰 and 霊, there is a sense of strength and movement in the kanji. My knowledge of Japanese calligraphy artists is limited, but Heart by Kasumi Bunsho is similarly attractive for these reasons.

xxxholic logo

Leave it to CLAMP to evoke the aesthetic of Victorian iron fencing in type. I am showing only a vector for example as the xxxHolic type is distinct for structure and pointed trimmings more than coloring. The thought of iron fencing is curious, perhaps as a boundary to Yuuko’s shop. But the type also carries the elusive movement of smoke rising from a pipe, almost cryptic.

Both aspects feel valid and contrast Yuuko’s presence and the atmosphere of her shop. The type is far more mysterious than welcoming but holds true to the dark and guarded story. And I believe the logo perfectly captures the essence of xxxHolic to a recognizable extent.


I have little to say about this exercise, other than it was very enjoyable (a bit tedious between a busy Friday and lazy Saturday). I’d love to read or hear about other logos fans find interesting and why.

Categories: Meditation.

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9 Responses

  1. We love logos~ if they are done well, they carry such beauty and important luggage at once.
    Miscellaneous notes:
    Yeah, hand-holding is soooooo sweet
    The clover there also makes a sidewards cross
    xxxholic might have this victorian theme since their ethics are well known and the title stands for every kind of addiction we encounter in the series. The ‘holic’ part also resembles smoke that is a very common image across the illustrations and manga

    • Logos are great. I’d be interested in hearing more on the victorian spin on addictions, sounds intriguing. And at first I really only sense the smoke, but looking more at the logo reminded me of the iron fences I’ve seen.

  2. LOVE this post – I just finished reading volume 7 of Viz’s “Cross Game” release, in which the clover symbol is emphasized, so it was particularly nice reading about the logo from that series.

    • I was happy to involve Cross Game, and I saw your mention of vol 7 recently. I haven’t started the manga myself, but I’d probably key onto the clover more than in the anime. Animation and scenes move so the clover will come and go. There was another symbol for Wakaba that I loved, and that was the moon.

      So much love for that story. Thanks!

  3. Brilliant new logo. First, for those ultra-conservative types who hate dropping elements from the old logo: **** it up. Read above for a list of other logos even YOU would recognize without the type. The best parallel not mentioned: Apple. It was ESSENTIAL for Apple to drop the word “Computers” from its company name (its range of product), and create brand recognition for their symbol alone. So too with Starbucks. The logo can now brand beer, wine and other upcoming products. Bravo!

  4. I think it has a lot to do with how visually a designer can think. In some ways, a logo is like a visual puzzle that the designer works out and presents the solution to the viewer. Some solutions are more obvious and some are more conceptual. Although there are several styles of logos (type only, illustrative, abstract, etc.), the designer needs to be open-minded enough to find the best solution for the client and situation.

    Trenton NewtonJanuary 28, 13 @ 8:16 amReply
  5. It is prohibited to use NARA’s official seal and the stylized Code of Federal Regulations logo on any republication of this material without the express, written permission of the Archivist of the United States or the Archivist’s designee. Any person using NARA’s official seals and logos in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of 36 CFR part 1200 is subject to the penalties specified in 18 U.S.C. 506, 701, and 1017.

  6. Unsere eigenen Designer haben eine große Auswahl an Bildern und Stilen gestaltet und zusammengestellt, aus denen Sie wählen können. Es ist wichtig, dass Sie sich die Zeit nehmen und alle Optionen durchstöbern, um zu sehen, welches der Firmenlogos am besten zu den Bedürfnissen Ihres Unternehmens passt.

  7. What I enjoy most about this design is the simplicity (the ‘O’ inside the ‘U’). The OU logo has evolved over the years, and didn’t always have the ‘glass’ effect—a common trend amongst today’s logos. You can read more about logo trends here . It’s important to remember, however, that trends don’t last, and by designing using the latest fad, your logo will become dated, fast.

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