If you want to make your business memorable, a strong logo is a great start, says Dave Delaney of Nashville marketing firm Futureforth. “If you’re at the point of sale and there’s some pet shop stickers available, or bookmarks or flyers, just having that logo on there helps to keep people thinking of you,” he said. Logos also are an excellent way to get attention in an increasingly cluttered marketplace. “Nowadays, you’re competing with so much information off- and online,” Delaney said. “If you can relay the information you want to share visually, you’re more likely to get a response.” Here are a few logos that merit a response.
Inspiration on Vacation
The Dog Park, Alexandria, VA
The “t” in “The” is a tree, and next to it a dog looks up longingly. Owner Anna Fitzgerald got the idea for the tree while vacationing in the Hamptons, where she saw the “t”/”tree” metaphor used in a landscaping company’s logo. “There was no dog, because it was landscaping,” she said. A designer friend helped select the perfect typeface, Garamond Times. “He liked the ‘g’ in dog,” Fitzgerald said.
Crowd-Sourcing a Logo
Wolf & Lion Pet Supplies, San Francisco, CA
When co-owner Spyq Sklar opened his store, he turned to the online graphic marketplace 99designs for the logo, which depicts a cute dog and cat and a wolf and lion in silhouette. “We wrote a blurb saying the logo we wanted,” Sklar said. “Anyone who wants to can respond.” While such crowd-sourcing doesn’t always work, here it did — really well. Occasionally the store sells T-shirts with the logo and donates the proceeds to pet adoptions.
MadCat, Madison, WI
Your logo doesn’t have to be polished to make an impression on customers. Ted O’Donnell’s popular college-town store sells mostly cat supplies, and its logo is an ominous-looking cat inspired by the owner’s adolescent preoccupation with Dungeons & Dragons. (Backstory: O’Donnell and a friend invented a store for the game called “Weird Items Inc” that was run by a demon named Fred. Later in life, when the two collaborated on the design for O’Donnell’s new pet store, “we decided to turn Fred into a cat,” O’Donnell said.)
Setting a Graceful Tone
Lola & Penelope’s, Clayton, MO
Owner Carol Will was looking for a logo that would set the perfect tone for her business. And this design, with its elegant font and graceful line drawing of a dog and cat, does exactly that. Says Will: “We want this to be a niche boutique, and we put our signature on everything.” The logo has evolved since the store opened. “We’ve done some updates to make it more modern,” Will said.
Making a Statement
Healthy Pet, Austin, TX
When Chris Jabbori and his co-owner decided to create a logo, they hired a designer they knew via a family connection. “We had a bunch of different mockups, ideas and designs and chose the one we just liked ourselves,” Jabbori said. The logo, featuring a boxer in profile, makes a strong statement that sets the store apart, Jabbori said. “You want to have some sort of branding,” he said, “so people recognize your business.”
Hand-Painted by Tradition
Two Salty Dogs, Boothbay Harbor, ME
When business owners in a small coastal Maine village need a logo, they typically turn to the town sign painter. That’s what Don and Liana Kingsbury of Two Salty Dogs did for their logo, which depicts two black labs in front of a — presumably — salty sea. The design strongly says “Maine!” which matches the store’s emphasis on locally sourced products.
This article originally appeared in the Jan-Feb 2017 edition of PETS+.