With the lowering cost of large scale web hosting and equipment, and the increasing number of people with access to high speed broadband, it’s becoming easier for people to launch their own side projects and startups. But when a brand new business launches, it almost always faces extremely stiff competition. At the same time, people have become more and more used to well designed products and services – so for a brand new startup to compete, it needs to look good as well as work well.
In the world of startups, first impressions count – if you can’t entice a visitor into staying and reading more about your business the first time they see you, it’s unlikely that they’ll return. Startups that do well tend to have a focus on great aesthetics, as well as on a great product. This often translates across everything they work on – a beautiful product design, a beautifully designed interface, a gorgeous landing page and a creative and interesting logo for their new startup.
We’ve brought together a showcase of creatively designed, thoughtful and beautiful creative startup logos to give you some inspiration for your next logo design project.
Grove.io helps businesses run their own IRC channels without worrying about installation and archiving, and is designed mainly for developers. Grove’s logo is simple, instantly recognisable and the minimalist triangles within the brand mark hints at a forest, while the mark also forms a speech bubble.
Airbnb allows people to rent out their apartments, houses and flats on a nightly basis, and is a great and quirky alternative to using a hotel. Airbnb was so named because it was originally meant for renting airbeds, and so the logo’s typeface is bubbly and appears soft, and is always surrounded by a hint of drop-shadow that makes it appear to “lift” off the page slightly.
Adioso is a flight search engine that allows people to find flights by searching using natural language, like “flights to New York in November” or “Seattle to Anywhere”. Adioso’s logo includes a simple and irreverent reference to what they do, by including a paper aeroplane lazily drifting past the design.
Memsql provides businesses with a database stored in the cloud, and was founded by a former Facebook engineer. Memsql’s main selling point is that it’s ultrafast and can access huge amounts of data extremely quickly. Memsql’s logo is easy to recognise and isn’t too complex – and it aims to show off one of the biggest benefits of the software, speed. The brand mark shows a spinning circle, and gives off the impression that it’s moving fast.
Whoworks.at is a browser extension that shows you who works at the company that you’re checking out. When you land on a web page, it checks LinkedIn to see who works there and then tells you who you know. It’s brand mark plays on the W of “WhoWorks.at”, and is clean, minimalist and neatly contained within the circle.
Dropbox is an extremely popular file storing and sharing service that aims to do away with USB flash drives, or awkwardly emailing files to yourself. The logo is simple, beautiful and instantly recognisable.
Kissmetrics is a web analytics company that aims to show businesses simple, actionable insights from their data. Kissmetrics have given their logo some personality by surrounding the brightly coloured bar graph within a heart shape – a subtle indication that you’ll love working with your analytics data using the software.
Jelly is the new startup from Biz Stone, who cofounded Twitter. Jelly is a Q&A app designed for mobile devices, and aims to help people help each other. The logo remains simple, flat and minimalist – but is instantly recognisable as the brand’s mascot: a jellyfish.
Highlight is a fun social iPhone app that uses GPS to tell you if you were near other Highlight users, and tells you more about them. Highlight’s logo design is certainly controversial – it might not be the most attractive to look at (and you may not be able to look at it for long), but the layered grades of colour do get people talking.
GiftRocket is a service that allows people to give and get gift cards for anywhere, using just their mobile phone. GiftRocket’s logo is friendly and full of personality and fun, and the brand mark – a rocket with a bow around it – perfectly sums up the name “GiftRocket”.
Chefs Feed is a mobile app that rates restaurants and the dishes they serve, and the reviews all come from professional chefs themselves. The Chefs Feed logo shows a chef apron that’s been hung up, indicating that they’ve taken the night off to eat elsewhere.
Flipboard is an iPhone and iPad app that takes your RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter accounts and turns them into a beautifully presented interactive magazine, automatically. The Flipboard “F” is placed front and centre here, and varying shades of opacity are used to imply that parts of the logo design have been folded over – much like it’s possible to do with the actual Flipboard app.
TaskRabbit is a service that provides you with a personal assistant to help you with anything you need doing – like putting up Ikea furniture, fetching coffee or doing your grocery shopping. TaskRabbit’s logo introduces a mascot to help give the brand some personality, and the mascot’s stance indicates that it’s moving fast – a hint that tasks carried out on TaskRabbit are quick.
Optimizely makes it easier and quicker for companies to implement simple and effective split testing for their landing pages. Optimizely’s logo uses a heavily stylised “O”, with a dart forming out of it. This partly gives the impression of speed, and also partly implies that the software can pinpoint improvements to a finer detail.
Sprintly is a beautifully designed, easy to use project management tool that’s designed to fit in well with developer workflows. Sprintly uses a beautiful, muted colour palette with a bright red running figure, which stands out despite being small.
Grooveshark is a free service that let’s you stream music from your favourite bands and artists over the Internet, create your own playlists and store your favourites. Grooveshark’s brand mark is clean, minimalist and simple – the shark fin is clearly visible without being tacky.
Plair allows you to watch TV, video and films via a special USB dongle, streamed directly from their service. Plair’s logo is a playful nod towards the shape of the hardware they use (which looks a bit like a dolphin’s fin), while the negative space of the logo forms a “play” button.
ElasticSales is a service that rents out salespeople to other businesses on-demand, and is designed to help get leads for other startups as they grow. The logo for elastic features a brand mark that almost resembles a ball of elastic bands – the bright, colourful mark stands out against the more professional, clean and heavily kerned “elastic” typeface.
BufferBox provides pick-up centres for packages ordered online, so instead of having your package delivered to your home (where you could potentially miss it), it’s instead delivered to a BufferBox in a popular location where it can be collected at your leisure. The logo choice for BufferBox is simple and professional, but gives a hint as to what the service does – by partly enclosing the latter part of the type in a box, and using their trademark light green.
Hipmunk is a flight search engine that aims to take the agony out of finding a flight. Instead of showing a typical list of search results, it shows a beautiful, intuitive and easy to understand selection of options. Hipmunk has gone out of it’s way to inject personality and fun into their logo, by using a mascot of a chipmunk wearing aviator goggles. The Hipmunk mascot is one of the things that’s most talked about the company, and helps them stand out against more professional, overly corporate rivals.
Vayable offers unusual and quirky adventure holidays, including interesting experiences provided by local tour guides. Vayable’s logo takes the famous pin icon (indicating a location or place), and doubles it up to form a heart shape, which implies that you’re about to love your holiday. The two location markers also help to suggest that you won’t be alone on your holiday, as there’ll be a Vayable guide there too.
Github is a repository for code, making it easy and efficient for multiple developers to all work on the same project and contribute to open source code. Github, like Hipmunk, have chosen to add some friendly, quirky personality to their brand by using a mascot – in this case the Octocat. It’s unusual and quirky appearance is a bold move, but it definitely helps to make the brand memorable.
ZeroCater makes it easy to book large lunch orders and have them delivered to your office. ZeroCater’s logo includes an origami crane made out of a napkin, a subtle reference to food service and creativity. The mark itself is beautifully designed, and – if the company became well known enough – could become recognisable even if the words “ZeroCater” weren’t included next to it.
Are there any creative, interesting and inspiring startup logos that you’d like to share? Please do let us know in the comments.