2016 represents our anniversary – the 20th year since we first launched The Logo Factory from a kitchen table way back in 1996. To mark this nifty milestone, we’ve begun the difficult task of selecting the 20 very best logos from our history.

This year marks a birthday of sorts, namely our 20th so what better way to mark the occasion than by trying to figure out 20 of our very best logos, one per year, and publish an anthology over the next several months? Call it The Top 20 at 20 or some such. Sounds like an easy task.

But it won’t be.

What makes a best logo?

I guess the first thing to figure out is what makes a great logo in the first place? That basic question is sure to set off intense debate among the gang, everyone having their own opinion of what a “best logo” or even a “good logo” is, all with their own favorites. Site visitors probably won’t agree with our choices either. Other designers will undoubtedly view some of our selections as being too illustrative for modern times, what with flat simple logos currently in vogue. We may even alienate some clients when their particular logos don’t make the cut – “didn’t you guys build me one of your best logos?!!” they might say. Here’s the thing – these logos might not be the best from a visual point of view per se (though some may be.) They might not be the best solution for application as the media environment currently stands (though some might be.) To be fair, we’ll be selecting work that may have been designed up to 20 years ago when things were very different so that shouldn’t count for too much anyway. The arbitrary “I like how that looks” is an easy blood test for people who know about such things, but that’s far too restrictive and we’ll be casting a wider net with our criteria.

Back stories and sentiments.

The logos we pick for our Top 20 at 20 may, or may not, be on our logo gallery. We might elect a logo or two because they have special significance to us, or to logos in general (there’s one I already have in mind for that role.) Maybe a neat back story. Perhaps even some wicked craftsmanship that went into the artwork from a technical point of view. One thing’s for sure. The Top 20 at 20 be a decent synopsis of our studio’s output, the entire point of the exercise in the first place.

An internal affair.

We had originally thought of opening the selection to blog readers and site visitors, maybe a Twitter poll or two, but decided against that PDQ. Nobody knows our logo work like people around here and nobody will ever be intimately familiar with their back stories. The only way for this to work is if we get to pick ’em so that’s what we’re going to do. Being The Logo Factory and all, needed a design to wrap this endeavor around and that’s at the head of the post. Safe to say it won’t be in our Top 20 at 20 cause it just ain’t good enough.

And that’s one off our list.