logo help for winery

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meegs's picture
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Joined: 30 Jan 2015 - 4:11pm
logo help for winery
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Hello,
I recently moved into a marketing position for a new winery called Firehouse Wine Cellars, but I can't stand the logo they are using. It's wrong in a million different ways (copperplate, unbalanced, palace script - see for yourself).
They want to keep a vintage feeling and use of a maltese cross. I was thinking about using something like LHF Old Tom for heading text, but am not sure what to pair it with or how to incorporate a maltese cross. Please help! I've hit a block!

James Michaels's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am
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Hi, I'm a graphic designer. I've seen a number of fire departments use the Maltese cross, so it's okay if you want a traditional look. I'm not sure about the shape inside. Wine? Fire? Both the symbol and the typography need some work.

Old Tom certainly gives a vintage look and might be an improvement, but coming up with a proper logo isn't well suited for top-of-your-head suggestions by people who know nothing about the company. Especially when you're not talking to the owner, who may have very different ideas.

Keep in mind that changing a logo can involve a lot of time and expense — labels and other packaging, signage, stationery, promotional materials, website, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great you want to make some improvements, but I'm hesitant to offer specific suggestions to a well-established company without hearing from the owners how they want the company to be viewed, their future plans, and their competition.

I know this isn't the answer you wanted, but my suggestion would be to get a good local graphic designer to sit down with you and the owners to discuss the logo in depth.

Johann Dough's picture
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Joined: 24 Jan 2015 - 3:31pm
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I agree with James that this is not a process that you want to embark on casually. Either you do it "right" or you don't do it at all. The landscape is full of companies that have attempted to "update" their logo or mark and have ended up making matters worse, creating as many problems as they solve and ending up with just as big a mess as what they started with.

I don't think Old Tom is your answer. It's TOO retro, and it's hot a firehouse type of font, it's more of a circus/saloon type font. Copperplate is actually not a bad solution but in your logo it is used poorly. It's a difficult font to space properly to begin with.

I think your biggest challenge is going to be integrating the cross and the logotype together into one mark. Right now they are two distinct, unrelated elements. I'm assuming that the resulting mark needs to be generally square given the applications it gets used in, so taking the name and combining it with the cross is likely your best approach.

Something like this:

meegs's picture
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Joined: 30 Jan 2015 - 4:11pm
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Thanks for the feedback.
The owner is willing to rebrand. He likes a vintage feel, reds and yellows but is very open to new ideas.
We are a fairly new company (just opened in april), so if there were a time to fix this it would be now as we are about to release a new crop of wine. We hired a graphic design consultant who suggested LHF Old tom and here is the application on a label mock-up

We would love for it to have a similar feel to our sister company.

For the mockup -
LHF Old Tom
MK Latino
Warnock

Johann Dough's picture
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Joined: 24 Jan 2015 - 3:31pm
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Old Tom works pretty well there, on that label. Probably worth having the designer take a crack at the logo too while you're at it. It's definitely a more expressive font than copperplate and looks like the designer has the "gestalt" you're looking for.

James Michaels's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am
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"We would love for it to have a similar feel to our sister company."

Firehouse Wine Cellars and Firehouse Brewing? A similar feel might be a good idea, although each should be designed with the particular customer base in mind, which might be different for the 2 products.

I like the wine label, but I'd put the name with the logo on the back; right now it almost looks like a logo for Riesling.

The current Firehouse Brewing logo might look good in a large sign, but it won't reduce well, which is essential for a modern logo. The illustration and other elements become a blur. Maybe with some simplification it could work. Also the bright yellow is a color I associate more with McDonalds and other fast food places.