A truly great logo can be recognised without us needing to see the name of the brand – something the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald's have played with in their ad campaigns. Now an intriguing project from a Seattle-based designer offers a great test of just how recognisable these and other corporate logos are by replacing each brand's name with that of the state where it has its US headquarters.
Keith Fleck's Corporate States of America project seamlessly places the name of each of the 50 US states plus Washington DC into the logo of each state's most recognisable brand. It makes for an intriguing map of corporate America – and offers a lot of fun when it comes to trying to identify each brand. Some can be recognised immediately, while others are a lot harder to place. Take a look below to see how many you can identify, and see our guide to logo design for 15 golden rules to bear in mind when designing your own.
We've seen other approaches to this idea before, such as Steve Lovelace's map of the US which places logos over the shape of each state on the map, but the beauty of Fleck's approach is how it replaces the name in each brand's logo. Some of them can be identified immediately – for example, Georgia, where Coca-Cola has its headquarters in the state capital of Atlanta, and Illinois, where McDonald's has its head office in Chicago. Others have a deep connection with the associations we make about the state - for example, Nevada is represented by the Vegas casino giant Caesars Entertainment.
Others are harder to place, however. Sometimes that's because the brand isn't so well known outside of the US, or even the individual state. We weren't familiar with Alabama's Regions Financial Corporation, for example. But even some major international brands prove tricky to identify at first, especially if they only have a logotype rather than a mark – we have to admit Virginia had us stumped for a time despite being based on the logo of one of the world's most famous hotel chains.
Fleck writes on his website: "It was challenging because some states have many familiar and iconic brands, whereas in other states I had to dig a little deeper to find local celebrated companies. It was fun to 'hack' each one, finding the right fonts and playing with elements to bring them to life. Some look great on their own and you can recognize the original brand immediately, whereas some are a bit harder to determine for someone who hasn't had any touchpoints with them."
His project archives wonderful accuracy in each logo recreation and serves as another reminder of the power that great, memorable logos can have. We'd be interested to see the results of a similar treatment for other countries and regions.
Fancy having a go yourself? See below for the best current prices on Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of apps if you need the best design software to get started, and check out our guide to logo typography for some inspiration.