Clash of the Logos: London Landmarks Edition

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London is a place of many landmarks, with enough sites to fill up even a year long holiday. Because there is so much to see and do, many of these landmarks are using logo design and branding to set themselves apart from the huge amount of competition. The following ten logos are likely well known to anyone who has spent time in the city, but as we shall see, some are better than others.

The British Library


The British Library is not just a place to study; it contains a huge number of valuable books and even the original manuscripts for some of Britain’s most well-read novels. Red is an aggressive colour for a library, but in this case it draws attention to an otherwise staid logo design. The way the letters are angled to read vertically implies books on a shelf, which is clever considering the type of organization. The lettering is thin, but easy to read due to the contrast of white on red. This London logo design is simple and bookish, but the red adds a sense of urgency that hints at the importance of the materials.
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The Victoria and Albert Museum

The way the shapes are arranged to be almost mirror images of each other in the Victoria and Albert Museum logo is nothing short of brilliant. The black and white colour scheme combined with the ultra-traditional, even newsy font gives a sophisticated yet factual feeling that is definitely complimentary for a museum. This logo is simple, yet easy to associate with the organisation it represents, and artsy enough to fit a museum.
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The Tower of London

Well-known landmark the Tower of London has a very dark and disturbing past, so it is only appropriate that the logo design be a little dark as well. The sole image is of an old fashioned castle gate, with frightening spikes at the bottom that hint at the Tower’s unsavoury past. The writing is simple and attracts attention, while the black and white colour scheme gives the creepy feeling of a black and white horror movie. This is very appropriate for a site known for beheadings and haunting.
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The London Eye

The London Eye is certainly not the oldest landmark in London, but it is among the most recognizable due to its immense size. The logo design plays on both the name and the distinctive shape, with a pink iris on an indigo pupil making up the image. These colours are fun, youthful, and inviting. A small circle is used to imply the reflection on a human eye and also to give a friendly feeling. This London logo design hints at both adrenaline and entertainment, implying that this will be the ride of your life.
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Madame Tussauds

This London logo design hints at wealth and quality, with a rich velvety red colour combined with gold. The wording appears to be the signature of the well known Madame Tussaud herself, giving a personal touch of approval despite the fact that the founder has been deceased for quite some time. Because Madame Tussauds has the likenesses of stars and well known historical figures, the star in the corner is very appropriate.
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The London Zoo

The London Zoo is one of the world’s most famous collections of animals, so the animal images tucked within the lettering are both clever and relevant. Green is a colour associated with nature, so it is very appropriately used here. Because zoos are most popular among the young and the young at heart, he rounded, friendly lettering filled with fun animals is an attractive image for the target audience. This design is simple, but makes the landmark’s purpose clear.
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The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre is best known as the home of Shakespeare’s plays, so the bard’s presence in the wording creates a definite draw. The image of an Elizabethan play house also ties into this notable history. This London logo design in many ways resembles the red wax seals used in olden times, both because of the circular shape and the simple, line drawing nature of the image. This logo is hardly modern, but given its history there is no need to be.
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The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is yet another London landmark that offers a wealth of knowledge not just of the UK, but of the world. The N of this London logo design is shaped to have a balance of rounded and angular corners, while the letter is filled with a Lobelia plant instead of a solid colour. It is hard to look at this image and not get a sense of natural leanings, which is true to the brand. A mix of bold and thin writing adds to the overall sense of balance. The balance inherent in this logo design is appropriate for a museum that offers a well rounded look at nature.
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The British Museum

The British Museum has one of the most varied and numerous collections on the globe, so it needs a logo design reflecting this. The traditional rectangle encloses a line drawing of the facility itself, with the name written in slightly off center letters in a nondescript font. While this logo must be vague to fairly represent the diversity of its collection, it nonetheless seems too scholarly and even uninviting.
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Which of these London landmark logo designs wins the clash of the logos?

It would not be right to give this honour to rather boring logos such as those of the British Museum or the Globe Theatre. While Madame Tussauds, the British Library, and the Victoria and Albert Museum all hint at their purpose, it is simply not direct enough to attract Londoners with a free day or tourists rushing to fill their itineraries. Although the London Eye and the London Zoo both have interesting and appropriate logos with more merits than we can name, they are nowhere as intriguing as the stark, fearsome logo design of the Tower of London. However, our declared winner is the Natural History Museum. This logo is genuinely attractive and uniquely suited to the organisation it represents, which makes it one of the best logos even in this distinguished group.