Logo Design Gone Too Far?


Design Gone Too Far? Civil War Commemorative Logo Design Celebrates the War Between the States

We can all agree that businesses need logo designs. We probably all agree that graphic design is also a good idea for professional identities such as nonprofit organizations and government agencies. However, does a war need a logo design? What about a war that caused more American casualties than any other in American history and was over 150 years ago? This is exactly what has happened in the small town of Manassas, Virginia, where a logo design is being used to celebrate the anniversary of the Civil War.

The Civil War was a turning point for the United States, signaling the beginning of what would be a more than one hundred year march toward civil rights. However, it was also a very unfortunate and unpleasant event. More than half a million Americans died, and the American South took almost half a century to recover from the economic and environmental impact.

The logo design is meant to commemorate the Civil War on this anniversary occasion, but also to put a human face on it. The logo features the photograph of a young soldier with each side’s flag on either side. The name of the town as well as the name of the war are both written in an old fashioned, even Western font. A shield shape in the background hints at the warlike nature of the event being celebrated.

This logo design will be used for a variety of events, which demanded a very versatile nature. This image will be used on t-shirts, stationery, and even on signage and banners. It also must appeal to a variety of people. The city commissioning the logo expects tens of thousands of visitors from all over the country and even the world.

Putting a human face on the Civil War was an interesting way in which to approach this logo. The designer, Allan Guy, acknowledged that he at first considered using other common Civil War emblems, such as flags and symbols of the era. He also thought about using a simple image that would be representative of the typography of the era. However, he noticed that the most compelling images associated with the era involved actual photographs of the people involved. He chose a photograph of a relatively young boy, which is representative of the age and class of soldier that was commonly seen in this war.

Manassas was an integral site in the Civil War, home to several of the war’s earliest battles and events. While it is the first Southern town to have a logo designed for their commemorative events, they likely will not be the last. Civil War logos may become somewhat of a trend as small towns and cities all over the South look for a visual representation of their area’s past. While most of us take pause at the idea of a well branded war, these events likely will benefit from the good branding and attractive logo designs that represent them.