Every symbol has a strong theme to display, something you can see in a crest logo. Unlike other symbols, a crest has a specific meaning and symbolism. Using a crest as a brand, business, or team logo creates certain impressions and emotions. You must understand the meaning and the implication of using a crest as a part of your design.
Here is everything you need to know about the crest logo and how you can better use it.
History of Crest Logo
When we talk about design context, a crest is a part of a heraldic display, which is usually present as a family or nation symbols. The crest refers to the symbolic display above the coat of arms and its helmet, similar to decorative plumes, feathers, or wings attached to battle helmets.
The word “crest” came from Latin words crinis or crista, meaning “hair” or “plume”. However, the crest as a decorative part of a battle helmet was only recognized in the 12th or 13th Century, designed to depict the rank of the wearer. Decorative crests slowly disappeared after the 16th Century, at the end of the knightly tournament age. The crests were moved to the badges or coats of arms as symbols of status and respect.
Nowadays, crests are often used alone or with the modern interpretations of coats of arms. They may retain the classic style or modernize the look a little bit, yet the basic form is still the same.
What Crest Logo Symbolizes
A crest logo showcases intricate, traditional, and lavish designs that reflect the classic, knightly era. Adopting a crest as a logo invokes multiple emotions and words such as “classic”, “traditional”, “reliable”, “strong”, and “bold”.
A crest itself is a self-sustaining symbol, having intricate elements that can stand by themselves. It also has a quality of symmetry that appeals to the modern trend, despite the traditional look. Depending on the design, using a crest as a logo will make your brand or name stand out.
By using a crest, you inform people that your name, brand, team, or organization is reliable, with a strong sense of authenticity. It also tells people that your product or service can stand the test of time, with a promise of quality and good reputation.
The crest is also a unique way to make a new business stand out. If you just start your business, you can try using a crest as a logo, especially if your business type is not something usually advertised with a crest.
Recommendations to Use Crest Logo
While there are no restrictions in creativity, a crest logo will work perfectly on a specific brand, team, or organization that reflects similar values with the image. Here are several recommendations for where you can use a crest as a logo:
The crest is a popular symbol for educational institutions. It symbolizes a time-tested quality in the education system and a promise of creating generations of intellectuals. The “power” emanating from a crest also reflects the power of education that the institution will produce.
Legal and Consulting Services
Legal and consulting services need to build a great level of trust with their clients. A crest (or coat of arms) symbol reflects reliability, long-standing reputation, and tradition. Those qualities tend to resonate more toward clients for legal and consulting services, which have large stakes.
Sport is a popular field where the crest logo is used extensively. Sports require qualities such as strength, perseverance, high spirits, teamwork, and reliability are appreciated, even needed. Crest and coat of arms perfectly symbolize these qualities. You can use these logos not just for sports teams but also sports products and even e-sport teams.
Accessories and Jewelry
Companies that sell certain types of accessories or jewelry can make use of the symbolism behind the crest or coat of arm-type logo. You can use it for advertising classic jewelry like gold, silver, and pearl ones. You can also advertise leather accessories, fancy watches, or clothing items with classy styles. The crest goes perfectly with the timeless, classic, and elegant vibes you want to achieve.
A vintage-style logo is popular among craft breweries, symbolizing time-tested methods of crafting exquisite beer. Using the vintage logo also leans the air of “class”, something usually not associated with beer.
Food and Beverage
Food and beverage businesses use a lot of crest symbols or other vintage designs to advertise class, taste, and reliability. You can make this classic logo to better advertise common items, like canned foods, snacks, and instant coffee.
Literature and Publishing
Despite catering to new authors, literature and publishing companies can benefit from classic logos like crests. These logos are traditionally used by scholarly institutions, so using them can evoke the air of intellectuality. Perfect for advertising books and related products from these companies or stores.
Art, Theater, and Music
Crest and emblem are great to showcase class and elegance. This is why they are popular among companies, institutions, or organizations that deal with art, music, and theater. You can use these design elements to promote galleries, museums, theater companies, classical music companies, and many more.
Automotive companies or other related businesses often have crest or emblem designs as their logos. They are used to symbolize strength, reliability, and security. The logo usually has a sleek, modern look to imply modernity and technological advancement.
Examples of Real-Life Crest Logo Designs
Now that you understand the principle, how about checking out the successful examples? Here are real-life applications of crest logos on various brands and companies.
Royal Opera House
The logo of the Royal Opera House is perhaps one of the most enduring examples of using classic logo appropriately. The Royal Opera House has routinely performed operas, ballets, and stage dramas since 1732, which makes the crest logo a perfect choice. The logo features all symbols associated to the British royal, making it one of the most iconic symbols in the world of performing arts.
Crow and Jester
Crow and Jester uses a crest symbol that mirrors their business: classy, high-end tailored suits. The crest has several renditions, but it keeps the elements that form the name: crows and classic jester’s hat. The logo advertises the business’ main appeal, which is tailoring coats, suits, and other classic pieces of menswear.
Various Soccer Clubs
Soccer clubs have been known for using crests and heraldic devices as basic designs for their logos. Many use elements like brave animals, the country’s flag, or specific symbols related to their home countries. The most obvious examples are Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and many more.
The Harry Potter universe has popularized fictional crests and emblems among modern readers. The most notable one is the logo of Hogwarts, the school of magic that becomes the center of the story. The design mimics the typical classic crests and coats of arms in ancient families or institutions in Britain. You also see similar designs in individual crests for each House in the school.
William Grants & Sons
Everyone who knows their scotch will know William Grants & Sons, one of the most famous Irish scotch distilleries in the world. The crest logo reflects its history as a family-owned distillery that has been run by five generations. The logo also reflects the company’s traditional values in preserving the best quality of scotch through time-tested methods.
Hudson’s Bay Company
Another proper use of crest logo, Hudson’s Bay Company has a classic crest with animal motifs that reflect its origin as a fur trading company. Although Hudson’s Bay Company now is associated with retail store chains, the timeless reputation and long history are reflected in the crest they use to advertise the business.
Stella Artois is a vintage beer brand, so it is not a surprise that the company keeps its classic crest logo. It has “1366” on its crest along with a horn and wheat, symbolizing the beer’s origin in a Belgian brewery in that exact year.
Various University Logos
Universities around the world adopted crests and emblems for their logos. Many universities, especially the long-established ones, have classic-style logos to represent their reputation. University of Birmingham, MIT, Cambridge, and Brighton College are examples of university logos with crest-style symbols on them.
Starbucks is a good example of a logo that retains its crest-type visual over time. It had a more traditional design style in the beginning before experiencing two more design changes. It is a good example of combining classic and modern elements to keep the logo fresh.
Ferrari logo combines a shield emblem and a typical animal you see in the traditional crest (horse). It is a perfect design to symbolize the car’s performance and speed.
Tips to Create Attractive Crest Logo
The crest logo might be attractive and eye-catching, but you must consider various things before designing one for certain business or organization types. You must make sure that the design speaks to your message, communicate the vision and mission to anyone seeing the logo. Here are some tips before creating a logo design based on a classic crest:
Understand the Emotion You Want to Invoke
A business or institution logo evokes certain emotions among people, giving them specific impressions and information about what they will get. Since classic designs like a crest and emblem represent tradition, strength, and class, you must make sure that the product or service you give can be reflected by these emotions.
Think about the Visual Representations
A crest or emblem logo is designed to attract attention, serving as a strong identity. Therefore, you must consider where this logo will be displayed and how it will look like on different surfaces. For example, think about how it will be seen on your website, social media profile picture, building, banner, newsletter, and objects like shirts, mugs, notebooks, or business cards.
Make the Inscriptions Legible
A crest or emblem logo usually incorporates the inscriptions inside the symbol. Make sure the fonts, placements, and sizes make the text legible. You can use fancy fonts to create a unique look, but they must be legible and easy to perceive even from afar.
Use Local Elements in the Images
Traditional crests often incorporate classic images like lions, birds of prey, beautiful flowers, or mythological figures in the design. You can make such a logo more interesting by combining traditional styles with local images in the design. For example, instead of lions or birds, use local animals that are associated with your areas.
Showcase Your Business “Heritage”
When you are using a crest logo, you can incorporate the heritage element of your business. Make sure your customers can see it. For example, you can incorporate the year when the business was started, especially if your business has been around for at least a decade. You can also showcase a crop plant, animal from your farm, traditional design elements, and other long-standing elements that symbolize your business.
Check the Visual Similarities
Crest, heraldic device, and emblem are popular types of logos because of their visual languages. Once you create several starting designs, check whether they have similarities with other existing designs or not. Even if there are similar elements, your design should not have too many similarities that instantly make people think about other logos.
Incorporate “Unusual” Elements
How do you modernize classic crests or emblems? Use visual elements that are usually not incorporated in such logos. For example, instead of birds, lions, horses, or fantastic animals, try cats, octopuses, bunnies, or other unique crest animals. This is a way to combine the classic and the modern in a fresh logo.
Consider the Future Changes
Traditional logos may need to be refreshed in the future. If you decide to use a classic-style logo, make sure you can modify it in the future. Think about how you could modify the colors, images, or shapes to be more modern, like in the case of the Starbucks logo.
A crest is a logo design that represents strong, classic, and reliable values. Make sure you advertise your business the right way by using the crest logo to promote your business values.