Developing a law firm identity is usually one of the first steps newly minted lawyers approach when starting their firms. A few months ago, this post on Designing a Logo developed into a controversial discussion about the importance of law firm logos. My position is that developing brands and logos are important, not as important as the reputation that they are representing, but visuals that support and reinforce that reputation as well as a key part of an overall marketing strategy.

people reviewing design of law firm logo

Most law firm logos are poorly executed and are usually entirely text-based, quite often with one of a handful of popular fonts, which results in many firms believing that logos are not necessary for a law firm. However, there is no escaping the fact that people make decisions based on visual cues and a logo is a great place to start. Well-designed law firm logos should be memorable, establish your style, and tie your marketing efforts together.

Choosing the Best Law Firm Logo

If you are in the process of developing a logo, especially if you are working with a website such as 99designs, it is important to have clear goals in mind and be able to provide effective feedback to ensure your logo design is successful. With that in mind I have compiled a handful of the best law firm logos I have recently found (a few are slightly blurry since they are from the firm’s website, so for better viewing please click over to the site). My criteria were that the logo should be unique in color or font, should express and support the firm’s overall image, and have elements that are memorable.

oorick law firm logo

Orrick

This logo is a great example of simple color and great font use, with a graphic that is memorable. The green will stand out, and the large capital O is clean and simple, but will be easily recalled.

Kasling, Hemphill, Dolezal and Atwell

I like this logo because it stays within the safe confines of looking like a law firm, but uses a contemporary font and unique grid for displaying the initials so that it challenges the typical boring law firm logos.

parkway law law firm logo

Parkway Law

This is a logo that my firm helped to create. It works because the simple leaf conveys her focus on environmental law and provides a pop of color, while the font is classic but unique.

meywers ohara law firm logoMeyers & O’Hara

This logo is also well done in its choice of font, the ampersand graphic, and simple but professional use of color.

Crowley Fleck

This logo is a great example of a well designed text only logo. While this may look simple, oftentimes the simple is the most difficult to create, and this would not be as successful without the subtle color and brilliant spacing between the letters.

ramsey law law firm logoRamsey Law

This firm did a good job with their logo but has fallen a little flat with continuing the look through to the website. However the logo is clean, has a good use of color, and the capital R is memorable in the same ways as the O in the Orrick logo above.

(photo: A businessman in a suit holds a blank white business card that is ready for your logo! image from Shutterstock)

8 Comments

  1. Andres mejer says:

    The orrick and parkway logos are creative and interesting. The kasling and crowley logos I have at least four or five firms with the same design. No creativity there.

  2. John Hightower says:

    When you design your logo, make sure you that test how it looks on both paper and the web. Keep in mind that colors will shift dramatically on the web. Generally, light colors (pale, pastels, and so forth) can migrate from something delicate and subtle on paper to something gruesomely revolting on the web. Generally, darker colors will better survive the transfer from paper to the web. Also be careful about how well your logo colors are going to translate onto coffee cups, pens, golf tees, and so forth. How much is it going to cost to have a table drape in the subtle and relatively unused color–if you can get it at all?

    Serif fonts don’t survive transfer to the web very well. Narrow strokes in serif and sans serif fonts also don’t survive transfer to the web very well.

    Make sure the logo will look good in various sizes–from the side of the building to the pen.

    • Gus says:

      I completely agree – I read this site a lot — but if these 4 logos represents the “best” law firm logos — then us lawyers should just give up on logos b/c other than Orrick which was probably designed by a huge PR firm, they all are boring and terrible.

  3. Dan says:

    This is good marketing advice?

    The Ramsey logo is gaudy and has unattractive font. It would not look good on letterhead. Gratuitous period at the end. The Meyers one looks like it was made with clip art, the massive ampersand clipping into the text is hugely distracting. The Kasling one is not unique, it looks like a hundred other logos and the tiny font crammed in to the right is unreadable at that distance.

    In contrast, the Crowley logo looks like it has BigLaw cred, is professional, would look equally good on a business card or letterhead, and doesn’t distract the eye. Hell you could put that exact same logo on signage. And use of kerning is “brilliant spacing?” No, that’s just common sense in design.

    The Parkway one has a good logo but could use more readable font on the nameplate.

    Orrick’s design is simple and conveys no more information than it needs to — if you’re hiring Orrick, you know why.

    Slapping consultant on one’s letterhead does not a typography expert make.

  4. Dani says:

    The comments above show how subjective design is. However, I think these guys are being way too critical. All the logos are clean and classy, with just enough creativity. We’re lawyers after all! If you want crazy different, go be art directors or architects.

  5. Lukasz Gos says:

    Worth noting is that textual logos can be rendered on your website with text only, with some work. If they include a border (this includes partial borders that you wouldn’t immediately recognise for a border) or a strike-through or some other basic geometrical device (this includes circles of late), even if the words overlap or the text has been transformed geometrically in some way, there is still a good chance you can do it with pure CSS, without making an actual graphical file. Even transparency (this includes partial transparency in a defined degree) and shadows can be done without graphical files (old or odd browser compatibility could be an issue, though). This said, I’m not trying to tap into the debate whether you should use pictures or text for your prominent company name or even what’s better for SEO (although I’d personally prefer text) but it’s possible. Of the six logos above, only Parkway appears not doable in HTML & CSS but you could actually still do it because there are fonts that include leaves.

    This type of thing was fashionable during the days DHTML was hip, which is probably before table layouts bloomed. On a funny note, you might as well put together a logo in HTML and CSS, take a screenshot of your site and crop it for a .jpg logo for where you need one. There. ;)

  6. NoelieTREX says:

    Wow. These logos are as dull as they come. Crowd-sourcing your logo instead of going with an agency is TERRIBLE advice by the way. You as an individual do not have the expertise to know which logo will be most marketable. Avoid ending up with a logo similar to any of these; hire a professional.

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