10 Brands & Their Logos For 2021
It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the economy of yesteryear. Businesses are closing, others have consolidated, and some are booming, thriving in newfound opportunities in their markets. As a whimsical little exercise, I selected my ‘quick picks’: Highlighting brands that I prognosticate as being prominent players and industry bests in this changing economy for 2021. In efforts to represent the FULL scope of the market, I strived to pick from as many industries as possible- including touchpoints in technology, social media, travel, art, food & beverage, digital & online media, non-profits, and athletics.
1. City Mapper
(Tech + Travel)
Launched publicly in 2019, Citymapper was founded by former Google employee Azmat Yusuf who now serves as the CEO of Citymapper Ltd. This award winning transport app is built for the next generation of real world commuters. Accessible LIVE in 50+ cities worldwide, it’s primed to make the daily lives of commuters a whole lot easier within this green future of transportation we’re experiencing. This public transit app and mapping service features transport options with live timing between any two locations in one of the ‘supported cities’. It integrates data for all urban modes of transport such as walking, cycling, driving, as well as public transportation. Free to users, it’s a highly accessible tool.
What makes this app so great is the image and likeness it projects. With simplicity, ease of use, and accessibility in mind Citymapper demonstrates how today’s commuters can engage in their city while encouraging all forms of travel- making our cities more usable. This app is primed for high usage because of the many small businesses reopening including those businesses who have already reopened their doors under new regulations. The graphics and friendly rounded typefaces of the interface simplifies the maps of our cities and invites for higher engagement levels. I love the light grass green color palette in their logo, because it stands so well on its own as an image.
The forward facing arrow tucked snug between two plotted dots, reflects the accessibility and ease of use for which this application was developed. And the jury has spoken!; With over 15.5k reviews and a 4.7/5 star rating by users. The other huge plus of Citymapper’s service is the prepaid card they offer CitymapperPASS. This card demonstrates the company’s adjustment more paperless economic future regarding how we purchase goods and services alongside the safety of a contactless experience. Throughout, it is truly is a green company.
(Tech + Arts)
Quixel was founded in 2011 by Teddy Bergsman and Waqar Azim. Their vision was to substantially speed up how creators build digital environments, giving access to a vast expansive library of 3D building blocks, and easy-to-use tools greatly simplifying the creative process. Quixel is all about bringing artistry and speed back to next-gen’s workflows. Whether you work in films, games, or visualization, create hyper-realistic or stylized art with the world's largest scan library, one-click integrations, and rapid material creation. Through its three-facet software, users can operate Megascans, Bridge, and Mixer to help you shape the future of 3D graphics. With headquarters in Sweden and Pakistan, this young international company is the forefront of innovation for creators.
With a brand that embodies sophisticated ingenuity, the company’s logo struck me profoundly with its geometric cube-shaped polygon for a logo. The geometric Q reminds me of the original Gamecube logo but excluding the inner-arm to the logo in which the letter G is produced. I admire an inverse approach to their brand’s strategy. The company’s values are built on ingenuity, creativity, and sophistication of future next-gen technology, and their logo simplifies things down to the simplest bare bones; A cube, the most malleable of all forms. The brand and culture of this company holds a perception of sophistication for professional designers, but still maintains a presence welcoming to a novice or layman This software is well adapted for the future of creative technology. Quixel lays the grounds for creators to partake in their own creative developments of virtual reality and augmentation - both heavily invested industries of science and technology.
Wearing hats as both a consumer and an advertiser, I am also enamored by the company’s social media presence. Their services far exceed the software with its YouTube Tutorials in Bridge, Megascan and Mixer to help creators troubleshoot and brainstorm with their programs. The company’s YouTube also breaks the fourth wall with a Behind The Scenes playlist and a playlist demonstrating Fundamentals as trainer videos for their programs. With original content as the centerpiece of today’s table in Advertising and Marketing, Quixel fills the appetites of consumers and satiates content creators with its tools and programs.
3. Mama Mafia
(Food + Beverage)
For this next brand (Mama Mafia), I am deviating from my original self-imposed qualifier of showcasing companies that are primed for a big boost in 2021. With Mama Mafia is a service conceptualized by Dima Je of Moscow, Russia. Je’s design is a delivery service that specializes in Italian and Japanese cuisines. The concept of the service is a mix of the home-tasting food like from mama, the delivery speed, which is faster than a bullet from the Tommy gun, and a strict quality control, worthy of Yakuza.
With a highly saturated market of food cuisine and delivery service, I nominated Mama Mafia to showcase their concept. Instead of choosing a current competitor, I chose this concept to demonstrate the lengths that start-up companies go to (in 2021) to manufacture a competitive product/service for today’s economy. I LOVE Mama Mafia for three reasons: 1. Their logo
2. A unique blend of culture
3. Their cross-merchandise marketing approach
As an Italian, there’s nothing we love more than our grandmother’s cooking. The attempt to capture an inspired flavorful home-cooked taste with their marketing approach is risky as a tactical differentiation point for the brand. However, in today’s food service industry, a risk of these proportions is required of any startup competitor which is something I can admire and respect in a company like Mama Mafia.
Secondly, the unique blend of Italian and Japanese cultures is both unexpected, enticing, and uncharted market territory (to my knowledge). Removing my Advertising/ Marketing lens for a moment, the concept of a Japanese-Italian fusion is both inspiring and profoundly creative with the proper imagery fueling the brand. With cartoon-inspired imagery, Mama Mafia cultivates a playful sensibility baked into a robust orange, brown, and soft off-white three tone palette.
A third facet I admire of Mama Mafia is their cross-merchandising approach. Accessibility and versatility are pinnacle attributes of any industry, particularly food service (and for start-ups no less). Serving as both inspired original cuisine and a food service distributor combined, it distinguishes their company from a wolf pack of competitors. Many companies offer exclusively one or the other, either serving as the channel for food & beverage brands, or as an original cuisine company devoid of a vendor for distribution. Fulfilling both, leaves a company like Mama Mafia free from common restrictions, leaving the skies as the limit. Conceptually, its bold inspired ideas like these that reflect a company equipped to thrive in an economy like 2021.
4. Property Cayman
(Real Estate + Travel)
Property Cayman is a Real Estate & Travel company founded by Michael Joseph. Raised in the Cayman Islands, Michael was inspired by the success of his Architect father, exploring corners of the Island and spending summers working on job sites from a young age. With a dream team formed in 2016, Property Cayman brings passion and award-winning service to its customers. With the help of their passionate brokers and agents, they make listing, renting, buying and selling smooth and easy, which inspired their slogan,
Connecting Good People With Great Places.
As the coronavirus continues to prompt earthquakes for the hotel chain industry and with property giant AirBnB showing no signs of slowing down, many companies have consolidated their continued efforts down to customer service, strong brand strategy, and virtual/digital platform technologies.
I can attest that strong brand identity is embedded in the Property Cayman logo. The baby blue lines breaking free of the house-shaped design mirrors the clear blue skies and beach water surrounding the many Cayman-area properties their company services. The open divots and vertical line breaking free from the logo’s form reflect how customer care is treated well and made easy, demystifying aspects of real estate that lower tier companies fail to address.
I have close friends who have used their service to book vacations in the Cayman Islands, and they don’t just rave about the care in customer service. The business-to-consumer experiences with Cayman’s digital platforms and technologies is one of their calling cards, helping win their company Website of the Year awards in the past two consecutive years (2019 and 2020). With strong financial investment and efforts in perfecting their digital technologies, customers can experience features of the properties to the peak of their abilities- primarily when it comes to immeasurable factors like neighborhood culture, second level property details, and recent sale statistics. For a company that represents some of the most coveted property in the entire world, they cross every t and dot every i.
Since 2010, Colossal has been an international cornerstone as a platform for contemporary art. With an archive of over 6,700 articles written by their contributors, Colossal has built their reputation on celebrating the both emerging and established artists through a continued commitment to art’s accessibility for everyone. Exploring nearly every single creative discourse, Colossal is uniquely designed to serve as an online gallery of spectacular artwork, while seeking to educate and inform others through the arts.
With galleries and businesses closing across the nation, Colossal has continued being a leading platform for the art world globally. For artists and audiences alike, Colossal centralizes the immersive experience for many forms of art media. From illustration, to graphic design, to sculpture, and beyond the company’s logo mirror’s the depth of content that it showcases. The dynamic diagonal stride to the logo’s design stands on its own as a beacon of light for an industry of the creators and creations yet to be discovered. The b+w knockout logo reads as such an iconic stand-alone visual form. With its hard ninety degree nooks and crannies, the logo transforms its surrounding negative space into an activated composition. The care in design truly signifies what their service is all about. While COVID-19 continues to push the economic market, Colossal will be a critical resource for the art industry for years to come.
6. Tattoo Hot Sauces
(Food + Beverage)
Hot sauce feels like the new craft beer market, right? With the hot sauce industry BOOMING, retail shelf space has become as scarce as the Southern California real estate market. Based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina the company keenly reflects heritage and creativity in all their products. Tattoo brand’s hot sauces are globally inspired and passionately crafted, bringing creatively inspired flavors to a seat at the consumer’s dinner table. The sleeves of their product packing reflects the long lineage of tattoo culture in the rich history of the tribes that once founded Winston-Salem. My personal experiences having tattoos and tattooing others, you quickly understand that tattoos are a way of life and that is evident in the quality the company brings to their hot sauce.
Putting a dent in an oversaturated market like the hot sauce industry is a tall task, and so being true to your roots and your story (as a brand) becomes paramount. What makes Tattoo Hot Sauces stand out from the tribe is the inspiration behind their flavors. From Kashmiri Coconut to Himalayan Chile, the brand’s array of flavors bring versatility to every meal. The tribal patterning unique to each flavor’s packaging tells a story with every drop. The upward lilting arch in the Brand’s name on the packaging reads (visually) like a tattoo- imprinted in the images of people from their website. As a consumer walking my grocer’s isles, I find a great portion of their brand’s success attributed to deep rooted connections with a target segment of today’s young adults- what the industry experts call ‘dreamers and achievers’.
7. Canvs Street Art
(Tech + Arts)
Canvs Art is an interactive platform that connects people and cities via street art and technology. This app transforms the experience of murals and public art. This app is one’s own interactive guide for finding the best art across different cities. Within the app, each mural helps explorers read artist’s bios and contributor credits, also allowing consumers to follow their favorite artists on social media. Through the bookmark and favorite features, viewers can compile an anthology of their favorite artists and public works.
Canvs’s application is brand new and with a spiking frequency of new murals and public works popping up across the US, this application is the tool for bringing art to those avid art lovers and the average consumer alike.
With travel limits and exceptions still in place due to the coronavirus, this app serves as both a short-term solution and long term investment in the way we experience the art world. With a convergence in tourism and art, this technology brings a scavenging element to the interactions of travelers and the cities/communities they engage in. Similar to Colossal and its implications on the art world, Canvs brings a similar service, except the power is in the hands of the artists and the creators usurping the gatekeeping of publishers there at Colossal.
8. Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is a non-governmental humanitarian Non-Profit organization that serves the globe in combating epidemic-proportion diseases. The organization was originally formed in 1971 by French doctors who had been working in Biafra to provide aid with emphasis on the importance of victims' rights over neutrality. Doctors Without Borders is a worldwide reputable and respected organization with many branches of doctors spanning the globe.
With the coronavirus taking center stage across the globe, there has
never been a more crucial time or higher demand to support this organization and its efforts. I am not exclusively advocating for donations, but rather I’m highlighting their organization as a leader in the industry of NPOs where I predict we’ll see a spiking demand of their services.
Daily news updates from DWB continue keeping readers abreast on the updates of Coronavirus in other nations around the globe. With the current political situation in our country, this non-partisan news source can help aid audiences and their perspectives of the Coronavirus at a global impact as well as other epidemics our world continues facing everyday.
(Tech + Social Media)
Bumble is a social media app used for dating, networking, and business. Founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, it originated as an off-shoot of popular Dating-app Tinder.
With a public perception as a ‘feminist-friendly’ dating application, the company’s current standing (and for the future) is progressive from the top down- aligning itself with many #MeToo efforts and initiatives. The user experience is designed to be female-user friendly, equipped with an interface for combating and confronting today’s common challenges in the ever growing dating-app industry.
The company’s female-friendly approach is systemic through and through. With the company’s identity reflecting an analogy of a beehive, the queen holds the power above all else and this is evident in the lighthearted positive imagery and Bumble’s Queen Bee program (available on their website). The branding of their day to day consumer engagement in their app is structurally sound.
The second differentiation point I revere is the business side of the application. Users can switch from a dating-user interface to toggle a business profile for business opportunities and networking opportunities. This allows for second-level engagement opportunities for people to network beyond the limits of traditional dating platforms. As an olive branch to traverse a female-centric public image, Bumble serves as proud sponsors of the professional basketball team, The Los Angeles Clippers. Owned by multi billionaire Steve Ballmer, he knows a thing or two about great business interests and aligning their service with a thriving organization like the Clippers is a SLAM DUNK!
10. Brooklyn Nets
(Sports + Athletics)
The Nets organization originated in Teaneck, New Jersey in 1967. As a professional basketball team, they played 35 seasons in New Jersey before returning to New York in Brooklyn for the 2012-’13 season. The Mecca of basketball has always been known as New York City and as the Brooklyn nets usher in their newly arrived superstars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, they also bring a fresh new approach to the ballclub’s branding strategy.
Emulating an authentic new Brooklyn-style look, the organization has made a concerted effort to reverse its nomadic history by creating a home court and visual experience that will serve fans for years to come. The alternate home uniforms depict Bed-Stuy the commonly referred to northern neighborhood of New York City’s Brooklyn Borough. This homage to the area’s rich history also translates on the court where viewers can see the team name painted in the timeless Subway Helvetica typeface. Due to limitations on fan attendance from COVID-19, the organization’s rebranding transforms as a visually pleasing experience for audiences at home. The Nets brand design simultaneously creates a great spread in merchandise and apparel for the fans across the globe- utilizing it’s sleek logo which is both stylish and modern mirroring the historic art culture in the big city.
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