Showcase of South African Logos

Visual marks for identification have been used for centuries, but never has the world of logo design been so fast-paced and competitive. With new digital techniques and designers constantly striving to create something new and exciting, and definitively memorable, branding has evolved into a distinctive art form. The ultimate goal of a logo is to classify a product, give it status and promote it amongst its competitors.
Most prominent logos in South Africa can compete with the high standards of international branding. Some are even internationally recognisable. I have compiled a showcase of ten notable logos in South Africa. Agree or disagree – I would love to hear your feedback, so please leave a comment!

No.10 Wimpy

Wimpy
Every South African will recognise the prominent red bun logo of Wimpy. Although originally created in England in the 1960s, it is Wimpy’s popularity in South Africa which managed to uphold its brand status. From Wimpy SA’s website:

“A BRAND WITH A MISSION – Our bun logo has become a South African icon that is recognised everywhere and is synonymous with quality, cleanliness, service, value and friendliness. With us you’ll always feel comfortable and at home, your food will be delicious and swiftly delivered to you, but most importantly, you’ll enjoy every moment. This is our mission.”

No.9 Bakers

Bakers Biscuits
In 1923 ‘The Little Man’ was created as the registered trademark for Bakers biscuits, and has since become a South African favourite. The original Bakersman was a little, fat grocer man wearing an apron, rolled up sleeves and holding a tin of biscuits. Today the logo has a more modern look, with updated design and font. The biscuit box has been removed leaving the Bakersman with a welcoming stance. From Bakers website:

“Over the years the Bakersman has remained true to his origins and has now taken pride of place in the centre of all the packs in a bold, round seal as the stamp of quality and heritage.”

No.8 SABC

SABC

The South African Broadcasting Corporation is a state-owned broadcaster providing 18 radio stations and three television broadcasts to the general public. It has a uniquely South African logo which beams national pride. The logo consists of three elements; the SABC wording, based on the Frutiger typeface, the Africa shaped broadcast signal and the slogan “Vuka Sizwe!” meaning “Nation Arise!” From the SABC Corporate Identity Usage Manual:

“Our identity encapsulates the original colours of South Africa’s rich heritage and national flag. The design depicts a clean SABC font for legibility, the broadcast signal of radio and television, radiating outward is paired with the shape of the African continent.”

No.7 Standard Bank

Standard Bank

The Standard Bank Group is a global bank with African roots. It is South Africa’s largest bank and has operations in 17 African countries. Standard Bank’s first logo was designed in 1958 and looked more like a colourful coat of arms with two buck beside the well-known flag badge. Luckily by 1960 only the flag emblem remained and by 1970 the blue and white symbol emerged. Today’s Standard Bank logo is a bold yet simple icon which hopefully conveys their slogan:

“Inspired. Motivated. Involved.”

No.6 Nando’s

Nando's

Nando’s was born in Johannesburg in 1987 when two great friends – Robert and Fernando – fell in love with the Peri-Peri flame-grilled chicken they discovered at a restaurant called Chickenland. They bought the restaurant and changed its name to Nando’s. From its humble beginnings it has now expanded to 34 countries on five continents, so today the friendly, casual logo depicting the Portuguese rooster is known and loved all over the world. From the Nando’s website:

“we chose the Barcelos Cockerel for Nando’s identity because of its association with faith, justice and good luck.”

No.5 The Democratic Alliance

 

The Democratic Alliance
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is a South African political party and the official opposition to the ruling ANC. Their logo represents the South African landscape in the colours of our national flag with the radiating lines signifying the lines of the rising sun. The DA message is strong, bold and distinctive and is reflected in their logo. From Helen Zille, leader of the DA:

“Our logo reflects our offer. It is a morning sun rising over the rainbow nation. It signals hope; it heralds change; it speaks of opportunity; and it reflects our love for diversity. As with our logo, so with our campaign. Our campaign is our logo in action. It’s our offer not just in word, but in deed too.”

No.4 SASOL

SASOL

SASOL (Suid-Afrikaanse Steenkool en Olie) is an innovative and competitive global energy company, engaged in the commercial production and marketing of chemicals and liquid fuels. It was established by the South African government in 1950 and remains one of South Africa’s largest investors in capital projects, skills development and technological research and development. The SASOL logo, with its molecular symbol and promise of “reaching new frontiers”, was designed to show that Sasol has become a single global business, as modern as it is diverse. From the SASOL website:

“Sasol’s identity owes its inspiration to what is at the core of what Sasol does – chemicals. It suggests the essence of the products, and businesses working in harmony in order to create something new and dynamic. The central sphere denotes stability, while the six rotating ‘business units’ suggest a force greater than the sum of its parts – strength through synergy.”

No.3 South African Tourism

South African Tourism

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for marketing South Africa as a destination internationally and domestically. Their logo was redeveloped in 2009 in collaboration with the International Marketing Council (IMC). The logo uses the colours of the internationally recognised South African flag arranged in traditional Zulu beadwork to leverage awareness of South African Tourism as the marketer of Tourism to South Africa. From their website:

“The logo is an icon of the pride in South Africa that South African Tourism strives to nurture among all South Africans.”

No.2 Mugg & Bean

Mugg & Bean
Mugg & Bean first opened its doors in 1996 at Cape Town’s Waterfront by one of South Africa’s most prominent restaurateurs, Ben Filmalter. It’s a coffee themed restaurant franchise and has become a popular choice for South Africans. In 2008 the Mugg & Bean logo was redesigned and its new image has become synonymous with quality and value for money. It’s bold, unique and memorable; South African with a bit on American flavour! From the Mugg & Bean website:

“People could not get enough of the generous portions, huge muffins and bottomless coffee.”

No.1 Gautrain

Gautrain

The Gautrain is a state-of-the-art rapid rail network in Gauteng. The rail connection comprises of two links, namely a link between Pretoria and Johannesburg and a link between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton. The logo depicts the golden train speeding across the Gauteng landscape which is represented by a dynamic blue line. This simple yet powerful logo is timeless. The strong design shapes encompass all that Gautrain has to offer: speed, efficiency and futuristic world-class design. From the Gautrain website:

“Gautrain’s brand unlocks the ambition of Gauteng residents and their upwardly mobile aspirations. These people are driven, hungry for success and anxious to get ahead. The Gautrain brand is supported by three core values: Freedom, Pride and Relationships.”

2 Responses

  • Hi , I was sitting at the Mugg & Bean the other day and wondered what the meaning of the STAR in the M&B logo ?
    I know that the star is common in any communist party media , but the star was used a lot in the late 1800’s and early
    1900’s as a branding icon , i.e. the roots of M&B back in the early 1900’s ?

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