Design & UX
By Jennifer Farley

Using Cubism in Logo Design

By Jennifer Farley

Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, which is closely associated with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. This art style revolutionized European painting and sculpture.

Georges Braque: Woman with a guitar, painted 1913, in the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.In cubist artworks, and as we’ll see in the case of the logos featured, objects are broken up, and re-assembled in a very abstract and somewhat disconcerting form. The cubist artist depicts objects from more than one viewpoint, with surfaces intersecting at random angles. A normal sense of depth in an object is removed.

Today, identity designers are using this fine art style for inspiration for their logo work. The cubist style reduces images down to a level of simplicity, and simplicity is one of the more important features of a good logo. Many of the logos have an illustrated hand-drawn feel about them which is eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing, moving away from the very clean, computerized look of some vector-based logos.

So for your viewing pleasure and design inspiration, here’s a small collection of cubist style logos.


Cubist Coffee by James Strange


Vanguard by Karmesi


Toro by Van Paul


Melbourne City Logo


U.S. Virgin Islands by J Walter Thompson


Cubist (Cultural Business: Impact, Strategy and Technology) Research Group


Ok, maybe this one isn’t so inspirational, but I just had to include the London 2012 Olympics logo.

What do you think of these logo designs?

Main Image Credit: Georges Braque: Woman with a guitar, painted 1913, in the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

  • Even Adobe’s CS5 logo hints at this:

  • The London logo for the 2012 Olympics has to be the worst ever. I remember the first time I played with Illustrator and made shapes similar to those. Maybe it was someone’s child just playing on the computer.
    The cubist logos are interesting although to be pedantic, the Cubist Research Group have used one of the faces from ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’, which was a forerunner of actual cubism.

  • martcol

    I’m not convinced by the Cubist reference, But all the logos are refreshing designs. Including IMO that 2012 monster! I’ve always interpreted Cubism as a dismantling the components of an image but each of these logos retains it’s original form. It is great to think of design in a context. Not just its intended place but also it’s cultural, historical and individual development.

  • I love your logos really amazing.

  • Some great examples and then there’s London 2012. This logo was clearly design with cross-marketing in mind. Every official sponsor can take this logo and re-colour it to be their colours. I’ve already seen examples of this. To my mind that is the wrong focus for developing such a massive brand identity.

  • I hate the London 2012 design – it’s too 1980s for my liking.

  • Hi Michael,

    We’ve fixed the images. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Get the latest in Design, once a week, for free.