When people wanna have a great night out with friends, they probably head to the bar. Going out for drinks has been how adults socialize for millennia. The best bar logos capture that experience and make people want to order another round.
So how can you make sure your bar, pub or lounge is the place to be every Friday night? With a pub or bar logo so perfect for your target crowd it gives them FOMO. Whether you’re a cozy pub or a unique bar, your people won’t find you unless you’ve got a logo that shows who you are.
Don’t miss your opportunity to be the most popular spot in town by using a less-than-stellar bar logo. Here we’ve collected the best logos for bars and pubs to inspire you.
What makes a good pub or bar logo?
With a bar logo, you promise an experience. Because let’s be real, it’s way cheaper to drink at home. But people go out to bars and clubs because they offer experiences you just can’t have at home, like dancing your soul out till the sun comes up in a hall full of unbridled passion or sipping on fresh craft beer while making a fool out of yourself on karaoke night.
It can be tempting to take a look at beer, wine and liquor logos to see what works for a bar logo. We’ve covered beer and brewery logos and wine and winery logos before and if you’re planning a wine bar or a pub, it’s worth your while to take a look at those too for some inspiration. But keep in mind that breweries and wineries—and this includes a winery’s tasting room—are different kinds of businesses that need different kinds of logos.
So if you take inspiration from the elements you see in a lot of wine logos (or if you’re planning a beer bar or a brewery with a taproom) keep in mind that you’re tailoring those elements to a bar’s needs, not just swapping them onto your new logo.
Restaurant logos can also be a good source of inspiration for your bar logo, but again, you can’t just slap a bar name onto a restaurant logo and get the results you’re after because with a bar, the drinks—not the food—are your selling point, don’t forget that.
For bar logos, it’s not as important to “fit in” with your industry as it is for other kinds of businesses because the range of experiences customers can have at a bar or a club—contrasted against, say, the range of experiences they can have with a gutter cleaner or an auto body shop—is almost immeasurably wide. Your logo doesn’t need a martini glass the way a mechanic’s logo needs a wrench; it’s way more important for your logo to sell an experience than to explain what you do.
Full-bodied ideas for bar logos
Bar logos that show what you’ve got on tap
The most obvious choice for a bar or club logo—or really, any logo—is a logo that literally shows what your business does. For a bar logo, this can mean a beer mug, a shot glass, a fancy cocktail… whatever your bar is known for serving.
Sometimes, a bar logo highlights something other than the adult beverages you’ve got on tap. If your bar is known for serving the best burgers in town or endless tapas plates, the right choice for your logo might be to highlight what your kitchen’s serving up.
Bar logos that hearken to the good ol’ days
The vintage look is popular for logos in nearly every industry. For bars, the rise of craft beer and craft liquor has led to a rise in letterpress and badge-style logos. For club logos it’s a great idea to follow the kind of music you play with your logo style—so for a jazz or swing club, a vintage-inspired logo is the perfect choice.
Not all vintage-inspired logos are circles with letterpress fonts. Some hearken to other good old days, like the tiki bar trend of the 1950s and 60s or even an 80s arcade look. If your bar or club specializes in a specific type of drink or it’s decked out to create a specific mood, choose a logo that matches your specialty. Maybe that means a geometric art deco look for your speakeasy’s logo or an angelic fresco-inspired logo for your wine and tapas bar.
“Adjective + animal” pub and bar logos
Adjective + animal = bar name. You’ve seen it in countless movies and tv shows; you’ve probably been to a few bars that have this kind of name. But why is it such a popular way to name bars?
Because in medieval Europe, most people couldn’t read. And so if you wanted your friend to come meet you out for a drink, you’d need to make sure they could find the pub you wanted to meet at. So you’d tell them to meet up at the Red Duck Inn or the Cat and Daisy Pub, and they’d come meet you at the pub whose sign had a red duck or a cat with a bunch of daisies in its mouth.
Now, these names feel fun and folksy and even whimsical. You don’t have to stay within the confines of real animals or even living creatures…maybe Coal and Goggles perfectly captures your steampunk bar’s brand or there’s no better way to brand your lounge aimed at millennial women than The Blue Unicorn. If your business already has this type of name, an adjective animal logo is a no-brainer. And if you’re still working out your bar or club’s name, adjective + animal is a great option if you’re going for fun, folksy, old-timey, whimsical or throwback.
Night club logos and bar logos that promise a good time
Going out is all about having a good time. If you’re looking for the perfect club logo, this is the category for you. Just like lots of bar logos are successful because they illustrate the food and drinks the bar has to offer, a successful nightclub logo puts an unforgettable night out into a single image.
That doesn’t mean these kinds of logos are only for nightclubs, though. Any establishment that primarily offers an experience, like a craft beer bar in a retro arcade or a loft lounge where guests enjoy intimate magic shows and tarot card readings while sipping on handcrafted cocktails, can highlight what sets them apart from the crowd with a logo that shows exactly what they’ve got in store.
Fundamentals of logo design
If you have no logo design experience, the thought of designing a brand new logo out can be intimidating. But when you break logo design down into steps, you’ll see it’s actually pretty intuitive. Here’s our crash course in logo design.
Logo design is a specialized type of graphic design that combines aesthetics, branding and marketing, composition, color theory, artistic skill and typography. If you want to get deeper into what goes into designing a logo, check out our free online guide How to design a logo. But here, we’ll keep it to a taster size to give you a little background.
Design for your brand. There isn’t a “best” type of logo, but there is the best logo for your brand. And that’s the logo that matches your “brand identity.” Think about strong logos in different categories, like the Seal of the President of the United States versus the Oreo logo. Both work for the brands they’re for because they were crafted for their brand identities.
So if you’re not sure about your brand identity yet, now is the time to take a shot at it. Are you a high-energy club that plays loud house music all night long, or are you an upscale cocktail bar where guests enjoy artisan cocktails on long leather lounges under low lighting? Once you know exactly who you are, you can make design choices that display your brand.
Colors, shapes and letters. Every color and every shape represents different emotions. The emotions your logo evokes depends largely on your color, shape and font choices. A logo with a lot of black and sharp angles feels sophisticated, while a round orange logo feels more youthful, more fun and less expensive. When you use a serif font, your text reads more formal, more upscale and even more personalized, while a sans-serif font feels more modern and accessible to the people viewing it. Use your brand identity as the blueprint for building a logo with these elements.
How to get a logo
As we explained in a previous guide, How to create a logo: Comparing the best ways to get a logo designed you have four main options for getting a logo. They are:
- Logo maker (DIY). Using a logo maker or another kind of entry-level design software, you can design your own logo from scratch.
- Work with a design agency. The most comprehensive—and expensive—option for getting a logo, working with a design agency means you hand off the entire process, from ideation to your logo’s finishing touches, to a team of specialists.
- Work with a freelancer. For a lower cost than working with an agency, you can hire a freelancer directly to create your logo. By taking this route, you’re still working with a professional, but for less than it would cost you to work with the whole team an agency offers.
- Commission a design contest. With a design contest, you have the opportunity to see lots of designers’ interpretations of your logo needs and choose the one that resonates with your brand best. You submit a briefing, designers from around the world submit logo ideas based on the briefing, then you choose, revise and pay for the one you like most.
If you’re not a logo designer, we only advise creating your own logo when you literally have no other options, like when your budget’s totally tapped out. Your logo is a way too important asset to cheap out on. Knowing how much skill goes into designing an effective logo, it’s worth your while to invest in a professionally designed logo.
Your next decisions are what you can afford and how you would prefer to get your logo. Check out our Logo design cost guide to read more about what different logo design options will cost you.
Logo design contests have one huge advantage over other options and because of this advantage, they’re super popular: they leverage multiple designers’ creativity to enable you to choose the most effective interpretation of your contest briefing. If you’re not sure what style and look is right for your logo, a design contest is the way to go because it will allow you to experiment and eliminate ideas that you don’t think are working for you.
But if you already know what works for your brand, you can work directly with a freelancer. The advantage here is that it’s a faster, more efficient process. You can browse designers’ portfolios to find the perfect match for your style, then work with that designer to get exactly what you’re looking for.
Are you ready to get a straight up perfect bar logo?
Your bar, club or pub is unique and it deserves a logo that perfectly captures everything it offers thirsty guests. The first step in mixing up a tasty logo is determining which ingredients you need: your colors, your shapes, your images and your fonts. Then, work with a master mixologist of a designer to muddle them together and strain out the logo that’s uniquely you.