Why you shouldn't include an arch in your logo when branding for a St. Louis company.

When it comes to branding for your company, there are a few things you should pay attention to. One of them being your logo. Let’s briefly dive into the purpose of a logo. 


Purpose of a Logo

A logo is supposed to be:

  • MEMORABLE – Something any viewer is bound to remember
  • ICONIC – One that stands the test of time, because let’s be honest, you don’t want to redesign your logo year after year.
  • RELEVANT – In other words, the logo needs to make sense for your company and industry.


Some famous examples of logos that meet these criteria are FedEx and Apple. Lets take the example of Apple.

Apple began in California and to show a new way of thinking, featured Issac Newton and the apple tree in their very first logo in 1976. Apple quickly switched over to the shape of a bitten apple and has more or less remained the same shape and icon since 1977 with a few variations in style, color, and effect. 

Apple’s first logo never had a map of California or a symbol of the bear found in their flag. It didn’t utilize the symbols of it’s location and instead appealed to the world even when they began. 

Let me back track a little and say it’s not wrong to use symbols related to your location. But is there a better way to go about your logo? Yes there is. 

The city of St. Louis, MO has several symbols and icons unique to the city, the most famous of which is the Arch. The Arch is a beautiful monument that I would highly encourage travelers to visit. But as a symbol, the Arch has unfortunately been overused. As a local myself, a good number of clients come to me requesting the arch in their logo. And I usually steer clear of the arch unless the company absolutely can’t stand any other symbol or icon to incite a St. Louis feel.

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Find out the Top 5 Logo Design Mistakes that inexperienced designers make that could cost you your business.

Here are some of the reasons you shouldn't use the arch in your logo.

  • It is overused.
  • Think big. You may want to expand out of St. Louis, and it may later sound and seem irrelevant.
  • It’s too kitsch.
  • If you use the arch, what about the Gateway Arch memorial park, and other services that cater to the Arch? What will they use? How can they be unique if you steal their thunder?
  • It’s boring. Or at least it can be.
  • The logo begins to look like your neighbors.
  • There are other symbols besides the Arch that you can use and it can be a means to educate others about your city.
  • It makes it seem like St. Louis has the Arch, and the Arch only.
  • Your logo starts to look like you put no thought into it.
  • It’s not unique.
  • But mostly, it’s just overused. (See also first point on this list.)

Here are just a few logos that utilize the St. Louis arch. 

  • 106.5 The Arch
  • Adelante Awards
  • Arch Moving
  • Better Together
  • BioSTL
  • Cantor Injury Law
  • CleanPro Stl
  • Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
  • Corporate Flooring Group
  • Gateway to Innovation Conference
  • Gene Slays Girls and Boys Club
  • Good Shepherd Children & Family
  • Green Life Shingle Rejuvenation
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Independent Electrical Contractors
  • International Public Association for Human Resources – St. Louis
  • Lindbergh Schools
  • Lou Fusz
  • Metro Academic and Classical High School
  • Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council
  • Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
  • Mission St. Louis
  • Missouri Floor Company
  • Project Management Institute Metro St. Louis
  • Saint Louis Bar Association
  • SC Hosack Plumbing & Excavation
  • Show Me Granite
  • Skydive Stl
  • South County Urological
  • Stl Law Group
  • St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition
  • St. Louis Association of Community Organizations
  • St. Louis Auto Dealers Association
  • St. Louis Canine Games
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital
  • St. Louis City Senior Fund
  • St. Louis Cleaning & Restoration
  • St. Louis Clean Sweep
  • St. Louis Development Corporation
  • St. Louis Mosaic Project
  • St. Louis Public Schools
  • St. Louis Realtors®
  • St. Louis Science Center
  • St. Louis Tool Supply, Inc.
  • Stl Piano Lessons
  • Stl Shirt Co.
  • Stl Youth Jobs
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • The St. Louis Children’s Choirs
  • Total Access Urgent Care
  • Women on Mission St. Louis
  • Urology of St. Louis
  • Women’s Foundation of Greater Saint Louis
  • World Affairs Council of St. Louis

Here are just a few logos that have the words St. Louis and still successfully stay away from using the St. Louis Arch.

  • Greater St. Louis Inc.
  • Missouri Association of Manufacturers
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Missouri Neon Company
  • Missouri Partnership
  • Missouri State University
  • Missouri Tools Company
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
  • Panera Bread (St. Louis Bread Co.)
  • Saint Louis University
  • St. Louis Aquarium at the Union Station
  • St. Louis Blues
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • St. Louis County Library
  • St. LouisInno
  • St. Louis Public Radio
  • Stl Partners
  • Stl Trustees
  • Sweetly in St. Louis
  • Washington University in St. Louis

If you’re still not convinced, then let’s talk about designing your logo and find the right way to approach your business.

Let's build your business!