Among the many things I’m working on, I am currently in the process of becoming president of a 100-year-old music club in my hometown. Called Musical Research Society, it is an organization dear to my heart. Like a lot of cultural organizations over the past couple of decades, this one has been dwindling, and it is my goal to revitalize it, and help it connect with a new generation of music lovers.

Today my mind has been on the subject of branding—specifically, the idea of giving the club a logo. (I should point out that I am not yet the elected president, and even if I were, this kind of thing would be decided by committee. But that has never stopped my imagination, so this is just what I have been pondering.)

The club began in 1908, so I feel like the logo should evoke that history. I love the scrollwork you see on some vintage logos.


As well as the richly detailed typefaces and the flourishes that might frame a logotype.


I’m also aware that a horizontally aligned logo will be a lot more versatile than a vertically aligned one. This one below is gorgeous, and makes a great title page, but would be really tough to use as a letterhead.


I had figured that, if we wanted something that hearkened back to this style, that we would need someone to hand letter us a logo, which would be very expensive. But today I discovered that such things exist premade and pretty affordably.
Here are some of the best that I found. Try to imagine these with the name “Musical Research Society”.

StarlingMemory on Etsy.com, by designer Em Armstrong

Her designs somehow manage to feel both vintage and youthful. I like how welcoming they feel.

Option 1:


Option 2:


Option 3:



Logomotive on Etsy.com, by designer StevieM

These feel very clean and professional, and also grand and expansive somehow. This first one is one at the top of my list. “Musical Research” would be large in the center, and “Society” would be slightly smaller (though bigger than in the demo) right below.

Option 1:


The next one I think would be really cool, but I’m not sure how the club name would fit in the shape of it.

Option 2:



Cruzine on CreativeMarket.com, by Peter Olexa

This guy does some pretty extraordinary and intricate work. This is very different from the other two designers. I love that it harks back to the art deco and art nouveau of the early 20th century, but I wonder if maybe it’s too complex.

This is a whole package of logos to work with:


He also does some that feel more ‘40s-era:


Not sure yet which direction I think we should go. What do you think?

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