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Duffy & Partners – 25 Years of Logos

In celebration of 25 years of business, Minneapolis based Duffy & Partners has created a gallery showcasing logos from 1984 to the present. Of the 151 logos displayed in their online gallery, I selected 24 that use type to great advantage. Whether it’s a “T” for a bolt, a “P” nested in the negative space of a “D”, or an eye for an “I”, each mark utilizes typography to create a memorable and distinctive identity. The year of creation and designer credits can be found by clicking on the thumbnail images. The names of several world-renowned graphic designers can be found among the logo credits including Sharon Werner, Chuck Anderson, Haley Johnson, and Rutiger Goetz. I have asked Joe Duffy to share some of his thoughts on the role and importance of typography within branding. Additionally, the designers at Duffy & Partners were kind enough to share their 3 favorite type foundries for branding projects.

Duffy & Partners - 25 Years of Logos

Typography in Brand Development

“In looking back over our 25 year history of developing brand identities, it becomes clearly evident that type has played an instrumental role in conveying the right tone of voice and helped project the appropriate “personality” in virtually every instance. Whether it’s a hand rendered logotype, a customized version of an existing face or the use of a typeface in a supporting role within the brand language, a brand identity succeeds or fails based on the designer’s ability to work with type.
Logos alone do not create a successful, proprietary brand, nor does type. It’s the interplay between the typographic solution and the other brand icons – colors, graphic elements, photography, illustrations, etc., that establish a unique, compelling way to distinguish a brand within a crowded competitive set. Understanding the role type plays and making the right choices in either lead or supporting roles within this language most often makes or breaks a design solution. Understanding the rich history of typography and the intent behind typeface designs, should be an important part of any design curriculum. That knowledge, combined with a creative sense of interplay, will help young designers begin to create successful brand identities.

Joe Duffy | Chairman | Duffy & Partners

1987 Dickson's - Designers Joe Duffy and Sharon Werner


1988 French Paper - Designer Chuck Anderson

French Paper

1989 D'Amico Cucina - Designer Haley Johnson

D'Amico Cucina

1991 Vereins Bank - Designer Rutiger Goetz

Vereins Bank

1992 Wieland Furniture - Designer Neil Powell

Wieland Furniture

1994 Diet Coke - Designer Kobe Suvongse

Diet Coke

1996 Fleischmann's Goodness Center - Designer Missy Wilson


1998 Mynd - Designers Alan Leusink and Brian Murphy


1998 Smart Start - Designer Missy Wilson

Smart Start

1998 Starbucks Doubleshot - Designers David Mashburn and Jeff Hale


1999 International Truck - Designer Tom Riddle


2002 Fractal Jeans - Designer David Mashburn

Fractal Jeans

2003 Toyota Trucks - Designer Esther Mun

Toyota Trucks

2004 Duffy & Partners - Designer Ken Sakurai

Duffy & Partners

2004 Thymes - Designer Ken Sakurai


2005 Good Day Café - Designer Ken Sakurai

Good Day Café

2005 Pangea - Designer Brad Surcey


2005 Thymes Filigree - Designer Esther Munn

Thymes Filigree

2005 Thymes Olive Leaf - Designer Ken Sakurai

Olive Leaf

2006 Cruet & Whisk - Designer Allison Newhouse

Cruet & Whisk

2006 Mona Lisa - Designer Alan Leusink

Mona Lisa

2007 Basin White - Designers Alan Leusink and Allison Newhouse

Basin White

2007 V.I.O. - Designers Alan Leusink and Joseph Duffy


2008 501 Fit - Designer Joseph Duffy

501 Fit

•  •  •  D E S I G N E R   S U R V E Y •  •  •

Question: What are 3 of your favorite type foundries for branding projects?

Jenney Stevens | Senior Designer

Answer: Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Process Type Foundry, FontFont

Missy Wilson | Senior Designer

Answer: Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Émigré, House Industries

Ken Sakurai
 | Senior Designer

Answer: Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Process Type Foundry, Linotype

Joseph Duffy IV
 | Designer

Answer: T.26, FontShop, Veer

Allison Newhouse
 | Designer

Answer: Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Process Type Foundry, Émigré

Candice Leick

 | Designer

Answer: Process Type Foundry, Underwear Type Foundry



  1. maxwell lord says:

    incredibly awesome stuff they produce, really diggin’ their approach!
    Ty, thank you for sharing this beauty!

  2. yael miller says:

    thank you (and thanks to duffy) for generously sharing the names of the actual ‘hands’ in these designs. it’s the people behind the studio that make it tick. duffy is one of the best in the biz. never knew they did dickson’s – i’ve always loved their logo!

  3. Duffy and Partners logo is fantastic. Nice one Ken. I spent some time in the London office and am now setting up my own micro foundry FontGroup who’s primary face Pseudo uses a similar internal counter principle to enable the type to be legible at unusually small sizes!

  4. chad engle says:

    Duffy is flat out amazing. I love their work and look to it for inspiration. Cheers for the good post.

  5. chris says:

    Duffy has long been a breeding ground for incredibly talented designers. What a great visual history of inspirational work. More, please!

  6. johnstevens says:

    thanks for the info!

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