Branding the United States – The 50 State Tourism Logos

The United States is made up of 50 different brands, so it makes sense that each is represented by a unique identity. Tourism thrives on a state’s appeal, and sometimes the state .gov sites just don’t cut it. This is where the Departments of Tourism come in. This showcase is made up of the state logos as found on the government sites responsible for making them look good.

Northeast

Southeast


Midwest

Southwest

West

The Full 50

All 50 state logos in one image can be found here

*Note: The logos are all from the corresponding state tourism department websites. In cases such as Washington and Wisconsin, the header image was taken and assumed the logo, as no others were present.

Some discussion pieces for the comments:

  • Best/Worst Designs
  • Most Fitting/Inappropriate
  • What was Kansas thinking?
  • Any additional thoughts, feelings, or concerns. Dreams too.

Posted Monday, December 29th, 2008 · Back to Top

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46 Comments 9 Mentions

  1. AJ Author Editor

    None of these really seem inspired. I understand that they are trying to appeal to a whole range of people, but they are mostly lame wordmarks. Some, like South Dakota and Oklahoma look like they haven’t been updated since the early 90′s. I hope North Carolina didn’t pay anybody to do theirs…it could have been created in Word.

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  2. Sam Dunn Author Editor

    @AJ
    I would tend to agree overall, identities like West Virginia especially demonstrate that some of these were created solely with Blending Options in Photoshop .
    I will say that I am impressed with Georgia and Kentucky, with an honorable mention to Oregon.

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  3. Harrison McLeod Author Editor

    Damn, I’m disappointed with my home state (New York) and my current home state (Nevada). Poor NY seriously needs a new design, that “I heart Whatever” is so outdated. And Nevada? C’mon, did the designers just phone that one in? In fact, it was so bland I almost missed it completely.

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    • Adriana Author Editor

      I Heart NY was actually design by a native New Yorker, Milton Glaser. It has proved to be one of the most successful and classic designs. Has it been over used? Sure. Outdated, I do not think so.

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  4. don marcos Author Editor

    please do your research. the missouri logo is roughly three years old. just go to the visitmo.com site. it’s just a click away

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  5. Lawrence Anderson Author Editor

    I have always liked the Tennessee logo. The Kansas logo reminds me of Wal-Mart.

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  6. Zach Dunn Author Editor

    @Don Marcos

    I went and visited the visitmo.com site and unless I’m missing something I see the same logo shown here. Was there something there that needed to be included?

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  7. red Author Editor

    north carolina is my favorite.

    connecticut, what were they thinking? i see “connect,” yes, but i also see “i cut.”

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  8. Nikki – Logo Design Guru Author Editor

    These are fantastic!!! I think it would be so much fun to design state logos. You would get the chance to do all kinds of research about the state and let your creative energies go wild. What a fantastic learning opportunity. Thanks for pointing all of these out, they are great.

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  9. David Author Editor

    Wow, about 50% of these, if not more, are weak logos. There are some decent ones here though. Nevertheless, interesting post.

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  10. Kate Author Editor

    So glad to see that my state’s tourism is firmly stuck in the 80s. (Alabama, as though that were unclear.)

    Kansas is sort of reminiscent of McCain’s logo, yes?

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  11. Rich Gould Author Editor

    Great post.

    Best: Georgia. It looks good, has great energy and gives off a nice vibe.
    Worst: Louisiana.

    You’ve inspired me to do the Canadian Provinces:
    http://razorcreative.blogspot.com/2009/01/branding-canadian-provinces.html

    I must say, after doing only 10 provinces and 3 territories, I can really appreciate the amount of work that went in to gathering and verifying 50 of ‘em! Kudos.

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  12. Troy Author Editor

    Again, great post Sam.

    Check out the PP that Kentucky produced about their logo and brand:

    http://travel2dot0.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/travel-trends-tourism-websites-logos-twitter-age/

    - Troy

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  13. Karen Ballard Author Editor

    Great compilation. The mark listed for Idaho is simply our name font and is used by many state agencies. Our tourism logo is a variation which uses this font in the context of our slogan “Adventures in Living” http://www.visitidaho.org

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  14. Sam Dunn Author Editor

    @Troy
    Thanks so much for the positive feedback and the feature. I was really fascinated with the Kentucky branding process, great find.

    @Karen
    Thanks for pointing that out, I’ll make a notation/adjustment on that, I am a fan of the logo in either variation. Great site!

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  15. Bjorn Author Editor

    Minnesota is lookin’ OK… but maybe only because we’re sitting pretty when compared to neighbors Ohio and Michigan. Yuck.

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  16. penflare Author Editor

    first off – great list! – second – go michigan! looks great – thirdly – whats up with n.carolina?? can somone explain whats going on there?

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  17. Busted Tees Author Editor

    Missouri loves company.
    New Mexico, cleaner than regular Mexico.
    Jersey girls ‘aint trash, trash gets picked up.
    Florida, stay awhile.
    Wyoming, who cares?
    License to IL.

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  18. J Author Editor

    Where’s DC??

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  19. Tom Baker Author Editor

    It’s difficult to find the “least worst” of the bunch, but Illinois isn’t too bad. I’d get rid of the tacky state border graphic, though.

    Great post!

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  20. Antonea Author Editor

    The SW really takes the cake here. It is funny how looking at all of these logos for these different states really makes you question if you would like to visit their state or not. I now have even less desire to ever visit South Dakota nor South Carolina.

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  21. Paul Author Editor

    Ouch, Oklahoma really is in need of a refresh! Good post.

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  22. stu simpson Author Editor

    the louisiana one made me laugh, doesnt look like a place id wanna visit has a real dungey look to it.

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  23. Cody Author Editor

    I am really loving the one for Washington. North Dakota and Mississippi are in the most need for a red in my opinion.

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  24. Daniel Owen Author Editor

    Really nice post. As others have said, some pretty weak logos here. Lots of reliance on font alone, and some of these are just odd. My personal views:

    My favourites: New Hampshire, Vermont, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alaska and Hawaii.

    Just missing the mark: Alabama (looks like it says ‘Sweet Alabama Home’); Georgia (looks like the logo of a 1980s PC manufacturer); Kentucky (nice idea, wrong font); Tennessee (looks like the label from a BBQ sauce bottle); California (is it drowning?)

    Turkeys: most of the rest, but especially Connecticut (looks like a transit system logo); Pennsylvania (two different designs badly stuck together); Indiana and Kansas (look like logos for cheap courier firms); Ohio (that O does not belong in that logo); Colorado (what the hell does that slogan mean?); Washington (experiencewa – experience wha…?)

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  25. Roy Carlson Author Editor

    I know this refers to states, but you can’t leave out Washington DC’s logo. http://www.washington.org/

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  26. Calvin H Author Editor

    I think a lot of them rely on text logos because they don’t want to single out one attraction over another in the state. I think some suffer from identity crisis. That and some states don’t really have attractions :) The best logos, know what they are known for and capitalize! A great list nevertheless-thanks for sharing.

    Calvin

    Calvin H’s last blog post..12 Ways to get higher in Google

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  27. Jessica Sideways Author Editor

    I’ve never seen the one for Colorado before and I’ve been living here for quite a while.

    Jessica Sideways’s last blog post..5 Reasons Why We Should Legalize Pot

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  28. Tommy Author Editor

    I guess I’m a sucker for my own state but I like the California logo. It’s easy going and friendly (in all lowercase) and shows the waves of the ocean (the most dominant feature of the state). My favorite, however, is a tie between Georgia and Alaska, two totally different concepts. I like the color and design of Georgia and the mountains incorporated into the Alaska logo. The biggest losers are the Dakota’s. I personally don’t know the difference between the two and having extremely similar texts in the logos certainly doesn’t help. Also, just because you slap Mt. Rushmore on your logo doesn’t distinguish it. It just looks like what it is, a quick and not though out decision.

    Special (dis)honorable mentions: A lot of the states need to update their logos. Seriously, the 80′s were 20 years ago. Second (more specifically) Idaho had a good logo going for them and then they placed that awkward continental US graphic in there. I at first didn’t know it was part of their graphic.

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  29. Gracie Author Editor

    Interesting to see all of these. My current state is Hawai’i and they do a good job on that one. Probably one my favorites. My home state (and state that I will be moving back to) is Nevada. I love the state but what a terrible logo. I’m sure they are referencing the fact that most people mispronounce Nevada (the first ‘a’ is long like in bat, not back like in father), however I don’t recognize the symbol they use above the ‘a’. Stupid logo, Nevada is about so much more-Lake Tahoe, beautiful mountains, wild horses, and lots of other cool stuff. My least favorite is Virginia is for Lovers! WTF does that mean? I’ve never been there, is it like really romantic? What were they thinking?

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  30. TwitterBackgrounds Author Editor

    Great showcase :) Liked the logo for Georgia and Kentucky but they are all great. Can’t really decide. They are clean and neat but eyecatching though.

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  31. Nikki May | Web Content Writer Author Editor

    My fav are NY, Florida, Maine, West Virginia and Georgia.

    I don’t really like most if not all of the SouthWest logos.

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  32. Misti Author Editor

    North Carolina is where I live now, but, there is just nothing to it…i like Alaskas the best :)

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  33. Johnny Author Editor

    I do actually like a few of these. Texas is clever.
    Anyway, thanks for gathering these all in one spot.

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  34. Bonnie Author Editor

    Does anyone know of a site that sells caps with the state name and its logo on it, for any state? Hopefully, at a resonable rate.

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  35. BJR Author Editor

    Does anyone know of a site that has caps with state names and logos?

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  36. Soji Benn Author Editor

    I love the simplicity of the I Love NY

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  37. payday loan Author Editor

    i live in Carolina now, and i like your all logo collection.

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  38. Web Media Workers Author Editor

    wow, an awesome collection of brand identity you shared.

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  39. Viola Author Editor

    So many brand, luckily is that i know all of them.

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  43. Cosmetic Franchise Opportunities Author Editor

    amazing pics i like it because they are so attractve and colorful nice buddy.

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  44. Anonymous Author Editor

    Since when are Texas and Oklahoma in the Southwest? Look at any map: they’re located smack-dab in the middle of the country. If anything, you should’ve stuck Nevada in with Arizona and New Mexico. Additionally, the logo for Nevada, while bland, is designed as such to help people pronounce it correctly. People from “back East” are especially prone to mispronunciation. The designer apparently felt it was necessary to sacrifice design for practicality, which is sad… not on the part of the designer, but through the fact that it’s pronounced incorrectly to such an extent to make it necessary.

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