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Rescue & 1st Responder Logo Design Explained
First responders are the emergency personnel who arrive at the scene of a crime, accident, or natural disaster before anyone else. These rescue professionals often show up before anyone has a clear idea of the situation. They have to think fast and act decisively. The choices they make in these early moments can set the stage for a successful rescue effort and save lives.
A rescue logo design is important as a way to identify these essential teams. These logos make rescue personnel instantly recognizable, so it’s important to design one that manages to be eye-catching and distinctive without raising any confusion. There are many common themes among rescue and first responder logos that you should consider as you are developing this type of logo for your own organization.
Many logos feature a recognizable image or icon as part of their design. Unless you are planning to work with text alone, some type of picture is essential in your logo. The typical logo design for many first responders will often feature the staff of Asclepius. Though you may not recognize this name, you would undoubtedly recognize the image. This illustration features a serpent wound around a rough-hewn stick or staff.
Asclepius is an ancient Greek physician who practiced in Greece around 1200 BC. After his death, he was deified and became known as the god of healing or medicine. He is usually depicted holding his staff, which features a serpent clinging to it.
The caduceus is another common medical symbol to consider for first responders, such as ambulance services or medical transport companies. This is similar to the staff of Asclepius, but features two snakes entwined around a rod with a pair of wings at the top. This mythological wand belonged to Hermes, the god of travel and commerce. The same staff was frequently used by heralds, making these messengers more easily recognizable.
The caduceus has few (if any) actual mythological connections with medicine and healing, and some mythology experts consider its use in the medical industry erroneous. However, the caduceus is widely used by organizations like the U.S. Army Medical Corps, so you could incorporate this image for your own logo with little confusion as to its meaning, particularly in the United States.
Regardless of the image you choose, it’s important to convey a sense of safety and rescue with your logo. For example, an image of a fire truck, flames, or a fireman’s helmet works for a fire rescue logo. The Chicago Fire Department logo features a fire hydrant and ladder. A badge, star, police hat, or siren is a recognizable choice for a police department logo design.
When you are designing search and rescue logos, you want to keep the look simple and clean. Anything overly complex and colorful will look unnecessarily decorative. Stick to one or two colors and opt for those regularly associated with rescue teams.
Red and blue are the most common choices for a rescue team logo. Red is associated with strength, courage, and survival, and it’s seen often in fire department logos. Blue is perceived as an intellectual hue, invoking a sense of trust, efficiency, and duty. This color is a prominent choice for police logos. Pair them with a simple clean background in white. White is associated with sterility and cleanliness.
You probably will not have a lot of text in your police or fire department logo, but the letters that you do use will need to appear in carefully chosen typography. A fancy script or modern font is unsuited to security or fire company logos. Your typography should be crisp, clean, and efficient.
You can choose either serif or sans serif typography for this type of logo with equal success. While a neat sans serif provides a feeling of stability, a traditional serif offers a sense of respectability. Both will probably work for your purposes with this type of logo. If you already have certain typography in use on emergency response vehicles or building signage, choose something similar, if not identical. This will make your first responder logo more recognizable.
As you are designing your logo, it is important to think about the places you will use it. Rescue and EMT logos are most commonly used on patches, badges, or clothing. If you plan to print your image on dark clothing, you should avoid using dark hues, like navy blue, which will quickly be lost on these products. If you are working with fire department logos that are used in embroidered patches, you should watch out for overly complex images that will lose their details in a small patch.
Consider how your logo looks both in color and when rendered into black and white. If it appears on paperwork, it may print without color, and it can appear that way in photocopies or home print-outs. You want your logo to look just as sharp without color as it does with vibrant hues. If the sense of the design is lost in black and white form, it is time to go back and clean up your look.
Designing Your Logo
Now that you have an idea of what goes into a rescue and first responder logo, you are ready to get to work creating your own. You do not need extensive experience in design to get a sharp, eye-catching logo. The Logo Company pairs you with a whole team of professionals who will help you turn your logo ideas into a tangible product. You will work with five experienced design experts to come up with the perfect logo for your first response and rescue team.
The process begins with a questionnaire that will help the team understand who you are as an organization and what you need from your logo. Use the ideas from this article to jumpstart your brainstorming process. Consider the colors, images, and typography that your logo will feature. Do not worry about developing your own rough draft of the logo. Just provide your thoughts and ideas, and the team at The Logo Company will take care of the rest. Together, your logo will be refined until it is absolutely perfect.
In an emergency situation, you need a logo that will convey your purpose in an instant. With help from The Logo Company, you can create a striking image that will effectively represent your organization.