A Designer Tried Creating Logos for Eight of History’s Greatest Artists

Milton Omena distilled Picasso, Van Gogh and more

This project by Brazilian designer Milton Omena imagined how iconic artists might approach personal branding.
Milton Omena

Art is a business, and artists are brands. That is the beginning of the inspiration behind this logo project that imagines how famous artists would have marketed themselves. Artists like Leonardo Da Vinci reached massive heights during their lifetimes, but others like Vincent Van Gogh certainly could have used a marketing team getting his exceptional artwork in front of the right people.

The designs by Brazilian graphic designer Milton Omena were actually created in 2018 but were amplified recently when TBWA\Chiat\Day CEO Rob Schwartz New York retweeted them to his followers.

It’s a simple question: “What if artists had logos?”

How would some of the greatest creative minds encapsulate their art style into a logo fit for a business card? Obviously, the world will never know, but Omena set out to answer his own difficult question.

In all, Omena tackled eight unique artists ranging from the mathematical rigidity of Piet Mondrian to the unbridled spontaneity of Jackson Pollock.

Da Vinci’s logo focuses on his journals that were packed with potential inventions. Some worked, and some didn’t, but his design shows the ahead-of-his-time thinking that had him sketch the predecessor to the first helicopter 500 years before it became a reality.

Van Gogh—best known for his use of color to evoke emotions from his own difficult life—has a logo that flows in and around itself like the sky in “Starry Night.” The choice of yellow and blue also model Van Gogh’s palette.

Pablo Picasso’s surrealism is arguably the most immediately recognizable art style in history. The simplicity of his logo says all a man of Picasso’s stature needs to.

French impressionist Claude Monet used complex color arrangements to create ethereal nature portraits. One of his most famous scenes portrays a still pond with an arching bridge, which is the reference point for his logo.

Pollock’s art style uses the art of making a mess to create beautiful works. His logo had to capture his desire to draw outside of the lines and turn it into a simple design. Omena succeeds by looping the first two letters of his last name into the splotch of paint, capturing Pollock’s balance of chaos and purpose.

This collection of designs didn’t just stop at logos. Omena also took the time to create custom merchandise that these artists could have easily sold to fans.

Admit it, a Picasso Mastercard would be priceless, right?

And few mustaches are as famous as Salvidor Dali’s, so it is easy to trust this custom mustache wax with his signature melting clock logo.

Piet Mondrian’s structured use of geometry has made his designs a point of study for modern architects, but his style also translates well to clean eye-catching designs, perfect to draw the eye on a crowded wine shelf.

No artist is as closely tied to a brand as Andy Warhol and Campbell’s soup. His logo on an actual can of soup would likely break records for Cambell’s sales if the design below were ever to hit supermarket shelves.

You can follow Omena on Instagram at @mo.logodesign.