Chairs Only

Flanney's picture


I'm working on some designs for a client who is branching out an existing chair wholesaling business. His new business will sell office, executive and designer chairs direct to architects and interior designers.

The business name is Chairs Only and the idea for the logo at the moment is a play on this seemingly uninspired name.

The client is onboard with the idea, but I know the design of the logo is far from good—would love some input to help me develop it into something better,



apankrat's picture

FWIW, I would seriously reconsider using a negation in a brand. The negation tends to carry negative emotional charge and unless it is applied to a negative subject (e.g. "No to hate"), there is typically a better branding option.

Also that looks more like a pool table to me :)

Lex Kominek's picture

I like the concept - I think this could be developed into a whole system of logos - no tables, no desks, no bookshelves, etc.

Right now the angles of the 'X' and the angles of the table are creating some really wonky optical illusions. Maybe go with a slashed circle instead of an 'x'. Or, make the table more of a pictogram, showing it from one side.

- Lex

Flanney's picture

Thanks for the comments,

@epsilicon: was a bit concerned about the negative subject, but we were really trying to make it more of a light-hearted gag than something negatively charged. Does this not come across at the moment? Obviously that would be something I would want to fix if thats the case, any suggestions??
+ I totally agree about the pool table—I'll put some work into fixing that up today

@lex: thanks—I agree, a set like that would work well and is something I will look into developing in the future. You're right about the wonky optical illusion. I'll try a few different things. I also can't figure out a good side on of a table as a pictogram. Have you seen any?

Thanks so much


Lefty's picture

maybe this draft could help you

Flanney's picture

Thanks Lefty,

The first one has a few elements that I really like and will try and incorporate into the next round of designs.

For now, I'll attach some variations I'd already been working on to resolve some of the problems already brought to light. Still don't think either are the right solution but something to think about.

The second one is a bit clumsy, but included to demonstrate how colour (no specific colours have been decided upon yet) might be incorporated.

apankrat's picture

Just an unrelated idea. There is a number of a well-known distinct chair designs out there, e.g. a Barcelona chair. Perhaps build a logo mark around their shape or geometry ?

Flanney's picture


Thanks for the suggestion. I'm a bit of a chair nut, so it's a tempting option for me to use but it's one that I've so far deliberately avoided for a couple of reasons.

This business does sell a few of the usual suspects (barcelona chair, le corbousier chaise, eames rocker, jacobsen egg, coco nut, etc. etc.) but it isn't their primary market — they mostly distribute standard office and eames line of executive chairs — using geometry from the iconic designs listed would be somewhat misrepresenting the business (and the eames executive chairs have way to many lines to simplify into a logomark..)

The main reason though is the target market. Interior designers and Architects are saturated with images of barcelona chairs to the point that using them to promote a furniture business is beyond the point of cliché. The motivation behind the designs proposed is to break with what this audience is expecting from a chair retailer and also opening up a platform for a visually distinct and expandable brand.

That said, I do acknowledge my solution is still far from perfect (as reflected by your concerns) and any suggestions like yours are very much appreciated.

Based on the suggestions offered up by Lefty & Lex I've made a few changes to the design of the table and the cross. I've used the alternative to a cross like Lefty suggested, and cleaned up the angles of the table to better reflect this change. While there is always room for improvement I'm now starting to feel a bit more confident in the execution of this element. What do you think?

So far I've neglected typography and colour, so turning my attention to that soon. I have been using Gotham but I don't think that is really working as it doesn't reflect the lightheartedness of the graphic. Any ideas?

Much appreciated,


riccard0's picture

I would have a small suggestion, regardless of the typeface you’ll choose to use:

Flanney's picture

Thanks for the idea riccard, I'll definately explore that with later versions or perhaps use it as a contingency if I need to scrap work I've done so far.

Still need put some attention into kerning, etc. but does anyone have an opinion on this typography (and of course the icon...)?
Colours will certainly change, early days..

Looking forward to hearing your criticisms,


Coe's picture

Quick comment on the text "Chairs Only;" would it not be better served reversing it and having "Only" bolded?

aluminum's picture

I like the idea and execution, but I think I really want to see a chair.

What if you had a series of silhouettes/illustrations. Maybe 3 chairs and one table, leaving the 'x' on the table? That might be too busy, but I'd like to see that.

If the idea works, it could be expanded into a modular logo. Perhaps a dozen different chairs (showing only 3 at a time) and a random x-ed out object (lamp, table, sofa, etc.)

Lex Kominek's picture

I like that idea, but I'd do two random objects (one lamp, one table) with 'x's followed by one chair with a check mark.

Maybe try looking at Ikea instruction manuals for inspiration.

- Lex

Flanney's picture

Thanks for the ideas and support, some really good directions for me to pursue.

Making the logo modular is definately the way to go—would work really well on the website. Still working on a design with three—it does look a bit busy—so for now here is how it might look with just two

Not quite the same effect/message as if there were three (I agree with Lex though, two random objects and one chair) but a start.

@Coe it makes sense to have the 'ONLY' bolded, but it just reads a bit strange. I've attached it both ways, please let me know if you think I'm wrong!

Many thanks


swissnando's picture

it's a nice idea, but for me it don't works fine... what i don't like is the negative touch crossing the table... trying to tell me what they are showing what they NOT are... and then you need to put a chair to make the sign readable... i guess you are putting to much messages there...

maybe you should work on a second idea... i don't know... for example making chairs with any objects... or drawing chairs with typo... something that would show me your passion for chairs...the word "chairsonly" makes me feel like you have only "eyes for chairs", and not that yo have NOT eyes for tables...

sorry for the negative opinion...

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

The tables all make me think of tables, not chairs. Is there someway you could use a chair to symbolize the absence of other furniture, like a chair in an empty room. Then I would think chairs when I saw the logo, not tables.


das1010's picture

I really think the idea that riccard0 came up with is great, especially with the typeface you are using. Clean and smart and gets the point across in a hurry.

penn's picture

I get what you're trying to do, but right now it's falling a bit flat. I want to see you explore more objects for this idea. Eg: bookshelf, cabinet, bed.

I also 2nd Riccardo's idea. It has the fun feeling you're trying to convey in a more clever way.


aluminum's picture

I like Sharon's idea. What about a perspective drawing (as you have) of a dining set (6 chairs?) sans table?

Lex Kominek's picture

Or, to build on that idea, since you said they mostly sell office chairs, create a dashed-line, see-through office desk with computer, lamp, etc. around a solid table.

- Lex

Lex Kominek's picture

... err... chair.

- Lex

animal's picture

The logotypes from the most current examples you've shown work best.
Riccardo was on to something with the "h" in chairs and whoever said
to use a well known iconic chair, such as an Eames chair. I would definitely
lose the ottoman idea and focus more on the typography.

animal's picture

Look into office chairs.. Herman Miller, Teknion, etc.
It might give you a better idea of how this logo should feel.

bobbybobo's picture

Is it me? Or looks the table like a pool table?
The colors choosen makes it less serious as the first one you have shown.
Maybe you should take it a step further.

The line trough the table asks a lot of attention. Attention which is pulled away from the rest. Beside that it has somethinge severe, serious.

What if you cross it out with sketchy lines? See example (but then better)

And what if you could show the table used as a chair?
No idea how, thought.

Couldn't you stack the letters not un such a manner that it resembles a chair?

allison.cuozzo's picture

I can picture a lower-case h - so CHAIRS becomes ChAIRS to replicate a side view of a simple chair. KEEP it up.

Flanney's picture

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all your ideas and help up till now, I really appreciate it!

I've had a bit of a timetable reshuffle with this client so unfortunately I have to rush some other work through first.

I do however really want to get this logo right (and obviously from the response there is still plenty of room for improvement!), so I'll be back here early next week to keep working it out.

Over the week I'm sure all your ideas and suggestions will be bouncing around in my head—will be itching to get back to the drawing board,

Till then,


1985's picture

epsilicon solves all your problems in his first post, IMHO you will struggle unless you take this advice. The logo says 'No Tables' and the name is 'Chairs Only' - they are not exchangeable. A table is not the opposite of a chair, so you will need to include and cross out everything that is not a chair in your logo, a lamp, a cat, a rocket etc. The name chairs only excludes everything but chairs - so focus on chairs…


theplatypus's picture

I would stay away from the scribble outs and the single slash. I think the X works the best. Let me quantify these:

Scribble is used typically when you sketch; ideas, concepts, roughs... anything unfinished. This is probably not how the company wants to convey themselves. It's not an idea they are neglecting, it's not a concept, or a sketch or an idea. The name is a statement: Chairs ONLY. Period. "We don't do no stink'n tables... chairs only!"

The single slash isn't working due to the quick nature of drawing a single slash. For me, it's like a teacher checking math test problems or an individual slashing out various classified ads, its too quick of a thought and not a statement. "No," slash, "No," slash, "Wrong," slash, "Wrong," slash...

The X is a statement. "Tables ARE wrong. Beds ARE wrong. Chairs only." It's very intentional. Love it. Go with Lex's suggestion and create multiple "X'd object" logos. You're starting to formulate their marketing strategy...

The pure typographic solution using the captial H as a chair is a fun solution as well. Explore more!

I disagree with epsilicon on the "negative charge" in the brand simply because as a consumer, I'd go to a place called Chairs Only to buy a chair. I'm pretty sure they would know chairs better than some guy at Office Max. As state above, I took the X as a statement: "No Smoking", "No shirt, no shoes, no service!"

best regards,

basecamp's picture

what about have a lower case H in the shape of a chair( side profile). It would stick out and might provide more positive message to the end viewer.


zevbiz's picture

How about an anthropomorphic chair stomping on a table?

David Ford's picture

I quite like your concept and can see it working - especially if it had the modularity suggested elsewhere.

I also think riccardo's suggestion of the side profile chair could work.

I guess you need to look at the overall brand - what image are they trying to convey? The first is more humorous, playful and interactive, the second more elegant and sophisticated.

A business card or letterhead is one thing but think about how it would live as part of a brand entity. If their imagery is all about style with sexy minimalist close-up product shots then i think the first idea will be more difficult to reconcile.

On another note, maybe the crossed out tables etc would work better as a secondary branding element - say a catalogue cover with a 5x5 grid of product shots, mostly chairs but with two or three shots of another item of furniture crossed out. That could be a theme carried across to other touch points too - website, tags, bags, etc.

The first idea has legs in terms of marketing. Just of the top of my head - some sort of direct mail snap card game, or sponsoring a ummmm...i wine tasting event for corporate clients, but the imagery used could be a wine bottle silhouette along with a can of fizzy drink and a faucet crossed out. There loads of directions you could take it.

Just some ideas anyway. Look forward to seeing how this progresses.

katedawson1's picture

I agree with the statements that the crossed out table is sort of misleading.

What about somehow drawing an image of several chairs situated around a table - but OMIT the table. (Or maybe make it have a dotted outline or somehow "invisible".) That way you will show the chairs, but convey the message that the table is missing / not available.

It may be tricky to acheive, and I'm not sure if realistic illustrations of chairs or simplified illustrations would do better.

If you end up pursuing the crossed out table thing, I would make the slash heavier, so it has more visual and conceptual weight.

Anjey's picture

I think that crossing off the table (and all the other objects) is a GREAT advertising idea.
I would explore riccard0's idea

umlautthoni's picture

How about an image that emphasizes the chair but in a way that maintains a relationship with the table?

katedawson1's picture

Yes - umlautthoni's got the same idea I was trying to describe earlier. I would show several chairs to really emphasize the chairs. That paired with the name "Chairs Only" would get the message across.

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