San Francisco Zoo: Rebranding

Brand Identity

The Client

For this class, my professor assigned me a city, which was San Francisco, and based on that I had to find its most notable zoo and come up with a new brand identity.


Based on the research of my assigned city, I had to develop a series of three animal icons related to their local zoo. The icons needed to accurately represent the city as well as present themselves as a visual system. From there I had to develop a logo by applying appropriate typography to a selected icon.


Before their logo was outdated and simple to look at due to the color palette which makes it visually look muddy, and the typeface which is very squeezed together making it look blurry. With my brand redesign, the logo gives a feeling of nature and a certain wildness because of the geometric typeface. Also, the color was pulled from San Francisco's most iconic bridge allowing the locals to have a sense of familiarity. Lastly, in order to modernize the logos, I decided to put its most recognizable sights such as Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and San Francisco's cable car system.

About the Zoo

The San Francisco Zoo is a 100-acre zoo located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco, California, between Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean along the Great Highway. The SF Zoo is a public institution, managed by the non-profit San Francisco Zoological Society, a 501 organization.

It housed more than 1000 individual animals that representing more than 250 species. It's noted as the birthplace of Koko the gorilla, and, since 1974, the home of Elly, the oldest black rhinoceros in North America.

Where did all animals come from?

Their animals came from a lot of places around the globe such as:


  1. North America
  2. South West Africa
  3. Europe


  1. Malaysia
  2. Cameroon
  3. Singapore
  4. Spain
  5. France
  6. Mexico
  7. Japan


My first icon drafts. As you can see most of them are geometric in order to represent the city's reputation in the design field. Likewise, there are a lot of tech companies in Silicon Valley, so I pulled some elements from these companies' logos and used them in my icons such as minimalism, rounded corner shapes, and abstractionism. In the end, mixing different styles helped me to achieve the final designs.

Final Result

When people attend places like a zoo, they often want collectibles so they can bring their experience home and allow visitors to take with them a memento of their visit, ultimately encouraging an opportunity for a return visit, or promoting the locale to other tourists as a form of word-of-mouth marketing.

Updated Logos

I went with a geometric style to represent San Francisco's artsy part since it has a lot of design agencies and also it's a very well-known city in the art & design industry. In terms of colors, I decided to go with using a particular shade of red called "Golden Gate Bridge" to again represent the city itself. Lastly, I used "Chinese Rocks" as the main typeface for logos in order to match the style. In fact, this typeface is commonly used among zoos, for example, Atlanta Zoo uses it.

Collectible Cups

Creating collectible cups was a way to help visitors to be able to bring their experience home, and they're useful in an individual's everyday life. Also, it is also a reminder of the time they had at the Zoo and keeps them coming back.

Animal Signs

I chose to create signs because when at the zoo you need direction material such as a map or signs to better assist people in finding their way around the zoo. Initially, with my branding, I wanted to create a world for visitors to enter. The signage keeps them in that world because all opportunities for creativity and design are utilized.


The wristbands were created because when entering a park or zoo, it shows that you have paid for your entrance and this also allows for an individual to have a day pass meaning, they can exit and enter the zoo multiple times throughout the paid day.

Tote Bag

I decided to go with a tote bag because when at places like this, we often end up leaving with more than what we came in with like new t-shirts and toys. This bag offers a fun way for visitors to carry their items and it can also be used for other things as a grocery bag or carrying art supplies.

Pass Ticket

I also created tickets just because it was another way to carry out the design and make the zoo more cohesive in its branding. Likewise, it creates more excitement for visitors and an experience for every aspect of their visit.

Souvenir T-shirt

A shirt design was also made to go hand in hand with the other collectible items I've designed and it's an item that can be worn in one's day-to-day life. Moreover, it's also an advertising strategy because when people are walking around, they're forced to see the zoo's logo.

Exhibit Guide

Once again I also made an exhibit guide to better carry that brand identity to other areas of informative items that are there for visitors so they can better enjoy the exhibits like the signs. It has a list of all exhibit animals and basic tips on exhibits for the zoo, so the visitors can have a well-rounding experience.

What’s next?

Let me know if you want to talk about a potential collaboration. I’m available
for freelance work.

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