Put an Arch on it: The use of the symbol in St. Louis logos and signs | St. Louis Public Radio

Put an Arch on it: The use of the symbol in St. Louis logos and signs

Oct 24, 2015

Hundreds of different shops, restaurants, schools and charities in the region have named themselves after the Gateway Arch or used an image of the monument in their logos since it was completed fifty years ago. Some organizations have even done both. 

Using an image of the St. Louis icon for digital advertisements, signs and shirts is such a popular idea that  a design-themed Tumblr blog was able to collect more than 300 examples of designs used over the years. In August, students from the University of Missouri-St. Louis even created a "logo wall" that featured different appropriations of the monument for the St. Louis History Museum's "Arch Perspectives" exhibit. 

While the Arch can represent something different to each area organization's mission - whether that is crafting a traditional St. Louis-style pizza or offering a place of healing for children - using an image of the Arch is a reminder of the city the organization got its start in and the community it serves.

Carl Imo, son of the local pizza staple's founders Ed and Margie, stands in front delivery truck at the company's new headquarters on Delmar Boulevard and 17th Street, wearing a shirt with the logo that appears on the truck door; a chef holding a steaming hot pizza in front of the Arch and downtown skyline.
Credit Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

Imo's Pizza

"It's a welcoming sign, and we want to welcome people from out of town to try our product and welcome them to the city of St. Louis." - Carl Imo, president of Imo's Pizza

Gateway Science Academy

Dean of Students Brian Schick stands outside Gateway Academy Middle and High School on Fyler Avenue, in front of a banner of Gateway's logo. The atom model represents the charter school's emphasis on science and mathematics and The Arch icon represents its service to south St. Louis area students.
Credit Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

"It was an engineering achievement of its time when it was built 50 years ago. I think it stands as a testament to human engineering and to architecture, and the things we can do not only then but today." - Brian Schick, dean of students at Gateway Middle and High School.

St. Louis Mosaic Project

Executive Director Betsy Cohen said that the St. Louis Mosaic Project logo signifies that while immigrants bring diversity to the region, represented by the colorful mosaic, the Arch at the center symbolizes that they are united as one greater St. Louis community. The Arch image was adapted from a design by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission.
Credit Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

"When [foreign-born residents] see the Arch, they say to me that it symbolizes the bigness of the Midwest, and the vastness, and a place where they can find a way to make it their home" - Betsy Cohen, executive director, St. Louis Mosaic Project

St. Louis Children's Hospital 

The St. Louis Children's Hospital's logo, which replaces the 'n' in 'Children's' with an image of the Gateway Arch, is printed all over the hospital campus, including the entrance off Kingshighway Boulevard. Spokeswoman Abby Wuellner said the logo represents the hospital's pride in serving the St. Louis community.
Credit File photo|Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

"The Arch is obviously the St. Louis icon, and I think it's just a natural thing to incorporate it into our logo to identify with this extraordinary community that has given us so much, but also to identify with the rest of the country where and exactly who we are." - Abby Wuellner, manager of media relations, St. Louis Children's Hospital

  Big Daddy's Bar and Grill

The nine-foot wide, seven-foot tall sign over the entrance to Big Daddy's bar on Laclede's Landing is a point of pride for co-owner Ryan Loeffler, whose grandfather was a boilermaker who worked on the Arch's bases during the monument's construction. The diamond-cut sign cost more than $8,ooo but has continuously brought customers who want to take photos with the it since it went up in 2008, Loeffler said.
Credit Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

"Those monuments that you have can carry on a historical presence, so we're excited to see the renovation of the Arch - I think it's going to be a wonderful thing, and it will look spectacular." - Big Daddy's co-owner Ryan Loeffler

Mike's Bikes

Co-owner Matt McRonden drew the logo for Mike's Bikes by hand. He drew a bike trail leading up to The Arch and downtown, set inside a bike gear, to emphasize that Mike's Bikes is a local, friendly shop that serves the community it's a part of.
Credit Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio
"It's become the most noticeable, most recognizable thing, no matter where you are - tell someone you're from St. Louis and they say either 'St. Louis Cardinals' or 'the Arch.'" - Matt McRonden, co-owner of Mike's Bikes


Arch Grants

Kate Howell, director of venture philanthropy, stands next to the Arch Grants logo displayed in the nonprofit's office on Washington Avenue. Howell said the Arch's inclusion in the organization's name and logo clearly represents where it's from and that it provides grants to new startups. Arch Grants is keeping the monument in the logo but setting aside the green color for brighter blue, red and yellow colors.
Credit Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

"To us, it represents a boldness and creativity in creating such a monument - we hope that we have the same brave attitude in creating something new for St. Louis." - Kate Howell, director of venture philanthropy and external relations for Arch Grants