Cryptozoology has inspired some dynamic, colorful and intriguing logos for organizations, publications, and expeditions.
In November 2007, I shared and launched the Austin artist Duncan Hopkins-designed logo for the International Cryptozoology Museum of a coelacanth (first “discovered” in 1938) that successfully identified and branded our new International Cryptozoology Museum.
The coelacanth worked, but the significance of the okapi remains important to cryptozoology. The okapi was used as the International Society of Cryptozoology’s official logo on their journal Cryptozoology, as well as on the ISC Newsletter.
The ISC used a black and white rendering of the okapi, one of the primary animals of discovery within cryptozoology, as a useful and quickly recognizable symbol for the organization. The well-known, beautiful, but rare nature of the 1901-discovered okapi made for a striking logo to symbolize the ISC’s mission.
The okapi has remained a visible and useful image in the field. An Italian organization founded in the late 1980s decided to employ an okapi looking in a different direction for their logo. The okapi and cryptozoology will always be symbolically united in the public’s eyes.
The new logo of the International Cryptozoology Society, therefore, celebrated this favored animal of cryptozoology – the okapi – but this specific individual has a special history. I and Duncan Hopkins, once again, worked to design a significant logo for the new International Cryptozoology Society.
I decided to use as the foundation for the ICS logo the image we have of the very first living okapi known to Western Civilization. A small, month-old okapi was captured in 1907, and its photograph was published in London. This model seemed the perfect okapi to be the symbol of the new International Cryptozoology Society.
In an interesting coincidence, a new replica of an okapi calf was introduced in 2016 by the company CollectA. It resembles remarkably the “first captured” okapi from 1907 that we picked in 2016 as our logo. CollectA and Safari okapis are available at the ICM gift store at Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine.