Rocky v. Rogue: Separated at Birth?

Maybe I'm the only one who sees the similarity between the Rogue Valley and Rocky Mountain logos or maybe not. I'm just sayin'...

Rocky Mountain Bicycles vs. Rogue Valley Runners

I’m a graphic designer who rides bikes and runs ultras so I was struck a couple of years ago by the similarity between the Rocky Mountain Bicycles logo and the logo for Rogue Valley Runners. They both feature wannabe-aggressive italic type laid across a circle containing a mountain or mountains. The ‘R’ in the names of each company extends below the baseline and the words ‘bicycles’ and ‘runners’ are laid out in a semi-circle beneath the main text in the logo. They’re not exactly the same, but they are undoubtedly similar.

Rocky Mountain Bicycles is a Vancouver-based bicycle manufacturer, known for its mountain bikes, while Rogue Valley Runners is an Ashland, Oregon-based running store owned by two-time defending Western States 100-mile Endurance Run champion, Hal Koerner, known for his mountain running.

Design influences are everywhere and designers pick them up like sponges. There are plenty of examples of otherwise similar designs that are the result of complete coincidence, but often times the influence is direct — “imitation is the highest form of flattery” after all — while other times it can be subconscious. As a designer, I’ve had the odd brilliant idea I could have sworn had come to me in a dream only to discover the concept had a very real genesis… like that time I was out running and almost got hit by a truck and came up with this.

I dunno where this one falls. Maybe I’m the only one who sees the similarity between the Rogue Valley and Rocky Mountain logos. Maybe not. Maybe it’s not even that big a deal. To borrow an overused phrase ‘cuz I’m too lazy to email Carly to ask what influenced her design, I’m just sayin’.

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