Logos are such a critical part of branding and design. You would assume that companies and brands do everything in their power to make sure their logos are perfect. And yet, we keep coming across logos that look like a sad joke.
It’s not a question of personal taste. Some logos should have never been approved as drafts, because they are not communicative; have no regard of basic aesthetics; look totally outdated or even ridiculous. In short, they’re giving the brand they represent a bad name – which is the exact opposite of what they should do.
The list of examples is endless but we picked some really horrid ones for you. Go over these logo fails and you’ll learn a lesson or two in how not to design.
2012 London Olympics: A stupefying amount of money was spent on designing the 2012 London Olympics logo, which turned to be as uniformly disappointing as was its opening ceremony.
T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, apparently think their logo is so spectacular that they decided to trademark its color. They claim to own this shade of Magenta (RAL 4010) and can sue for copyright infringement if used without permission. Wonder if they noticed that the London Olympics logo ripped off their favorite color.
Drake University: D+, huh? The best grade you can expect to achieve if you study anything at this college is F = Fail!
GAP: The GAP logo used to be a well-recognized iconic symbol of comfort and fashion. Now it’s been reduced to a poor generic sans-serif font and blue powerpoint generated gradient cube. Looks like it time-travelled to the era of bad.
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… Only a mocking fake Twitter account, a fake Gap logo generator called Craplogo, a Twitter and Facebook avatar campaign, a failed logo crowd sourcing project, unflattering comparisons to MySpace which also launched a new logo, the unearthing of a Gap branding lawsuit, an Ad Age article which posited that the company had designed an intentionally bad logo on purpose and $247 million dollars in stock loss (the logo design unfortunately coincided with a disappointing sales report, see below). Whew!
From their President of Brand, Marka Hansen.
“We’ve learned a lot in this process. And we are clear that we did not go about this in the right way. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.”
* Do designers have a seat in the boardroom — or just in the basement? How often does your CEO ever talk to a designer?
* Are designers empowered to overrule beancounters — or vice versa?
* Is the input of designers considered to be peripheral to “real” business decisions — or does it play a vital role in shaping them? Is design treated as a function or a competence?
* Are designers seen just as mechanics of mere stuff — or as vital contributors to the art of igniting new industries, markets, and catgeories, sparking more enduring demand, building trust, providing empathy, and seeding tomorrow’s big ideas?
* How much weight does senior management give to right-brained ideas, like delight, amazement, intuition, and joy? Just a little, a lot — or, as for most companies, almost none?
Bill Chandler, vice president of corporate communications, tells Co. that Gap’s new logo could be thought of as a jumping-off point for something more permanent. And no, this isn’t all a PR stunt.
A new logo for Gap that debuted to much criticism Wednesday might not be the perfect fit, Bill Chandler, vice president of corporate communications of Gap, tells Co.Design. “We love the design, but we’re open to other ideas and we want to move forward with the best logo possible,” he says.
Chandler confirmed last night’s message from Gap’s Facebook account (using the old logo as their avatar), which announced the new logo is actually part of a crowdsourcing project. He would not say when — before or after the tidal wave of criticism — Gap decided to participate in one of the most contentious practices in design, in which regular Joes and Janes compete to create a logo that’s better than the one made by a professional. The logo itself was not a PR stunt, Chandler says.
The new logo was designed by Trey Laird and his firm Laird and Partners, who have served as Gap’s creative directors for many years, while working closely with Gap of North America president Marka Hansen. While Chandler stresses that Gap stands by the logo they’ve created, they also want it to signify that the company itself is changing — and that should come with input from consumers.
“Gap has been evolving for the past year,” Chandler says, noting the new campaigns for popular brands like 1969 denim that speak to their target customer, a 28-year-old millennial. “The next natural step was the logo — which has been around for more than 20 years — how it would evolve.”
They debuted the logo “without much fanfare” to begin the conversation, says Chandler, who also notes, as I did yesterday, that the use of Helvetica was not new — they’ve been incorporating it into their advertising and some retail stores for the past year. It’s also not a stab at going retro, says Chandler. “We believe this is a more contemporary, modern expression,” he says. “The only nod to the past is that there’s still a blue box, but it looks forward.”
Gap’s new face, with the old “blue box” logo on the right Leer más “Gap on Disastrous New Logo: “We’re Open to Other Ideas” | The Gap Logo Debacle: A Half-Brained Mistake”