Annals of Bad Logo Design

Maybe I've gotten to the age where you lose touch with the Zeitgeist, but from where I'm sitting there's been a rash of really bad high-profile logo design recently.

It started with the UK's atrocious logo for the 2012 games:

Then Miami got into the act with a new logo for the Downtown Development Authority. This one isn't actually as bad, but it's local so it feels worse than it probably is:

Plus, the justifications for it were just inane: “Not having the O's makes it more creative,” said one Board member. Eh?

I think it looks silly, perhaps even illiterate, and fear it will confuse foreign tourists. But I do take some solace from SNAFUed's analysis: “you really want the young people to go downtown, and they are definitely used to missing vowels from text messaging, so why not?”

Now, though, comes the winner in the lousy logo sweepstakes: The new GOP logo for their 2008 convention:

The GOP press release says that this elephant is triumphant, but I'm with Colin McEnroe, who says This Is Your Elephant on Drugs.

I do think, however, that the people suggesting that this pachyderm has a “wide stance” designed specifically for the convention in Minneapolis are going a bit far.

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21 Responses to Annals of Bad Logo Design

  1. pfc says:

    In heraldry, this would be referred to as an Elephant Rampant. (“Heraldry. (of a beast used as a charge) represented in profile facing the dexter (right) side, with the body upraised and resting on the left hind leg, the tail and other legs elevated, the right foreleg highest, and the head in profile unless otherwise specified: a lion rampant.”)

    Dictionary.com also provides some other definitions of “rampant”:
    1. violent in action or spirit; raging; furious: a rampant leopard.
    2. growing luxuriantly, as weeds.
    3. in full sway; prevailing or unchecked: a rampant rumor.

    I think all are appropriate.

  2. Michael says:

    And what does heraldry have to say about being starry-eyed? Stoned?

    (Incidentally, isn’t the *left* foreleg highest here? And the weight equal on both hind legs?)

  3. pfc says:

    I’m not sure if the left or the right foreleg is highest, actually. They kind of merge into a blue blob for me.

    But you’ve got me on the weight on the hind legs, and that made me do some research and I got another thing wrong. I thought “facing the dexter side” meant facing right, but I guess it really means you see the right side of the animal.

    Should I be doing an Emily Latella here? (“Never mind.”)

    🙂

  4. SEO says:

    Utterly horrible.

    The Olympics Logo would have to be hands down the worst one the Olympics has ever had period. It looks like something straight off a 1996 webpage with the .gif animation removed… As does the elephant.

    The Downtown Miami, at least it’s somewhat modern however dropping the O’s has made it virtually incomprehensible. Here come the jokes about people from Miami being illiterate.

    Carly,

  5. PHB says:

    My wife thinks he’s doing the French Mistake

    Throw out your hands
    Stick out your tush
    Hands on your hips
    Give ’em a push
    You’ll be surprised you’re doin’ the French Mistake
    Voila!

    http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/artist_details.aspx?ArtistID=966

  6. Copeland says:

    Clearly it’s a rogue elephant.

  7. Wow, give your kid a ruler and let him draw your next logo. Don’t even bother cleaning it up a little.

    If this is their view on promoting the games, how will they do in hosting them?

  8. Looks like it just got knocked out. A Cartoon way of making it look like he was punched and about to fall. I’m not sure that was what they were going for though!

  9. Looks more like the elephant is getting knocked out. Probably not the effect they are looking for.

  10. innocent bystander says:

    The republican logo makes more sense if you view it as an aerieal of an unconscious elephant lying on its side.

  11. picasso says:

    So when will discourse.net sport a logo? You know what they say, those who can do, those who can’t……(teach? blog?)

  12. michael says:

    I have no artistic talent. If someone wishes to make me a logo, I’d be happy to consider it.

    But I believe the saying you want is,

    Those who can’t do, teach.
    Those who can’t teach, teach gym.
    And those who can’t teach gym, teach here.

  13. SEO says:

    “If someone wishes to make me a logo, I’d be happy to consider it.”

    Sure why not, any preference on size, color, graphical element etc? I couldn’t possibly do any worse than the above.

    Carly,

  14. SEO says:

    “If someone wishes to make me a logo, I’d be happy to consider it.”

    Sure why not, any preference on size, color, graphical element etc? I couldn’t possibly do any worse than the above.

    Carly,

  15. michael says:

    Er. Tasteful? Loads reasonably fast? Has some blue in it? I don’t even know how to ask the right questions.

    It would also have to work with my botched-up CSS, and work for different resolutions; people view the site in windows of all sorts of sizes. One nice thing about just using a text headline is that it grows/shrinks pretty well.

  16. SEO says:

    Did you want blue background to go where the text headline is now?

    I knocked up a few quick ones as i wasn’t sure which background you wanted it placed on.

    Your a hard one to make a logo for, i was thinking of some scales but this isn’t exactly a law site like your personal one. Also law.miami.edu doesn’t give me much to go on as far as graphical element.

    http://www.tareeinternet.com/discourse/discourse.html

    Any input on this and i’ll do up some better ones, also you don’t have to use anything i make i won’t feel bad i just like tinkering with this sort of thing.

    BTW i noticed your analytics code was in the head of your page when i was fetching the blue color code, if you can move this to the very footer.. last thing before the tag it will speed up the page, and also if the analytics script fails to load it won’t effect your page contents loading.

    Carly,

  17. OMG! is that really the logo for 2012 Olympics and Paralympics? I wouldnt know about this if i didnt bump with this site. I think can do a better one and of course cheaper.

  18. goplogo.com says:

    Too often, a designer knows what they are trying to say so they see it in the design. Problem is, no one else who looks at the logo is privy to what was inside the designer’s head. With the GOP Convention Logo, whether it’s a dancing elephant, triumphant elephant or an elephant getting ready to mate with a donkey … whoever designed it had something in mind the rest of us aren’t “getting”.

    That’s why when we designed our line of GopLogo ties and scarves, we tried to keep it simple so people could simply enjoy them, without having to do a lot of mental work.

    Too often, there’s too much “design” and not enough “communication” when event logos are developed.

  19. RickNHS says:

    I tend to agree that the Olympic logo for the 2012 games is atrocious! I’m assuming it is supposed to represent something or someone (like an athlete performing)..

    I also agree with the above comment, which states that many times designers know what it is that they are trying to say (portray), but don’t necessarily get their message across to others.

  20. bob says:

    A bit late I know, but surely you can all see it looks like Lisa Simpson “performing”? And as for what the designer had in his/her head, I would wager it was ‘toon Pr0n…

  21. club penguin says:

    Give your kid a ruler and let him draw your next logo. Don’t even bother cleaning it up a little. If this is their view on promoting the games, how will they do in hosting them?

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