Epic Logo Fails

One of the fun parts of my job is work­ing on brand­ing and new com­pa­ny logos.

There is a lot that goes into brand­ing. While many com­po­nents of brand­ing are not explic­it­ly visu­al (think posi­tion­ing), a company’s logo is very vis­i­ble. It is hang­ing out there for every­one to adore or abuse.

I have cer­tain­ly been part of cre­at­ing some great logos, as well as some more for­get­table ones.

But let’s have fun. Here are some of the logos I have come across that are more than for­get­table – they are down­right awful.

1. Kids Exchange

Some­times a lack of punc­tu­a­tion can be a prob­lem.




2. Locum, a Swedish real estate company

Lan­guage can be a bar­ri­er. This logo does not trans­late well across the Atlantic.





3. State of Vermont

Gov­ern­ments are noto­ri­ous­ly bad with logos (think: the postal ser­vice). I am not sure what the design­er of this logo was think­ing.








4. Sunrise Sushi

The con­cept is a sun ris­ing behind a Japan­ese tea house. But when these two images are pulled togeth­er in a poor­ly designed logo, one groans.







5. 2012 London Olympic Games

Opin­ions were mixed here. Many were unim­pressed with this logo that cost over $500,000 to devel­op.

Crit­ics claimed the logo depicts the Simp­sons involved in inap­pro­pri­ate behav­ior (can you see the out­line of Lisa?). Some saw a swasti­ka.

And even Iran was unhap­py and threat­ened to boy­cott the 2012 Games because they claimed the logo spelled Zion.








Now on the flip side… there are companies doing good redesigns of older logos. Here are a few technology-based companies that had nice improvements.


1. Motorola










Google pur­chased Motoro­la for $13 bil­lion a cou­ple years ago. The search giant suc­cess­ful­ly main­tained  Motorola’s con­nec­tion to its past with the styl­ized M while weav­ing in Google’s col­or­ful pres­ence. Nice­ly done. Note: Google recent­ly sold Motoro­la to Leno­vo, so you won’t see this logo for much longer.

2. Spotify










Spotify’s old logo was goofy (per­haps delib­er­ate­ly so). Their new san serif logo is clean but still has some of the fun ele­ments of the old logo.

3. SnapRetail

And from my own per­son­al files, here is a logo we evolved at SnapRe­tail over a cou­ple years.

Our first logo was bold and “snap­py” with its bright red col­or and move­ment over the “s.”

SnapRetail Logo No Tagline




The 2nd ver­sion was more refined, had rich­er col­ors, and a stur­dier feel. It feels like a more estab­lished com­pa­ny.






Com­pa­ny logos can be a lot of fun to work on. But keep your eyes open for design mis­steps that can sink your brand­ing.


I want to cred­it Busi­ness Insid­er for high­light­ing many of these logos.


1 Comment
  1. Great piece, Jere­my. We were just hav­ing this dis­cus­sion the oth­er day in our offices.

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