A good logo is a visual representation of a brand’s values and identity.
While product lines and designs may come and go, logo, more often than not, remains the constant visual representation of a brand. A well-executed logo tells a story, inspires confidence and stands out for the right reasons.
Nonetheless, when logos go rogue, how bad can they possibly be? Let’s take a look at some of the questionable choices of logos close to our shores and hearts.
Visit Malaysia Year 2020
Our neighbouring country once again made headlines in January 2018. This time, instead of a nasi lemak dress and grafting allegations, it was over the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s announcement of the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 logo at the Asean Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai.
How bad was it you ask? Bad enough to receive tons of criticisms online, 11,000 online petitions and to have garnered enough notoriety to be picked up by BBC and The Daily Telegraph. Here’s the logo for your reference, in case you missed it:
In short, these are what went wrong with the VMY 2020 logo, according to our in-house designer, Jack:
The inconsistent font size and alignment makes it look like yOu’Re tYpInG lIkE tHiS. It makes it irritating to read and it gives off an immature vibe.
Artwork for the sunglasses-wearing orangutan and turtle looks cheap and old, 2 things you do not want to associate your country with especially when you’re promoting it’s tourism.
Stamp border is flat and does not add much to the logo because it doesn’t even resemble a stamp in the first place. We get what they’re trying to do with the stamp motif but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Visual hierarchy is all over the place. The first thing you see is the giant red number 2 followed by the orangutans and the pink(?) number two making the logo less intuitive.
The gradient on the single petronas tower unnecessarily stands out because everything else has flat colours and it also affects the legibility of the “a”.
Overall, the concept of the logo is strong but the execution is simply not up to standard and you don’t need to be a graphic designer to see that.
Another brand that has an unfortunate logo issue is local bubble tea company LiHO.
At first glance, the logo is actually pretty good. It’s clean and simple. The bright colors and the bold font gives the brand a fun and family-friendly feel. The problem here lies in the lion and more specifically its face. It’s obviously an unintentional oversight that they gave it a phallic look. Fortunately for them it isn’t glaringly obvious but it is one of those things where you cannot “unsee” it after you’ve already seen it. It does get more obvious when you turn the lion’s frown upside down.
While this is not as bad or serious as the previous case, it does provide a good chuckle or two.
In 2015, Mediacorp worked with a local design firm, Bonsey Design and revealed their new logo in almost 15 years.
Instead of acclaim and celebration, they were met with accusations of plagiarism and a general lack of originality. Comparisons were made with the logo of an Indonesian bank, Bank Mega and even a stock illustration. This shows how difficult it is to design logo
While it definitely is not poorly designed, This shows how difficult it is to design a truly original logo especially when it has to satisfy a complicated design brief or to meet the expectations of the masses.
So where did they go wrong?
Design is not an easy process, especially when you’re working with too many chefs. The design brief could have been too vague or too contrived. It’s also possible that they simply failed on the execution be it from poor time management, poor technical ability or just a lack of creative flair.
All in all, brands have to take considerable care of their logo as it is most probably the first thing people will see and making a good impression is very important.
Before you go, take a look at this hilarious case of a designer from Nissin who decided to literally use every suggestion and criticism received to “revamp” the ad. The results are simply just ridiculous.