Your logo is a symbol of your business. It projects the values and professionalism of your organization. The logo has the opportunity to make the first impression on your client. This can be a great first impression which encourages the client to proceed with their transaction, or it can discourage them from ever returning to your establishment. In order to prevent the latter, you’ll want to take a look at some of the worst logo failures around. Learn from these mistakes, and you are sure to have much more success with your logos.
1. The Catholic Church Archdiocesan Youth Commission
This logo from 1973 has been widely recognized as a massive failure. In fact, it won an award from the Art Directors Club of Los Angeles for worst logo design. The logo itself has what appears to be a stick figure in black wearing traditional Catholic clergy garb. This figure is holding the hands of a smaller stick figure in front of its legs This smaller figure is meant to be a child.
Although the logo was designed in order to convey that the Catholic clergyman is helping and guiding this child, in light of the scandals surrounding child abuse in the church, the images evokes a very different story. From this logo we can learn the importance of contemporary events and the interpretation of symbols. One way business people can avoid such mistakes is by testing out their logo on a variety of audiences prior to implementing it. By receiving feedback from multiple individuals, any unintended interpretations should become clear.
2. Kids Exchange
The name of this particular business seems innocent enough. For their logo, the organization decided to go for a font based symbol. In keeping with their target audience, they choose a fun and colorful font. However, their real mistake came in opting to use all capital letters.
Their logo read KIDSEXCHANGE. Now you can interpret that as KIDS EXCHANGE, which of course was the intended result. However, it is very easy to read KID SEX EXCHANGE instead. This could have been resolved by only capitalizing the K and E in their name. It could have also been resolved by putting more space between the first and second words. By failing to see this alternative interpretation, this logo most likely discouraged more than a few potential clients.
3. Rising Sun Sushi
This logo started off innocent enough. It includes a yellow traditional Japanese house, behind this home in the classic red rising sun of Japan. The logo was designed to evoke a distinctly Japanese feeling. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly achieve the intended result.
Since Japanese style homes have triangular roofs, and the logo design opted for rounded lines to represent the outlines of the roof, the potential interpretation of this logo changed dramatically. Although the sun is just a circle, it actually appears to have curved portion reminiscent of the human darier. This was a direct result of the curved lines used for the roof of the home. With the home colored a bright yellow, and having a pointed tip, it appears to be altogether too friendly with this derrier.
The concept of this design was good, but the particular execution resulted in a symbol more reminiscent of the Japanese Penis festival than sushi.
4. Mega Flicks
This business specialized in renting movies. The name of the company was designed to communicate to customers that all the major movies could be found in this location. However, this company opted for a font based logo.
The selected font was reminiscent of those used in video games. The connection between this choice and the movies was clear. Unfortunately, the font created an unintentional reading of the company name. Instead of reading MEGAFLICKS, the font caused the L and the I to move too close together. This created a shape reminiscent of the letter U. Replacing the L and I in the word Flicks with a U certain results in an undesirable company name.
5. Appalachian State Mountaineers NCAA Alternate Logo
This logo was designed to represent the sports team of the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The design was based on what the fans of this team asked for. In order to stay true to the Appalachians, the fans wanted an image of a mountain man.
Instead of having a strong burly man, the nature of the team colors, combined with the very cartoony style, results in a very odd rendering of an Abraham Lincoln type fellow. The team colors are black and yellow, so the skin tone of the man is very reminiscent of characters from the hit show, the Simpsons. Although the fan’s goal was to have a distinct and inspiring logo, the result is just unprofessional looking. It evokes thoughts of a high schooler’s doodle rather than a professional sports team.
One way that you can ensure that your logo is as successful as possible, is to seek some professional assistance. Companies can help you avoid some of the serious mistakes of the logos mentioned here. You’ll want to make sure that your logo is communicating everything you want, and none of the unintentional drama that you don’t need.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This (hopefully helpful) post was written by Louise Williams for IS Installations, a sign installation company who hopes to never install any logos as bad as these..