A logo is more than just a pretty design. It is the main symbol of your brand. Your logo should translate your brand identity and differentiate you from the competition. The last thing you want is for the logo to send the wrong message to the public. A misinterpreted, or poorly designed logo could easily ruin your reputation. We have made a selection of 10 cleverly designed logos and 10 logo designs gone wrong.
We will also share 5 principles of great logo design, so your logo never ends up in the “gone wrong” selection.
Examples of good logos
Notice any differences between the two Heineken logos? The second one feels kind of off, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s an earlier version of the famous Heineken logo. Heineken redesigned the logo by changing the letter font and rotating E letters, making it seem like they’re smiling.
Interestingly enough, when Google altered their logo design, they also rotated letter E in the same way:
Fedex found a clever way to communicate the core of their business by adding an arrow between the E and the X. The arrow symbolizes the motion of goods being shipped from point A to point B.
3. Tour de France
Tour the France subtly incorporated a cyclist in their logo. Letter O, letter U and the orange circle are part of a bicycle, while letter R is shaped like a cyclist. Also, doesn’t the orange circle remind you of warm and sunny France in the summertime?
With an arrow going from A to Z, Amazon highlights their great assortment. Afterall, they sell everything from A to Z. The arrow is shaped like a smile, associating the brand with positive emotions. The arrow also represents the movement of goods from the warehouse to your doorstep.
5. My Indian Closet
My Indian Closet is a great example of a simple logo design that manages to communicate the core of the business as well as its cultural heritage.
NBC’s multi-color peacock dates back to the 50’s when NBC wanted to highlight the network’s color programming. Peacock stands for NBC’s pride (“proud as a peacock”) and the 6 colors represent the 6 divisions of NBC. The peacock is facing right, indicating that the company is future-centric.
7. Chad 2010
The logo represents a charity mission to the Republic of Chad, a country in north-central Africa. The main goal of the mission was to promote education and buy books for local schools. The logo cleverly incorporates the core elements of the mission, namely the African continent, a child’s face and books.
Toblerone’s logo pays a tribute to the confectionery’s birthplace, Bern. If you look closely, you will see a bear in the mountain. The bear has been the symbol of Bern since the 13th century and it is also incorporated in the city’s coat of arms.
Elettro Domestic, translated as electrical appliances, makes great use of negative space to spell out ED in the shape of an electric plug.
10. Yoga Australia
Notice how the white space formed by the hand and the leg is shaped like Australia.
Examples of bad and the Ugly logos
You had to look twice, didn’t you? Megaflicks didn’t leave much space between the L and the I, making it look like a curse word we all know.
2. Archdiocesan Youth Commission
Following some very public scandals involving catholic priests and minors, this logo definitely doesn’t help shake off the nasty stereotype.
3. Safe Place
Does this logo make you feel safe? Safe Place opted for colors often used in warning signs making it look anything but safe.
4. Office of Government Commerce
According to the Office of Government Commerce, the logo was meant to signify their commitment to “improve value for money by driving up standards and capability in procurement”. However, when rotated 90 degrees, the logo resembles a person giving the middle finger.
5. Institudo de Estudos Orientas
This center for oriental studies intended to portray an oriental house with a rising sun behind it. Are dirty minds to blame, or does the logo really scream something else entirely?
6. Arlington Pediatric Center
Would you feel comfortable bringing your kids to this pediatric center. Similarly to Archdiocesan Youth Commission, Arlington Pediatric Center did not thoroughly think through the positioning of the child in their logo.
7. Mama's Baking
Get the fire extinguisher! This mama is on fire. We are not sure what’s baking in this kitchen.
8. The Computer Doctors
It’s hard to believe that whoever designed this logo intended for the letter U to look like a computer mouse.
9. Junior Dance Class
At first glance, the logo appears to be completely innocent. However, once you notice a body part (or 2), you will have a hard time unseeing it.
A recognizable logo is simple in design and does not confuse the audience. Over-complicated logo designs are not easy to remember which brings us to the next point…
In today’s world, people are constantly confronted with information. An average person sees anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements a day! How do you make your brand stand out amongst other brands? Sharp colors, unique graphics and consistency are key.
Fashion comes and goes. Today’s trends will be replaced by tomorrow’s trends. Keep this in mind when designing your logo. Will it stand the test of time?
Your logo will be used on your website, social media, business cards, marketing materials etc. It should be effective in any size and format. When designing your logo, imagine what it would look like printed on different materials, surfaces, in different formats and what it would look like when viewed on big screens or mobile devices.
Keep in mind our “gone wrong” logo selection. Do not leave room for inappropriate ambiguity when designing your logo.