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Friday, April 25, 2008

Brits and their logos

Today, while browsing a newsletter on government contracting, I came across this story from Britain's Telegraph newspaper.

It's about a government agency logo redesign gone wrong. It's hilarious on a couple levels: One, the problem with the logo is hilarious. Two, this is so very different from how it would be handled in the US -- there probably wouldn't be a newspaper story about it, and there's no way in hell the agency spokesman would make a pun about it in his statement.

As a bonus, check out the linked gallery of problematic logos. (Though I can't find anything lewd about the London Olympics one, aside from the fact that it's one of the worst logos I've ever seen.)

8 comments:

doug said...

£14,000 for that?! As one of the commenters on that page notes, it looks like someone opened up the design software, typed OGC, tightened up the spacing, and called it a day.

Teague, here's a logo for Note to Self: NtS. That'll be £1,000, please. Cash only.

teague said...

Yeah, it's not like the design was exactly conceptually sophisticated...

lj said...

"Firm grasp?" That's amazing, and you're right: no US official would be caught dead saying that on the record. And I also couldn't see the problem with the Olympics logo, no matter how I squinted. It just looks like the 1980s stabbing my eyes out.

The Brits do have us sounded beat on some other design fronts.

lj said...

*soundly* beat...sigh

teague said...

Those coin designs are way cool. Looking at them, it makes me think that perhaps the underlying challenge for designing attractive currency is making something that uses modern design while maintaining classic currency design cues that give it visual credibility. Those coins combine those two elements very well.

As for the new $5 bill that they compared it to, it's not nearly so slick, but I think I actually like it...the big purple "5" is so weird that it's cool.

gastropodblue said...

Wait, so you don't see Lisa Simpson giving head when you look at the 2012 logo?

...'cause that's what I see.

lj said...

gastropodblue: I only saw that after it was pointed out to me, and with some squinting. It's not nearly as striking, to me, as the others.

Teague, I think you have accurately stated the challenge in currency design. A challenge that I think the US is failing pretty solidly. It's like, "okay, we'll make this one corner new and modern but leave the rest classic." No thought of integrating the changes with the rest. I think what's really behind it is that all of their thinking and resources are going into anti-counterfeiting measures, with almost no thought to aesthetics. And security should certainly be the highest priority, it would just be nice if it also didn't look like crap.

Has anyone else seen the just-before-the-Euro Dutch money? When I was briefly in Amsterdam, it was like you didn't need to visit the coffeeshops -- just looking at your cash was hallucinogenic enough. So awesome.

teague said...

I still can't see Lisa Simpson doing anything. Not that I'm unhappy about that...