Examples of Logo Design Gone Wrong

How did this happen? When logos go terribly wrong!

I’m So Glad You're Here! - Thanks for sticking with me!

It’s quite a long one so stick the kettle on and grab a brew!

Last week a buddy sent me a picture of a logo that someone had designed and it looked really rude! even more so when it’s rotated 180 degrees.

I’m not going to show it due to respect for the designer and it’s something i don’t do its just wrong and unprofessional.

But it got me thinking!

Inspiration From a Single Image

From seeing this image it got me thinking that it would make a great article about Examples of Logo Design Gone Wrong - The worst ones i could find online that had come under fire at some point in time and string them altogether in a single article.

I didn’t have long to put this one together so my research time was limited but i found some really good ones some you have probably seen a bunch of times and some you probably have not.

When looking at these logos, especially the ones that are mounted on building and shop fronts it makes me wonder “How the hell did these get approved, its so obvious?”

In fact, one of the logos in the article it took a person walking past to notice the signage and go in and point out that the illustration could easily be miss interpreted.

To me that’s crazy, It’s bad! how can something get that far unnoticed? There are other examples as well that are just as bad if not worse!

*My Pro Tip - Logo Design

We can laugh at these logos but when it comes to business credibility things like this are not good for reputation! but there’s a lesson to be learned here.

My pro tip when designing logos is not only to view the logo how its supposed to look in its intended way but flip, rotate, and view it at different angles to see how it visually appears that way you can make sure it does not look like something it not intended to look like.

It may look innocent to the majority of people but there are people out there that get creative with logos to make them look rude and crude in ways that they are not intended to look.

Airbnb is a good example!

Every positive aspect of the concept ties into the mark, but it also represents other things with very little manipulation.

People get creative and post all sorts of stuff online! (With very little manipulation of the mark, in fact it's the same way for MOST these images apart from ET.

The list goes on as you can see from the pic i quickly put together from things i found online below.

A couple are quite harmless like ET and the dog, the other stuff is quite rude and can really have a negative effect on a brand (In fact when thinking of what i could use as an example airbnb sprung to mind, so i guess the mark already leaves a negative impression with me.

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From Experience - My Advice For Designers

I was approached by a rather large design news site to redesign their identity recently.

The client seemed perfect, the budget was there we had agreed on costings, they had agreed on my proposal, design agreement and terms.

Everything was going fine!

From experience i know some larger clients have a “Client Agreement For Design Services” Form which they have a designer sign to give them extra cover and peace of mind, which is fine i have signed quite a few over the years and i respect why they have them in place ((for the right reasons that is!))

When i asked them they were a little hesitant like they had no clue what i was talking about and said they would get back to me (1st Red Flag!)

I also found this really strange as i would think a site of this size, which has a large team of people working for it that also work in the design industry, would know something about this and have it in place.

I was a little puzzled and got the negative vibe at this stage as designers looked up these sites for information and knowledge they seemed clueless and this was one of the directors who had been in the design industry apparently a lot longer then myself.

It took them just over a week to respond, with “yes we have one, and can sort it out later!” (2nd Red Flag!)

I told them that things like this need to be dealt with before we start the project and they should know that that’s why they are in place before work commences.

Then came the (3rd Red Flag!) “We trust you and you can sign it on completion before we make the final payment”


I told them I could not proceed any further if they had a “Client Agreement For Design Services” form in place that they would not let me see and agree to beforehand.

They had already agreed to my proposal, design agreement and terms / contract! I was totally transparent with them from the start. (At this point i knew they were not the client for me!)

Another week went by and i finally received it.

From first glance it looked very amateur with tiny text ( like they thought i would just agree to it and not read it as the text was so tiny but that’s what magnifying glasses are for, Always thinking!)

I read through it twice word for word and as i mentioned in the tweet below let’s just say there were things in there i did not like. (I wish i could say, but if you know me as i know some of you do you know i don’t do things like that and keep things private and in confidence.

I refused to move forward with the project and walked away! :)

- So my tip from experience is to know who your client is, and what they should have in place, design is a two way process between designer and client.

Be transparent with your client and also stand your ground and control the situation.

Read everything twice word for word - Money is not everything!, always be looking to protect yourself and remain in control!

Stay Tuned! - First Look Book Videos

I have been thinking about something i can show my subscribers before anyone else.

To my surprise I received a new book release i was not expecting from Friend Eli Altman who has previously taken part in our designer Interviews.

In fact his previous book Run Studio Run was one of my best reads of 2019 and his new book and third release of Don’t Call It That which is different looks very interesting! You can see the first look video below.

It’s available on Eli’s website, and Eli informed me that the book is available through Magma for people in the UK. They also have stores in London and Manchester, the book is also available to order through them online, so no more expensive shipping from california for uk-based readers.

Moving forward, I will share with you my loyal newsletter signups the new books I get right here within this newsletter before i post them on social media. The videos will be posted and shared here first.

Coming Soon - Community Threads!

I am going to start up some threads when we have more subscribers here that we can have a discussion about and learn from - What threads would you like to see? Let me know in the comments would love to hear from you.

Free Resources

  • FontJoy: Font Pairings made it super easy. The goal of font pairing is to select fonts that share an overarching theme yet have a pleasing contrast.

  • Feather: Simply beautiful open source icons.

  • Brand Grader: The Brand Grader is an online reputation management tool. See how your brand, your competitor, or any other company performs online.

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