A logo is an image that is supposed to be the representation of an organization. The logo’s job is to give off the same energy you would want people to receive when you describe the company or organization it represents.
That being said, it is quite astonishing that there are actually people out there that are willing, and more importantly bold enough to, post a logo design job somewhere in the price range of $100. Some even are bold enough to disrespect the creative community even more by going as low as $50, some lower than that. You can almost guarantee only bad logos will come out of that venture.
The Italian graphic designer Emanuele Abrate knows very well how bad some logos can be. From unclear messages and typography gone wrong to designs that are just too far to be saved altogether, these are some of the problems Emanuele is targeting in his new project. And “The worst logos ever, redesigned” does exactly what it says. Emanuele has picked 9, in his opinion, of the worst logo faux pas that could be saved from a distasteful limbo. He interpreted them in his own ways and the results are down below.
Emanuele based in Cherasco, Northern Italy spoke more about the idea behind his project. “I had the idea of redesigning the worst logos ever for a long time. I’ve been coming across the articles about logos with unclear messages from all over the world for several years (one of these articles I think I read on Bored Panda,)” he told us. Scroll down to read the full interview below!
1. Instituto de Estudos Orientais
This particular case is a great example of a logo with an ambiguous message. “I wanted to keep the concept unchanged, working on the negative space and enhancing the figure of the pagoda,” he writes on Behance. Emanuele eliminated the outline for a fresh and modern look. He also aligned the typography with the pictogram and converted the font to sans serif, which “matches the symbol better.”
Emanuele selected 9 of what he thought were the worst logos and rolled up his sleeves. “I was trying to figure out how I would approach them if they were really commissioned to me.” The result is not only fun but also “educational and helps to understand that design is not only aesthetic but, above all, it’s about problem-solving.”
The designer believes that the best logos are those “that manage to indelibly enter people’s minds through simplicity and that manage to create an effective and coherent visual ecosystem with the brand they represent.”
2. Kudawara Pharmacy
Emanuele believes there are many different problems with this logo. He names a couple of them: “a poor use of typography, disproportionate elements, and the defective use of shapes that creates an ambiguous message.” He said he was ready to delete the whole thing and keep the K as a lettermark only. “I used simple shapes to build the letter K and give a sense of trust linked to nature.” Plus, “In the negative space you can also see a cross (a distinctive element in the pharmaceutical field).”
3. Fire Prevention Products
“This logo suggests that something ‘down there’ is on fire, uh là là!” joked the Italian designer. Of course, it doesn’t hold the sense of safety one would expect. “That’s why I decided to develop a new concept starting from circular shapes that enclose the figure of a flame in the negative space.” The name has been shortened to the acronym “FPP,” which gives the logo great recognition even if the full text isn’t present.
Emanuele said he’s “a big fan of the work of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv and I fully agree with their philosophy” because “their logo design projects are the ones that best resist the ‘test of time.’” Such logos should be both simple and unusual enough to look appealing. A good logo should also always “have an interesting concept and be in line with the company identity which it represents,” he commented.
4. Mama’s Baking
Emanuele has given this logo a whole new concept. The idea was inspired by “the figure of the mother who cooks with passion.” Imagine her taking the hot pan out of the oven. “I started from the oven mitt as an iconic symbol, and tied it with a heart for the message of love and passion.”
5. The Computer Doctors
Emanuele dubbed this design so bad that “nothing could be saved of it.” Thus he came up with a new concept that combines the worlds of technology and health care. “The idea behind the new logo was to start from the shape of a monitor to insert a cross in the negative space and at the same time enhance the initial letters C and D,” he explained.
6. Clinica Dental San Marcelino
“A dentist or a seducer?” That’s what came to Emanuele’s mind when he saw this one. “The logo is so unclear that I came up with a simpler and less descriptive solution.” Thus, he arranged the letters C and D so that they form a smiling face. “The clean, rounded lines and the blue color are intended to convey a sense of confidence and cleanliness,” he commented.
Emanuele currently teaches a course called “Logo Hero” that provides all the education you’d need about logo and brand designs. He also manages “Logofonts” on Instagram, where he reveals what kind of fonts famous logos are using. In fact, “the idea for this page was inspired by the success of my project on Behance.”
7. OGC (Office of Government Commerce)
At first, it seems like the original OGC logo has nothing wrong with it. “But by rotating the logo, you can see a rather embarrassing figure (definitely not a good move for a government agency),” explains Emanuele. That’s why he restyled the logo by enhancing the letters, eliminating the outline, and giving it a modern look.
8. Safe place
This case has just too much going on: “It’s all shapes inside shapes inside other shapes.” Emanuele rolled up his sleeves: “Ok, let’s do some tidying up, let’s take away everything that is superfluous: the house is the only really evocative element of this logo and so, let’s enhance it!”
9. Arlington Pediatric Center
The new logo starts with the same concept, but it’s more confident. “The simple and circular shapes make the pictogram friendly and warm. I also replaced the typography with more modern but still institutional sans serif.”