Bad Logos: Think Before You Design

Throughout the history  of companies, business, institutions have branded their work by adding a distinctive label to it.  They have applied everything from single-character insignias to shields and crests, all the way to unique store logos that communicate to the public who they are.

A good logo is important to create a connection with the consumers. They will see it and in the future, they may remember it and associate it with a good product or service to use again, which may lead to brand loyalty.  A good logo separates businesses from the competition during this era when consumer’s eyes are constantly barraged with logos and ads.

Unfortunately, not every product or service is endowed with a well designed logo.  The usual dichotomy is that consumer’s associate good products with their product branding and will continually buy those products. There is, however, an uncommon circumstance a good product or service will be destined to failure.  This can happen when a product’s logo is so poorly designed it discourages consumers from even trying the product. It creates a misguided perception about the company and their service. The designer and the client both have part in creating a hideous, clumsily researched logo. Following are example of five scenarios where the designer and the client have failed each other.

Accidental Group Affiliation

KKK Bad Logo Design

The first logo comes from K.K. Kingston LTD, suppliers of industrial materials in New Guinea. When they started making sales in the United States, many customers were put off by the logo’s similarity to racist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The anti-sentiment from the customers inspired the company to change its logo and is currently under construction. Remember when designing a logo to make it appear to be associated with a controversial group.

Unadjusted Spacing

Kids Exchange Bad logo

This logo comes from Kids Exchange, a second hand store specializing in buying, selling, and trading children’s goods. The problem with this logo is that without the proper spacing, it appears to say ‘kid sex change’.  Most parents might get the wrong idea and think this is a some kind of surgical alteration clinic. Needless to say, the sign has been dealt with; but the website however, still reads “”. Here is another example :

Kids Exchange Bad logo

It is a colorful neon sign with crammed letters. I am sure the parents will get the “right message.”

Inappropriate Images

Mont Sat Bad logo

Above logo comes from a small local satellite/cable TV installation and repair company. This logo’s character is obviously quite excited about his job. But the customers for this place might be a little apprehensive to let the technician near their satellite dish. This one is pretty obvious; do not make your logos look like they could be a reference for an anatomy book.

Subliminal Acts

Youth Commission bad logo

The Catholic Church’s Archdiocesan Youth Commission came up with this logo in the 1970’s. It has been resting in peace for years though due to all the allegations the church has received for the treatment of children. Be careful of what message you are sending, conscious and subconscious.


Hospital for Special Surgery- Bad Logo Design

The logo for the Hospital for Special Surgery has been in use for a long time and remains in place as seen on their website. But their logo seems to inspire confusion. The character in the logo seems to either have half a body with extra limbs, or has tweaked the location of his extremities. Either way, it is probable that they have received surgery requests for extra arms to climb like Spiderman. Make sure your logo has a clear purpose to avoid unpleasant situations.

While having a badly designed logo may tarnish a business’s public image, the damage is not irreversible.  In fact, many bad logos do get changed before they cause too much damage. These five logos lacked a complete review process, which every logo, label, or advertisement should go through.  They should have been carefully examined by both the designer and the client, if they were not self-designed. Now, thanks to the internet, these five examples will be eternally ridiculed as the images are shared on blogs and social networks.

If you want to avoid situation like use your brain and common sense  and, check out the following links to get more ideas about logo design.

Related Posts