23 September 2013

On bad logos

2013 Brand New Conference logo & identity

Wow. I now have some idea of how companies so often manage to spend so much money and end up with a crappy logo. After reading the justification, I actually started to like this one. But you have to be able to back up sometimes and say, “No. The emperor has no clothes.”

(And I’m not saying the Brand New Conference spent a lot of money here. What I’m saying is simply that the fact that their justification almost convinced me to like this helps me understand how companies end up spending lots of money on bad logos.)

I suspect when you’re paying lots of money for an “identity”, the people involved are going to over-think it and, to justify the cost, you’re going to buy into their over-thinking too. Ironically, Brand New normally comes to a logo with fresh, uninvested eyes and provides a good critique. But then, they say they were going for “uncomfortable” here, and they did succeed in that. I’m still going to call it “bad uncomfortable” rather than any sort of “good uncomfortable”.

I think this is also a case study of how good execution in its application can overcome a terrible logo. If that was the point, then point made.

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