Here is the Iceberg of Logo Perception.


New logo bashing has become a sport on social media. Cries of “how much did that cost“or “it looks like genitals” and “my kid sister could do better” echo across Twitter and Facebook.

It feels like it started with GAP in 2010 who rebranded and then reset after a firestorm of hate (which was on balance deserved).

Though it was in 2007 when Twitter was a mere year old baby, that the London 2012 logo took a lot of stick with it’s marmite design. UK Government ministers made sure design firm Wolff Olins were quite aware at their displeasure in the logo. One calling it “Childish and Ridiculous”. Back then it was left to newspapers to call the logo Shock [Daily Mail Warning] and ask for alternative designs [Daily Mail Warning].

Also in the UK, Everton Football club did a u-turn updating their club badge for a season then rebadging with a huge consultation and vote after fans complained. Here in Derbyshire, Chesterfield Council had to defend their update from the social media crowd.

Lately Tennessee is feeling the hate for it’s new design and its cost ($46k), both across the web and quite vocally by local media, leather jacket wearing hack Chris Butler for watchdog.org. Things tend to be more acute when it comes to government logos, as it’s public money being used so defining where the money has been spent and outlining how this is value for the tax payer is important (this is the issue I think in Tennessee, both the authority and the agency have been pretty quiet at this point on how the logo came about and the extent of the project).

Naturally designers pipe in on these discussions to attempt to defend their craft. This runs the risk of looking a bit bitter, especially when Mr Butler writes up a story titled Graphic designers strike back at Tennessee taxpayers ridiculing new logo.

So in an effort not to look either smarmy, bitter or sarcastic, I’ve created the “Iceberg of Logo Perception”.

Like a real iceberg, 90% of the project mass is unseen. It happens behind closed doors and in designers heads. Things like the designer and client defining the brief, brainstorming, drafting, regular client feedback and refinement.

Unlike popular opinion, which is understandable but misinformed, designers don’t just whip a logo together in 10 minutes on Photoshop.

Reflecting back on London 2012, Creative Review called the wider design and branding project an unprecedented visual experience, When more of the iceberg came into view, everyone had a better understanding about it’s scale and scope. Not every project might end up (in my opinion) an utter success as the 2012 Olympic identity did, some might even be a bit rubbish, but lets not dismiss the efforts that go into creating a typical brand or logo so quickly, lets educate folks so they can put forward a reasoned opinion.

Lets help people see the bottom 9/10ths of the logo iceberg!