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The Worst Logo Ever

The worst and ugliest logo ever

Logo design is something I’m passionate about. I’m not technically a graphic designer but I do dabble, and I sure do know what I like and why.

Some time ago while driving with my wife on a “road trip” I happened to pull up behind a work vehicle displaying what I consider to be the worst logo I have ever seen.

Now because the business is a small Australian one rather than a large corporate, I’m not going to fully “expose the guilty” – in fact I’d rather keep their identity hidden as much as I can. Also before I start please note that I really have no intention of hurting anyone and this post is not a comment on what I’m pretty sure is an otherwise capable and professional business with high quality product (I’ve seen their website, but I’m not sharing). This is just about the logo, as well as a bit of satirical fun!

The abbreviation of this business’ three word name is ACE, so they at some point decided to use the “ace of spades” for the image part of their logo. While the business has nothing to do with gambling or even gardening implements, it’s actually not a bad choice as it does create a similar type of association to those taught by memory experts when helping people remember information.

Sometimes I like to make up stories about things, so this is how I think this one went….

I’m guessing the business owner himself or his 11 year old daughter who is “pretty good on the computer”  decided that they would turn their brilliant word play idea into reality. So far so good.

Another image of the ugliest logo everAnd I’m guessing, that’s where the trouble started. Despite a lack of design skills or experience, no concept of the undo key, and being armed only with MS Paint, our intrepid business owner and daughter set to work.

The first side went well, but the second one was all wrong. But with a bit of an extra drawing over the top of the mistake… there it finally looked like an ace! Now for a diamond shape around it – because everyone knows the ace of spades much go inside a diamond! This one didn’t go so well, but never mind the undo key, steady as she goes, oops, scribble over that little booboo….there, all done!

Mr Business owner stand back and admires the work. It’s not perfect, but it should do the job, and no time to waste doing a second one – besides the daughter is proud of the work, so must stick with it.

Now here is where it gets worse. Our budding entrepreneur then takes the logo to a sign writer to sign write his vehicle, and another for a sign for his factory. Now I can’t say here if it’s poor advice from a lazy sign writer, or a stubborn business owner who doesn’t want to listen, but what should have happened here is the rough drawing be taken as a “concept” and then redrawn into a professional looking logo. But instead, this amazing MS Paint creation somehow ends up like this, complete with pixels all over the place, neat lettering next to it, and me writing this post!

Ok, so obviously this is an extreme example of logo design issues, but I see strange logo examples all the time that just don’t work for various reasons. So, what’s the moral of the story:

Contact a Graphic Designer - Don't design a logo yourselfEven if you consider yourself somewhat proficient in MS Paint, Photoshop or even Illustrator, always get a professional to design your logo where possible, or at least to redraw it properly if you have created the initial concept yourself.

If even that’s out of reach when just starting out, at a very minimum ask the opinion of someone experienced enough to know what they are talking about. Your mum, dad, husband, wife or friends will often say something looks great, but only because they love you. Siblings are potentially useful as they have long ago learnt to criticize everything you do, but unfortunately may not have the desired expertise. A better source of review and advice are design forums or small business forums on the Internet, or even right here on Brand Police (please feel free to contact us). That type of strategy will get you a usually unbiased review (at no cost), and can avoid obvious pitfalls like this.

In one sense though this really isn’t the worst logo ever. The worst logo ever would be one that completely confuses the customer and conveys the wrong message about who the company is and what they stand for – or even worse convey something offensive by mistake.  Plus this is memorable. So in one sense, it’s probably not so bad – but it really is ugly! For some more really bad logos (mostly for a different reason), check out Bored Panda.

About the author

Matthew has written 10 articles for Brand Police

Matthew Cummins is the owner of Marketing Web, a marketing, website design and SEO consultancy business. Matthew has degrees in both IT and Management/ Marketing as well as practical experience in B2B and B2C sales, marketing and marketing management, SEO and website development. Matt built his first website in 1995, and has been passionate about the web ever since.

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